Last week, social media became consumed with a debate over the grotesque comparison between American detention centers for refugees and the Third Reich’s concentration camps. Meanwhile, writes Jonah Goldberg, Beijing has been placing Muslims from the country’s northwest in places far more deserving of the concentration-camp label, albeit without gas chambers or crematoria. He writes:
The Chinese [have created a] gulag archipelago of internment and re-education camps in the Xinjiang province, where an estimated one-million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic people are being held. The Uighurs are a traditionally Muslim minority, and Beijing says they pose a major threat because of Islamic terrorism. The reality is that the Chinese fear separatist movements, Islamic or otherwise, in a resource-rich region three times the size of France.
As a result, the regime is pursuing the largest attempt at cultural annihilation in the 21st century. Religion is heavily regulated throughout China, but it is brutally policed in Xinjiang. According to an analysis of satellite imagery by Agence France-Presse, “30 religious sites were completely demolished while six had their domes and corner spires removed.” . . .
What is both intriguing and infuriating to me is that American politicians refuse to talk about any of this. . . . Among both Democrats and Republicans, Chinese authoritarianism often goes unmentioned, save perhaps as an afterthought. . . . The fact that the Chinese government has put a million Muslims in re-education camps and persecuted Christians, too, is rarely part of the conversation.
One needn’t be blindly moralistic about all of this. China is big, powerful and dangerous. But so was the Soviet Union, and we still managed to tell the truth about it.