Date: Feb. 23, 2019
By: Alexandra Ma
- China is assembling a massive trade project — the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — which aims to connect the country with new infrastructure.
- Many of these projects pass through Xinjiang, a region in western China home to the beleaguered Uighur Muslim people.
- Beijing has been cracking down on Uighur life in on Xinjiang. Officials say its repression is a necessary counter-terror operation, but experts say it’s actually to protect their BRI projects.
The Uighurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority in Xinjiang, western China, are living in one of the most heavily-policed and oppressive states in the world. This map helps explain why.
People in Xinjiang are watched by tens of thousands of facial recognition cameras, and surveillance apps on their phones. An estimated 2 million of them are locked in internment camps where people are physically and psychologically abused.
China’s government has for years blamed the Uighurs for a terror, and say they saying the group is importing Islamic extremism in Central Asia. [FULL STORY]