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Chinese Internment Camps Create Global Stir

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Chinese Internment Camps Create Global Stir

Abby Tavolino, Staff Writer

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Looking at Hotan from an aerial view, you will see buildings eerily stacked next to each other inside barbed wire fences. Howling dogs and guards stand outside the doors to these facilities. This Chinese compound may look quite similar to aerial images taken in Germany in the 1940’s, which will provoke horror in anyone observing them.

In recent months, the Chinese government has been detaining Uighur Muslims and other minorities from Xinjiang and putting them into “re-education” camps as an attempt to eradicate poverty and crime. According New York Times, the Chinese government claims they are “providing job training and putting detainees on production lines for their own good, offering an escape from poverty, backwardness and the temptations of radical Islam”. In these camps, detainees have to take classes and are not allowed to continue with a trace of their old culture. They have to sing Communist songs and are beaten if they do not run fast enough or if they have even the slightest mistake in reciting Communist law.

These camps force detainees to work in factories and there have been shipments tracked from one of these internment camps to Badger Sportswear, which is a supplier in Statesville, North Carolina. “The shipments show how difficult it is to stop products made with forced labor from getting into the global supply chain, even though such imports are illegal”, says the Associated Press. There are many issues surrounding the morality of forced labor and these camps are not only affecting China but also the rest of the world that pays for these shipments and fuels the camps economically. “The emerging labor program underlines the government’s determination to continue operating the camps despite calls from United Nations human rights officials, the United States and other governments to close them” says the New York Times. The ignorance the Chinese have shown towards the condemnation of other nations calls into question what steps they should take to exterminate this cruel practice.

The rest of the world is also mentioned when the Chinese explain the purpose of the camps. The Chinese believe that the Muslim detainees need to be fixed because they are not fit to be in today’s society. According to the Huffington post, the China Central Television program explained that “Terrorism and extremism are the common enemy of human civilization,” and that the Chinese government was using these internment camps to solve what they described as a  “global issue”. This is not to mention that authorities are also quoted as saying that they are trying to bring minorities into “a modern civilized” world. The Chinese government is making this group of people pay for a hefty crime at a high price.

The camps in China bring up another global issue- the issue of privacy. According to BBC News, the Chinese government “facial recognition cameras, monitoring devices that read the content of mobile phones and the mass collection of biometric data” to monitor praying inside homes as well as other practices of the forbidden religion or straying from Communist values. Seeing how China is treating their privacy policy will undoubtedly impact other nations as well.

From the Communist sayings written in massive letters to the growling dogs standing guard, a simple image of these compounds speaks volumes. It’s impact is undoubtedly spreading far beyond the barbed wire fences.

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Chinese Internment Camps Create Global Stir