For the past six years, the Chinese communist regime has been monitoring the Uighur ethnic minority in Xinjiang Province, using advanced surveillance technology. Internment camps were created, and more than 1.5 million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are detained there.

Leaked classified Chinese documents have provided information on the communist regime’s massive data collection scheme that is used to target and detain the Uighurs. The document, known as The Chinese Cables, was leaked in November 2019, and the CCP scoffed at the revelations, calling the documents fake news and pure fabrication.

“First, there are no so-called detention camps in Xinjiang. Vocational education and training centers have been established for the prevention of terrorism,” said the Chinese Embassy in the U.K. in a statement.

Uighur Protest. Anti-China protest outside White House, on July 10, 2009. (Malcolm Brown/Flickr/CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Linguists and experts have verified the China Cables documents, including James Mulvenon, director of intelligence integration at SOS International LLC, an intelligence and information technology contractor for several U.S. government agencies. Mulvenon, an expert in the authentication of classified Chinese government documents, called the Chinese-language documents “very authentic,” adding, they “adhere 100% to all of the classified document templates that I’ve ever seen,” reports the ICIJ.

“It really shows that from the onset, the Chinese government had a plan for how to secure the vocational training centers, how to lock in the ‘students’ into their dorms, how to keep them there for at least one year,” said Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., who has reviewed the documents. “It’s very, very important that these documents are from 2017 because that’s when the whole reeducation campaign started.”

Amnesty International Campaigns Director for East Asia Lisa Tassi, commented on the leaked China Cables, “With each passing week, the world learns more about the horror China is unleashing on its own citizens in Xinjiang. It is time for the Chinese government to ditch its feeble counter-narrative, including the claim of providing ‘vocational training’ to people in the camps. Instead, they should provide immediate answers to the hundreds of thousands of people desperate for information about their loved ones.

“If China has nothing to hide, it should allow truly independent human rights monitors immediate and unfettered access to Xinjiang—something it has steadfastly refused to do so far, despite repeated requests from Amnesty International and others.
“These damning leaks should be the catalyst for the international community to increase pressure on the Chinese authorities to end this human rights catastrophe,” said Tassi.

Most Chinese Uighurs live in the remote mountainous and arid region of Xinjiang; they have been there for the past 1,000 years and began speaking Islam after having contact with Muslim traders. They speak their own Turkic dialect. The region is also home to Kazakhs, Tajiks, Hui Muslims, and a sizable Han population.