Cultural Genocide in Our Time

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIt is the obvious elephant in the room. Or should I say the obvious red dragon. The recent elections for both president and the legislature in Taiwan, where a candidate calliung for more independence for Taiwan against China, has won, along with the continuing protests and mass demonstration in Hong Kong point to the same culprit; China. China has tried to crush the mass protests in Hong Kong without much success, and had tried to interfere in the elections in Taiwan so the Chinese government could get a pro-China candidate in power without any success. But the root cause of the Chinese Communist Party’s failure is due to the nature of the red dragon itself. Besides being an Orwellian one-party police state, it is also committing a truly heinous crime—the cultural and maybe even physical extermination of the Uyghurs in the far northwest of China.

Xinjiang province, formerly known as the independent country of East Turkestan, was conquered by military force of arms by Chinese Communist forces in 1949. In the early part of the 21st Century, the Uyghurs have been openly resisting the Chinese government’s attempts to settle hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chinese in the region, force the Uyghurs to give up their religion, and forbid them from learning the Uighur language. The Uyghurs are a Turkic people who had lived in the area for hundreds of years, are faithful Muslims, and who have always been distinct from the Chinese. This has irked the Chinese Communist Party, and for this the Chinese Communists have tried to change their ways. When this failed, the Chinese government has now forcibly put over one million Uyghurs into concentration camps where torture, slave labor and outright murder are commonplace. The Chinese government has also put children into these prisons.

There is no question that the Chinese Communist Party is committing cultural genocide. It is preventing the Uyghurs from using their language, practicing their religion, breaking up their families and putting them into concentration camps probably to be killed, and blowing up their places of worship and demolishing their neighborhoods and replacing these areas with ethnic Chinese. If this is not genocide then I do not know what is. In one of the extremely rare instances of bipartisan cooperation, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been working to pass the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act which would prevent certain Chinese officials from entering the United States and put some sanctions on other Chinese government officials for crimes against humanity. There is no question that the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of crimes against humanity, and this attempted cultural genocide against the Uyghurs is one of them. Why is China of concern to America? For the same reason it is of concern to people in Hong Kong and Taiwan; it is a rising and malevolent superpower that is spreading its tentacles into Latin America and is projecting its military force into the open Pacific. And if we need to see what future it will hold for all of us, we need look no further than what it is doing to the Uyghurs.

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