Late Breaking Panel
Starting in mid-2017, reports began emerging from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China’s far west about a rapidly expanding police state. Over the past 18 months, the Chinese government has employed increasingly sophisticated surveillance technologies to monitor the everyday lives of more than ten million Muslim minorities in the region. Up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other minorities have disappeared into a vast system of internment camps, which Chinese news reports portray as voluntary vocational schools. While Chinese authorities claim that these policies combat religious extremism and terrorism, foreign states and the international media have condemned the situation in Xinjiang as a human rights crisis. How have these policies changed the lives of minorities in Xinjiang? This #AsiaNow panel draws on critical perspectives from anthropology, city planning, history, journalism, and law to examine the past, present, and future of ethnic autonomy in Xinjiang.