Published: March 4, 2019

CAS Event 
Thursday, March 21 at 11:00-1:00
Center for Community Flatirons Room, CU Boulder

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is engaged in the mass detention of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, the “autonomous region” in northwestern China which is home to several Turkic groups. It has been estimated that up to one million people have been detained without trial. In the camps, labelled by Chinese authorities as "re-education" facilities, the detainees are forced to abandon their native language and religious beliefs – instead learning Mandarin Chinese and studying the Chinese Communist Party doctrine. 

Outside of the camps, Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang are subjected to a dense network of surveillance and ethnic discrimination. Beijing justifies its policies in Xinjiang by citing security concerns, particularly the “three evil forces” of terrorism, extremism, and separatism. To counter them, the PRC has launched what it calls a "people's war on terror." As part of such efforts, Xinjiang has become a de-facto police state. 

What do we know about the situation in Xinjiang, and where is it headed? How is the build-up of the police state in Xinjiang intersecting with China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative? How is the situation in Xinjiang impacting Chinese society at large, and how is it perceived outside of the territorial boundaries of Xinjiang?

Dr. Darren Byler (University of Washington) 
Prof. Rian Thum (University of Nottingham) 
Prof. James Leibold (La Trobe University) 
Prof. James Millward (Georgetown University) 
Sarah Tynen (CU Boulder) 

Moderated by: 
Prof. Tim Oakes (CU Boulder) 
Dr. Alessandro Rippa (CU Boulder)