The repressive policies deployed by the Chinese party-state towards its Muslim population in the western region of Xinjiang has been at the forefront of international media attention.  Beyond the sharp increase in the security presence in the region and the widespread use of technology-intensive policing, the extra-legal internment of 1 to 3 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups has been the most notable of these repressive policies.  The so-called “Xinjiang papers,” a leak of internal Chinese documents revealed by the New York Times in 2019, have contributed to unveil the policy shift that has occurred in this region since early 2017.[1]  This tightly-written article by Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Myunghee Lee, and Emir Yazici endeavors to explain this evolution.  It also stresses the transnational security dimension of these policies and aims at situating the Chinese case in the broader literature on political violence and domestic repression.

Continue reading