Free The Uighurs!
Sanction & Boycott China.
Since 2017, more than 2 Million Uighur people have been detained, denied their basic human rights, and imprisoned without cause by the Communist Chinese Government. Many of the detainees have never committed a crime. Journalists have identified more than 80 different prisons or camps in the North West China region where our fellow human beings are being held in violation of international human rights accords.
Xinjiang, China has become one of the most notorious police states in the world, where people are being closely monitored by thousands of facial recognition cameras, and thousands of state-sponsored security forces. There are cameras, guards, and police checkpoints all around the region to keep the Uighur population under constant surveillance. The international community has largely condemned the oppressive Chinese Government, but little to no effective actions have been taken to solve this tragic matter as China has an iron grip on global manufacturing and supply chain. We must find a way to break that grip.
Recently, a bi-partisan effort in the United States House & Senate led to the passing of legislation that called for sanctions on those responsible for these egregious human rights violations. The Uighur Human Rights Act, Or S.3744 in the senate, had been sent to President Trump’s desk for signing. It singles out a Chinese Communist Party secretary, Chen Quanguo, as primarily responsible; it doesn’t take meaningful action to solve this crisis. Think of it as a “stern talking to.” When will the world wake up and take significant action to tell the Chinese Government to come to its senses, and free the Uighurs?
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
– Martin Niemöller
This article discusses why we all need to take action to #FreeTheUighurs, and develop a set of clear, internationally accepted policies to sanction and boycott the tyrannical Chinese Government.
Our Four areas of focus are:
- Who are the Uighur people?
- What exactly is happening in Xinjiang, China
- Why is China doing this?
- What actions can we take, as well as reasons for why we must sanction the Chinese government!
1) Who are the Uighurs?
According to a recent Chinese census, there are approximately 11 million Uighurs in the Xinjiang province. The province of Xinjiang has been under control of China since it was annexed in 1949, though many Uighurs still identify Xinjiang as East Turkistan, and do not identify with Han-Chinese cultural norms or religious beliefs. Uighurs have a very distinct culture and history; this history includes the declaration of two independent republics, both known as East Turkestan, in the first half of the 20th century. The Uighurs are Muslims. They regard themselves as culturally and ethnically closer to many of the neighboring Central Asian nations, such as Kazakhstan.
Over the past few years, the Communist Chinese Government’s policies have steadily curtailed the Uighurs’ religious, commercial, and cultural freedoms. Beijing has brutally cracked down on the region after street protests in Xinjiang in the 1990s, and in 2008. The Uighurs are essentially demanding freedom of religious expression, and the ability to live freely without oppression. Beijing and the Chinese government have grossly exaggerated the threat from Uighur separatists in order to justify their heartless actions in the region.
2) What exactly is happening in xinjiang?
In 2017, China’s expenditure on domestic security in the Xinjiang region jumped more than 90% to 57.95 billion yuan ($8.52 billion) when compared to 2016. China spent more on domestic security than it did on its national defense force. Xinjiang has transformed into a complete police state, with thousands of facial recognition cameras across the region, and a heavy police presence. Over the past few years leading up to the Uighurs’ detention the Chinese government hadpassed a number of draconian lawsand had taken actions that are utterly ridiculous:
- Keeping a beard as many Muslims do is prohibited in the region
- Many Uighur Muslims are not allowed to fast, pray, or carry out their religious rituals
- Sources say that upwards of 5,000 Mosques and places of religious worship have been demolished
- Many Uighur people are punished for giving their children Islamic names, or even speaking to their family members abroad
In addition to these loathsome acts, China took it a step further and then forced millions into prison camps. Several verified reports maintain that the Chinese authorities began rounding up many Uighur adults, and Uighur people who had family abroad, and have kept them detained indefinitely. Upwards of 2 million Uighurs are currently denied their basic human rights and are locked in these prison camps. Many Uighur Children have also been placed in indoctrination camps after being separated from their parents. Families have been completely torn apart, and there are countless stories of parents not having seen their children in years. We MUST do something to stop these heinous acts that are happening in front of our very own eyes.
3) Why is China doing this?
Of the 10 largest economies in the world – China is the only country that does not maintain a government built on foundations of democracy. In fact, China is run in a Communist-thought, single party arrangement. In its quest for global economic dominance, China rolled out the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative back in 2013, which aims to link Beijing with some 70 countries around the world. Key portions of the Belt and Road Initiative run right through Xinjiang, the home of the Uighurs, where historically China’s control, cultural norms, and laws have been rejected. The Uighurs don’t want a tyrannical Chinese authority to control them and infringe upon their individual liberties.
Many experts consider crackdowns in Xinjiang as an attempt to suppress expressions of religious identity that the Chinese Communist Party fears threaten the stability of the state & party. The Chinese government has been cracking down on all forms of protest in recent years; From Tibet, to Xinjiang, and to Hong Kong. The fight for freedom continues in Hong Kong, as over 4 million+ Native Hong Kongers have vehemently opposed any form of Chinese Communist Party government, and wish to be liberated! Free HONG KONG! DEMOCRACY NOW!
4) Why we must take action & sanction, or boycott the Chinese government
Free the Uighurs: our fellow brothers and sisters in humanity. We should feel pain for our fellow human beings who are suffering at the hands of a heartless, despotic government with little regard for human life. We must believe in the power of the individual: the power of you, as one single person to bring meaningful change with your voice. Many of the world’s greatest movements of thought and action have stemmed from the work of a single person.
We must carry the torch of freedom for our fellow human beings across the globe that are suffering in Xinjiang, in Hong Kong, and elsewhere. As an international community of one collective humanity, we must realize that the cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will require us to push the envelope, and think of innovative solutions for meaningful change, and progress.
We must lobby our policymakers, our governments, and the countries in the United Nations to develop a clear China policy that will:
- Place heavy sanctions on large Chinese businesses, since they are all inextricably controlled by the state. Most heavy industry, mining, and commodities businesses are directly tied with the Chinese government.
- Freeze assets and transactions of Chinese banks and industrial conglomerates in the global financial sector; this would go a long way to showing the Chinese government human rights matter to the rest of the world.
- Place sanctions on oil, natural gas, and other commodities flowing between China, and the international community.
If the Communist Chinese government has little regard for human life, or for human rights, and if they can’t play by the rules, they shouldn’t be allowed to do business with us in the free and democratized world. We must also pressure our governments to provide legal protection to Uighur refugees or exiles by either citizenship or asylum status.
We must lobby, and petition large American corporations to divest from China, and set up their factories elsewhere. American companies must move their supply chains to other countries across the globe that are free from the influence of China. No more Chinese labor, no more Chinese products, and no more Chinese control over the world’s freedom. All of this will require us to break our society’s habits of mass consumption, and lessen our countries’ dependence on inexpensive Chinese products. China has a massive grip on global trade + supply chains, and WE MUST BREAK THAT GRIP.
For all reading, you can raise awareness on the plight of the Uighur people at SaveUighur.org. Please visit this website and you will find a wealth of information on how you can help, and get involved.
Finally, I make a heartfelt and sincere plea to you, the Chinese government, to free Hong Kong, free the Uighurs, come to your senses, compromise, and join the international community at the United Nations in a dialogue to foster a pathway towards future global prosperity and peace. China, Xi Jinping, and Chinese government officials, please engage in constructive discourse with the rest of us on democratic forms of government, and how best to leave your current governmental system in the past, where it belongs. Join us to build a better world, where the Chinese people can all be free, and help blossom the delicate flower of democracy.
Thanks for reading everyone, and I will leave you with this quote to end by Malcolm X may he rest in peace.
“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”
– Malcolm X