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When will we stop romancing China?

Muslims pray at the Niujie Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Beijing, China (File Photo)

Authorities in the People’s Republic of China have always had a record of human rights abuses, but never has it been as bad as now. The rest of the world seems to care less as they seem ever ready to do business with the Chinese Government. But should we continue to turn a blind eye to China’s atrocities because we are attracted by their so-called ‘soft loans’ and other handouts?

The following piece, by Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, tells us why we should stop our romance with China.

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Ethnic cleansing makes a comeback – in China

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By Josh Rogin

If ethnic cleansing takes place in China and nobody is able to hear it, does it make a sound? That’s what millions of Muslims inside the People’s Republic are asking as they watch the Chinese government expand a network of internment camps and systematic human rights abuses designed to stamp out their peoples’ religion and culture.

Since last year, hundreds of thousands – and perhaps millions – of innocent Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region in northwest China have been unjustly arrested and imprisoned in what the Chinese government calls “political re-education camps.” Thousands have disappeared. There are credible reports of torture and death among the prisoners. The government says it is fighting “terrorism” and “religious extremism.” Uighurs say they are resisting a campaign to crush religious and cultural freedom in China. The international community has largely reacted with silence.

Horrific as they are, the camps constitute just one part of Beijing’s effort. The government has destroyed thousands of religious buildings. It has banned long beards and many Muslim names. People are forced to eat pork against their beliefs. The Chinese government’s persecution of innocents continues even after their death. Crematoria are being built to literally extinguish the Uighur funeral tradition, which insists on burials.

Add to that the unprecedented security and surveillance state in Xinjiang, which includes all-encompassing monitoring based on identity cards, checkpoints, facial recognition and the collection of DNA from millions of individuals. The authorities feed all this data into an artificial-intelligence machine that rates people’s loyalty to the Communist Party in order to control every aspect of their lives.

If that doesn’t bother you, consider that this draconian expansion of Chinese repression is being exported to the United States and around the world. Families of U.S. citizens who speak out against Beijing are targeted as part of Beijing’s effort to snuff out all international criticism.

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