It was not a sign that the Uyghur issue is not in Xi’s mind. Rather, it confirmed that the Uyghur genocide continues, and Xi fears accountability.
by Kok Bayraq
Xi Jinping did not mention the name of the Uyghurs in his 2-hour report during the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. This is odd, considering that it can be argued that China’s most consistently implemented policy under Xi Jinping has been the Uyghur genocide. The most serious criticism China has faced over the past five years has been about its Uyghur policy. Xi Jinping has uniquely contributed to the Chinese nation being called a genocidal state in the 21st century.
At a huge financial cost, the Chinese government established 380+ camps in East Turkestan (Xinjiang to China) and sent more than three million Uyghurs to these camps. China also built the world’s largest prison—Dabancheng—near the capital Urumqi. However, this enormous construction project completed by Xi Jinping was not mentioned in his report.
All countries in the UN that have the ability to think independently, including three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, have recognized China’s Uyghur policy as genocide and have expressed their opposition. Xi Jinping has activated all his partners and client states around the world to justify his actions. Clearly, what has bothered and tired Xi Jinping the most has been having to hide the camps and deny the Uyghur genocide!
Why? Because it is impossible to justify genocide. If you try to cover blood, it will seep out. It will spread everywhere if you attempt to wash it, and if it is seen, people will focus on it. When some see blood, they are either scared or frozen in place, or moved to stop it.
Therefore, hiding the scene and story of a murder from the eyes of the world is the only way for the murderer to escape punishment. Delaying former Commissioner Bachelet’s visit to China, changing its goal to an exchange of views instead of an independent investigation, and forcing her not to release the Uyghur report until the last minute of her tenure were nothing more than attempts to hide the Uyghur genocide from the eyes of the world. The most recent example of this is China’s effort at the United Nations Human Rights Council that led to reject the plan to discuss the Uyghur massacre. This was an acknowledgment that, should the Uyghur situation have been discussed, China would have been severely criticized.
A murderer is only strong in the field of murder, not in the field of debate.
Although it has been six years since the Uyghur genocide was revealed, it has been seventy years since it began. Clearly, hiding the Uyghur genocide is part of a certain historical process.
In 1997, when then-US secretary of state Madeleine Albright first raised the Uighur issue at the UN, she began by saying: “There is a people called Uyghur in China.” Clearly, that Uyghurs existed needed to be explained. The weakness of the world’s cognitive ability corresponded to the superiority of China’s policy of concealment and their skills and experience in propaganda.
In 2001, just a few days after the September 11 terror incident in New York, the Chinese announced that they were also victims of terrorism and needed international assistance. This was the first time that China admitted to having a problem called the “Uyghur separatism,” claiming that it had suffered more than 200 terrorist attacks in the previous 10 years. Until then, almost no one had spoken about such events, which were contrary to the propaganda insisting that all nationalities in the region were living in harmony and peace. In the end, the opportunity they expected from the era after September 11 may not have worked for China, so they closed the subject again.
Between 2008 and 2014, the vast majority of the protests and incidents that took place in the region were covered only by Washington-based Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Uyghur service. The most notable reports of RFA identified more than 100 Uyghurs who had disappeared during the July 5, 2009, incident. Based on this information, Uyghur scholar, Prof. Ilham Tohti asked the National People’s Congress of China to provide information on the missing persons or the bodies of the dead to their families. China has yet to respond. The request was one of the “crimes” that led to Ilham Tohti receiving a life sentence.
On September 18, 2015, RFA reported a deadly attack on a coal mine field in Bay County, Aksu. On November 14th, 56 days after the incident and one day after a terrorist attack occurred in Paris, France, China saw another opportunity and released a brief report about the September 18 incident. However, they did not reveal the details, including that the death toll surpassed 50.
In the report, Chinese officials proudly announced victory after Chinese soldiers launched an attack by using flamethrowers against a cave where the suspects were hiding. They burned 17 people to death, but they named only the 10 attackers. They did not mention the seven women and children dead in the cave.
In 2017, China established a 21st-century system of concentration camps detaining more than three million people. This did not warrant a single mention in the Chinese news or in their official reports for that year. After independent researchers revealed the location of the camps through satellite images, China acknowledged the existence of the camps but disguised them as vocational training centers.
On the international stage, China’s silence on the Uyghur situation is a necessary lie, and contradictory statements are made when it is impossible to remain silent. This does not occur due to the power of the Uyghurs or international pressure. It is the power of truth.
The truth does not leave its enemies alone. When attacked, it glows, flashes, and sometimes explodes and destroys its opponents. It is for this reason that Xi Jinping did not mention the Uyghurs in his report.
Xi Jinping did not forget about the Uyghurs. As a political leader, he will never forget the people who are the original owners of one sixth of the current national territory. As a murderer who ordered “no mercy” for the Uyghurs and commanded the genocide, he will live with the guilt of his crimes against humanity forever. He cannot be free for one minute from the threat of retaliation and from the tears of parents and children in families that have been broken up for six years.
It is for these reasons that Xi Jinping did not mention the Uyghur genocide or even the name “Uyghur” in his 20th Congress report. This is not a sign that there is no Uyghur issue on his mind. It is instead a sign that the Uyghur genocide continues, and Xi Jinping fears accountability.