September 26, 2017

THERE IS NO CHINA:

Wary Of Unrest Among Uighur Minority, China Locks Down Xinjiang Province (Rob Schmitz, 9/26/17, NPR Morning Edition)

Last year President Xi Jinping appointed a party secretary of Xinjiang, who is transforming this region -- bordered to the west by Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries -- into one of the world's most tightly controlled police states. Earlier this year Chen Quanguo -- whose name literally means "entire country" -- addressed police in an impressive show of force: Ten thousand officers, all dressed in black riot gear, lined up in neat columns.

"The sword is drawn, and we're about to hear the thunder," said Chen to his officers. "Comrades: are you ready?"

"We are ready!" they roared in response.

Chen arrived in Xinjiang in 2016 fresh from Tibet, where his five-year crackdown on dissent had disturbed human rights organizations but earned him accolades from China's president. He went on a police-hiring spree there, and promised to do the same in Xinjiang.

"Obviously, in order to replicate the same density of policing and surveillance, you need to hire tens of thousands of police forces. And that's exactly what Chen Quanguo did," says Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the European School of Culture and Theology.

Zenz says Xinjiang has posted ads for nearly 100,000 security personnel positions in the past 12 months -- 30 times more officers than were hired annually a decade ago.

"This is Xinjiang's new industry No. 1. It is becoming the most important source of employment," says Zenz.

Drawing on central government subsidies, Xinjiang spent around $6 billion -- nearly four times the region's own income -- on security in the first half of 2017, he says.

Posted by at September 26, 2017 6:38 AM

  

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