China is now transferring lakhs of Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang to places very far from home and is causing a massive demography change. Uyghurs are Turkic Muslims, and there are about 11 million of them in Western China. The Chinese government meanwhile denies any attempt to alter the demographics of its far-western region and says these are job transfers that are designed to increase revenue and reduce the poverty and unemployment.
China has already built many re-education camps across Xinjiang in recent years. China’s approach to its governance of Xinjiang can be traced back to two brutal attacks on pedestrians and commuters – in Beijing in 2013 and Kunming in 2014 – which the Chinese government blamed on Uighur Islamists. China has a network of highly secure re-education camps where more than one million mostly Muslim Uyghurs have been detained in recent years – and which China maintains are voluntary schools for anti-extremism training.
Thousands of children have been separated from their parents and many women have been forcibly subjected to methods of birth control. Already many videos of families recounting the horrors under the Chinese detention camps have made their way into even popular social media platforms. China is now facing growing criticism over its persecution of Muslim minority groups, with many members of the Uyghur community allegedly being held in internment camps.