flamming_python wrote:My friend was actually sent to that province on a business trip some years back
Yep those camps are real, were still being built back then
But I don't know who's sent there or what percentage of people or what in circumstances or whatever.
It's unclear what the purpose of these facilities are. I lean towards the CCPs explanation of 'education camps'
What I can say from personal experience is (as I have visited the northern part of Xinjiang province
- Dzhungharia, not the Uyghur dominant southern Tarim Basin) is that the place is a nasty dystopian Orwellian place. The Uyghurs are probably not loaded up in concentration camps, but they are definitely considered a security risk by the CCP
Their culture, religion and language are under threat as the CCP will try to mold them into the '1 country 55 nationalities' framework. It's classic communist social engineering.
As a foreigner in XinJiang (which, contrary to Tibet, is still accessible without additional permits) you too will be considered a similar security threat. In the time span of 8 days I was 'approached' 7 times by local police. Ranging from police officers walking up to me at the train station demanding my phone before plugging it in to some machine with wires hanging out, to bus checks (where out of the 50 or so passengers only my passport was photographed) to police officers asking me on the streets whether 'I was liking the city'
For comparison, in the 4.5 years I lived in China proper I was never out of the blue approached by the local police. In fact, the police in China is one of the most laid back, relaxed and friendly I have ever seen. Extremely helpful too.
My buddy, who did a tour in the Tibetan part of Sichuan (Amdo) had a similar experience. From police officers walking into his hotel room (he barely checked in, meaning that they were probably following him even before that) to police officers ordering him to the bureau for 'a chat' and 'to check his papers'
Anyway, XinJiang itself (this was in 2017) had a very heavy police presence, endless security checks (malls, offices etc) and every corner of the city was covered with smart CCTV. Some of the muzzies looked defeated/ disconnected. The whole place had a rather eery vibe
Obviously this 'smart grid urban dystopia' will soon come to a place near you. 'Re-education camps' included. The Chinese are just a couple of years ahead of us.
But no, large scale internment of the local population is in my view not happening. But it isn't a paradise either