mandag 8. juni 2020

The Xinjiang Class: How the CCP Tries to “Convert” the Uyghurs—and Fails

“Ethnic engineering” has long been one of the CCP’s grand projects. Non-Han should be “sinicized” and led to accept their status as members of “ethnic minorities” (minzu), looking at the Han as “elder brothers” and models, and enacting the role the CCP has devised for them. The Uyghurs in Xinjiang have resisted both the imposition of the Chinese language and the eradication of their Islamic religious practices. The CCP has increased the repression by throwing millions of Uyghurs into the dreaded transformation through education camps, but its long-term hopes are placed in “sinicizing” the next Uyghur generation through education.

Timothy A. Grose, a professor of China Studies at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, has published Negotiating Inseparability in China: The Xinjiang Class and the Dynamics of Uyghur Identity with Hong Kong University Press (2019). It tells the story of the Xinjiang Class, modeled on the Tibet Class, which takes annually some 1,600 Tibetans to boarding junior high schools, and another 3,000 to boarding senior high schools, far away from Tibet, nearly 20% of all Tibetan high school students.