Are you interested in reading an explanation of the situation in Xinjiang? It is a complex one. Here it is, using many lib sources no less, just to be safe.
Approximately 50% of what you hear is outright propaganda, as we know the CIA’s affiliates churn out. We also see CIA assets pushing narratives on Reddit. The next 25% is poorly researched speculation by an evangelical end-timer, and the final 25% is an accurate description of the PRC’s response to far right, religious terrorism and separatism.
First, let’s just establish using safe, American sources that tens of thousands of Uyghur people went to fight with ISIS in Syria, then returned. Let’s also establish that there have been consistent terrorist attacks with significant casualties and that the CIA and CIA front-groups have funded and stoked Islamic extremism across the world for geopolitical gain.. We also know that Saudi Arabia along with CIA are actively pushing weapons in that area and have a program to radicalize muslims there with the same tactics they have used everywhere in the middle east in the last 40+ years.
Its also very important to note that unlike China, no western country has Muslims as a majority (or significant minority) of any region, nor are the Muslims rural, lacking formal education, and not integrated into the national economy (which is a failure of past Chinese policy I agree). This means that in the west any Islamic threat is necessarily limited to lone wolf terrorism, or the occasional cell, whereas in Xinjiang it’s plausible that a significant Islamic seperatist movement could take power if the CPC if it didnt do anything about it.
Also the west lacks a border with Afghanistan with tens of thousands of islamists, ISIS and fundementalists. That dramatically limits the external support any such movement could receive. China has that geographical issue and it adds another level of danger and instability in the area and potential escalation.
Now, we need to consider potential responses.
The CPC could give up and surrender Xinjiang to ISIS and radicalization that is happening in large scales. This option condemns millions of people to living under a fundamentalist Islamic State, including many non-Muslims and non-extreme Muslims. This option also creates a CIA-aligned state on the border, and jeopardizes a key part of the Belt and Road initiative, which is designed to connect landlocked countries for development and geopolitical positioning.It destabilizes the whole area further and also threatens the CPC’s legitimacy, as keeping China together, prosperous and united has been one of the most important mandates for the party.
The next option is the American option. Drone strike, black-site, or otherwise liquidate anyone who could be associated with Islamic extremism. Be liberal in doing so. Make children fear blue skies because of drones. When the orphaned young children grow up, do it all again. You can also throw a literal man-made famine in there if you want.). Millions of deaths and entire cultures and regions destroyed and destabilized.
The final option is the Chinese option. Mass surveillance. Use AI to target anyone who may be at risk of radicalisation for re-education based on the geographical position/areas, personal/family connections and social circle with islamist orgs or extremists. Teach them the lingua franca of China, Mandarin. Pump money into the region for development. When people finish their time in re-education, set them up with state jobs. Keep the surveillance up. Allow and even celebrate local religious customs, but make sure the leaders are on-side with the party.
There’s no evidence, including from leaked papers, that the goal of the deradicalization program is permanent internment or annihilation of Islam. In fact, the leaked CIA papers have Xi explicitly saying Islam should not be annihilated from China:
Mr. Xi also told officials to not discriminate against Uighurs and to respect their right to worship. He warned against overreacting to natural friction between Uighurs and Han Chinese, the nation’s dominant ethnic group, and rejected proposals to try to eliminate Islam entirely in China.
“In light of separatist and terrorist forces under the banner of Islam, some people have argued that Islam should be restricted or even eradicated,” he said during the Beijing conference. He called that view “biased, even wrong.”
As for permanent internment, we know from leaks that the minimum duration of detention is one year — though accounts from ex-detainees suggest that some are released sooner. with often taking weekends off.
There’s no stoking of inter-ethnic hatred or elimination of a specific culture; the CPC actively censors footage from terrorist attacks in China to avoid such an outcome. Xi doesn’t go on TV calling any ethnicity rapists or murderers. Uighur culture is actively celebrated in the media and via tourism. Xinjiang has 24,400 mosques, one per 530 Muslims. That’s three mosques per capita more than their western peers . Muslims in every other part of China other than Xinjiang (the majority of Muslims in China) face zero issues and just practice their religion freely. Kinda weird for a country that's islamophobic and wants to do cultural genocide
I’ve used some Chinese sources for detailed information in China that other sources don’t tend to have (like in-depth infographics on poverty reduction and the number of mosques per capita), but the key information is from American institutes and leaked Chinese documents and as a result even this account may be a bit overexaggerate and biased for he western side.
Of course there are human rights abuses in Xinjiang. There are human rights abuses everywhere, especially when implementing programs that give institutional power to people. One question to ask is what the driving factor behind those abuses are. State line and extermination policy? We can discern that by looking at the instructions and training given. Another question to ask is what the alternatives of the institutional policy are for China, and what human rights abuses, are avoided through the policy.
Could China’s approach be done better? Almost certainly. Are they exterminating or genociding muslims ? No. Is it the correct response to extremism at that scale? That’s for you to decide.