Excerpts from unpublished documents directly linking the Chinese crackdown on Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang province to speeches by Chinese leaders in 2014 have been posted online.
The documents – including three speeches by Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2014 – focus on security, population control and the need to punish the Uyghur population. Some are marked top secret. They were leaked to German academic Adrian Zenz.
In the documents, the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership call for the re-education and relocation of Uyghurs to rectify an imbalance between the Uyghur and Han populations in Xinjiang.
Zenz said the top secret and confidential documents are important because they show multiple links between the demands of the Chinese leadership in 2014 and what happened subsequently in Xinjiang, including the mass internment in re-education camps. , coercive labor transfers and optimization of ethnic population by increasing Han population share.
Zenz alleges that the documents show the leadership’s long-term intention to commit cultural genocide for the specific purpose of safeguarding the CCP government.
The documents were fully delivered in digital form to the Uyghur Court – a UK-based independent people’s court – in September, but were not released in their entirety in order to protect the source of the leak.
Instead, transcripts of some of the papers, lengthy quotes, summaries, and analyzes have been released. The transcripts were peer reviewed by Dr. James Millward, professor of intersocietal history at Georgetown University in Washington, and by Dr. David Tobin, lecturer in East Asian studies at the University. of Sheffield. Some have been redacted to remove receipt stamps. The leak covers 11 documents and 300 unique pages. They go from April 2014 to May 2018.
Zenz said some of the documents were used by The New York Times in a 2019 report, but the leak also includes previously unseen information.
At the end of 2016, just before the implementation of an unprecedented package of measures in Xinjiang, statements from the leaders were handed over to officials in Xinjiang as crucial study material, preparing them to implement the measures.
In a leaked 2014 speech, Xi says the Belt and Road Initiative, his flagship foreign policy project, requires a stable domestic security environment. He says the national security of the whole country and the achievement of China’s main goals in the 21st century will be threatened if the situation in southern Xinjiang is not brought under control.
The speech came weeks after Xi called for “all-out efforts” to bring to justice the attackers who killed 31 people and injured more than 140 with knives and machetes in a bloody murder in the city. southwestern Kunming city on March 1. Beijing blamed the Xinjiang separatists for the attack.
In the speech, Xi demands that the region engage in an all-out battle to “prevent violent terrorist activities in Xinjiang from spreading to the rest of China,” asserts that “stability across Xinjiang and even all over China. country depends on southern Xinjiang ”, and calls for“ a blow to save us time ”.
He noted that since the acts of violence had already spread to other parts of China, “we therefore propose that Xinjiang is currently in … a painful period of interventional treatment.” Religious extremists, he says, are “devils who will kill without blinking.”
He also warns that religious extremism is “a potent psychedelic drug,” and calls for reform through education, as opposed to the practice of arrest and release – a reference to re-education and detention camps.
In another document, Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo personally orders officials to “round up all those who should be arrested” and says vocational rehabilitation centers in the region should “be steadfastly operated for a long time.” .
In one of Xi’s speeches, he asserts that “the proportion of the population and the security of the population are important foundations for long-term peace and stability.” This statement was then quoted verbatim by a senior Xinjiang official in July 2020, who then argued that the share of the Han population in southern Xinjiang was “too low.”
Other classified documents deplore “serious imbalances in the distribution of the ethnic population” and a “severely mono-ethnic” population structure (an over-concentration of Uyghurs) in southern Xinjiang. They demand that by 2022, 300,000 settlers (mostly Han from eastern China) be moved to areas in southern Xinjiang administered by the Xinjiang Construction and Production Corps, also known as “bingtuan”. , a paramilitary entity, with the explicitly stated aim of increasing the shares of the Han population in the region.
Xi himself ordered the abolition of preferential birth control policies for ethnic groups in southern Xinjiang that previously allowed them to have more children than the Han. He demanded that birth control policies in central Uyghur be made “equal for all ethnic groups.”
The new leak was first mentioned during a special session of the UK-based court on Saturday.
Government reports indicate that in February 2017, just weeks before the start of an internment campaign, the leading cadres of the prefectures and counties were subjected to an intensified study program of two of Xi’s speeches during the year. at least two hours each week.
Zenz has been denounced by defenders of Beijing as a Christian fundamentalist determined to destroy Chinese communism. The Chinese government sanctioned him. He has always maintained that political, economic and religious freedoms in the Xinjiang region are “fully guaranteed.”
Zenz says the new document shows that China’s top leaders viewed the achievement of “maintaining stability” and related goals such as religious “deextremization” in Xinjiang as a matter of China’s national security, crucial to achieving major long-term political goals.