China’s Latest Attempt to Spin Its Repressive Policies in Xinjiang Falls Flat

Shohrat Zakir, chairman of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, speaks during a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, July 30, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).
Shohrat Zakir, chairman of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, speaks during a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, July 30, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).
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Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. On Tuesday, Chinese officials abruptly announced that most of the Uighur Muslims held in detention camps in the country’s western Xinjiang region had been released. The claim—which was not supported by any evidence and almost immediately challenged by inmates’ relatives, foreign governments and human rights groups—marks another step in China’s efforts to deflect international criticism of its repressive policies in Xinjiang, where at least 1 million Uighurs are believed to be incarcerated. Describing the detention facilities as “education and […]

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