The CCP is luring Han Chinese to move far West, pledging to provide economic prosperity and happy family life. The reality is not as rosy as is presented.
by Li Wensheng
The mistreatment of ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as the CCP arbitrarily detains millions of people in transformation through education camps, is increasingly equaled to genocide. The suppression against Uyghurs, disguised as the fight against extremism, is multifaceted, and also includes the weakening of the cultural fabric of the ethnic people by increasing the population of the Han Chinese in the region. Promising jobs for the poor or prospects of finding a spouse for the singles, Beijing is tempting Han Chinese from across the country to settle in Xinjiang. Threats and manipulations are at play.
Generous resettlement benefits
In February, government-hired recruiters held a promotional event in Dingxi city in the northwestern province of Gansu to encourage local Han people to move to Xinjiang. Families considered “impoverished households” were especially encouraged, the recruiters promising them the better living conditions and more employment opportunities.
The First Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps specially prepared a brochure to aid the recruitment. According to it, every household who decides to settle down in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps will be paid a reward of 50,000 RMB (about $ 7,300) and given 40 mu (approximately 6.5 acres) of land. They will also receive three years of free housing, living allowances, and pensions, along with other advantages such as social and housing security, guaranteed employment, entrepreneurship subsidies, and alike.
A brochure for recruiting Han people to settle down in Xinjiang, issued by the First Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
In March, the Talent Introduction Office of Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture also posted recruitment information, promoting favorable benefits to attract postgraduate and doctoral students to relocate to Xinjiang. In addition to a generous settling-in allowance (50,000 to 100,000 RMB, about $ 7,300 to 14,600) and home-purchase subsidy (100,000 to 200,000 RMB, about $ 14,600 to 29,200), the office is promising to help newcomers find a partner for marriage.
Some are forced to relocate
However, for farmers who wish to move to Xinjiang, there is a price to pay. If they decide to go to Xinjiang, their local household registration will be revoked, the arable land taken by the government, and their house confiscated or destroyed.
A villager in Gansu explained that the government does this to ensure that the people who move to Xinjiang do not return home. “They want you to settle down in Xinjiang forever,” the man said.
The villager also revealed that some low-income families were actually threatened to move: If they refuse to relocate to Xinjiang, their social guarantees for impoverished households will be revoked.
A member of an impoverished household who agreed to talk to Bitter Winter was aggrieved by the policy. “If you don’t go to Xinjiang, then you’re not considered an impoverished household anymore. How is that alleviating poverty? The government is manipulating the poor,” the man said angrily.
Many are reluctant to leave. From one of the villages that Bitter Winter visited, barely seven households had decided to relocate to Xinjiang.
“I’m not willing to go. The government promises many benefits now, but will back out after you go, and everything will be different,” said one farmer. “Just like last year, the authorities said they were going to alleviate poverty and promised to build roads and renovate old houses, turn the village into a tourist attraction. In the end, they didn’t build any roads, nothing at all. What the government says isn’t credible.”
The man also thinks that everyone who settles in Xinjiang is controlled by the government and has no freedom. “If you don’t want to till the land, and want to find another job, you can’t. I know people that regret going to Xinjiang. There is a stark contrast between the policies promoted by the government and the reality,” the villager explained the reasons for his mistrust of the government.
It is worth noting that those who move to Xinjiang must also take part in the implementation of the CCP’s “stability maintenance” policies and participate in compulsory militia exercises.
“Hanified” through mixed marriages
Mixed marriages, it seems, is another method of forced assimilation of the Uyghur people in Xinjiang. As a worker who once lived in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi previously told Bitter Winter, Han men are enticed to move to Xinjiang and marry local girls: “As long as a Han person agrees to settle down in Xinjiang and marry an Uyghur woman, the government will give them a house as well as a few tens of thousands of yuan.”
The ensure that more mixed families appear, the recruiters are primarily looking for single men aged 18 to 40, and women who are between 18 and 35 years old to relocate to the region.
One of the interviewed people said that some people he knows were rejected to be relocated to Xinjiang because their age exceeds the prescribed limits. “The reason is that the single relocating Han must also marry Uyghurs to ‘hanify’ them. The aim of the policy is that once they have married, the Uyghur people won’t oppose anymore, and there will be stability over there,” the villager explained.