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China ramping up efforts to promote Mandarin in Xinjiang amid global outcry

Despite growing criticism from other countries over its policies against Uyghurs, China is now preparing to promote Mandarin language education and to Sinicise Islam in Xinjiang.
According to Xinjiang Daily, the regional government had called an extended conference for local officials following a visit by one of the most senior figures in the central government.
During his trip, Wang Yang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, ordered Xinjiang party officials to “optimise” governance to achieve long-term stability.
Wang, the head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is currently China’s fourth-highest ranked politician and oversees the party’s policies in Xinjiang and national policies on ethnic and religious affairs.
Wang told officials to work to sinicise religion and to guide Islam to be more compatible with Chinese socialist values.
At the conference, cadres were also instructed to stay vigilant even though counterterrorism work had become a “normal part of everyday life” and the social governance model, according to media reports.
Across the world, China is facing severe backlash for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
Recently, several companies like H&M and Nike (NKE) said they were concerned about allegations that forced labour has been used to produce cotton in Xinjiang.
Chinese media has called for Chinese boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, sports apparel powerhouses Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang.
Swedish multinational H&M, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, has been pulled from major e-commerce stores in China and blocked by several major navigation, review and rating apps.
Dozens of Chinese celebrities have terminated contracts or said they would cut ties with these brands, including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Uniqlo.
On Friday, the Biden administration said America is keen to ensure that US companies adhere to US law and worker concerns and “don’t in any way support forced labour”.
The tensions between Beijing and western countries have escalated recently after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on Chinese officials involved in human rights violations.
The sanctions blacklisted former and current officials in the Xinjiang region–Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Chen Mingguo–for alleged abuses, which have sparked international outrage.
The coordinated move also targeted the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
In retaliation to the bloc’s sanctions, China has decided to introduce sanctions against 10 European Union officials and four European organisations after accusing them of spreading lies and false information about the Xinjiang region.

Atul Sangar

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