China Continues Forced Labor Against Uyghurs

The Chinese Communist Party’s forced labor against Uyghur minorities has intensified, according to documents revealed on May 9 by Adrian Zenz, a leading scholar on Beijing’s repressive policies. The document, originally issued in 2019 by the so-called Poverty Alleviation Work Group in Kasghar, China, said coercive measures were taken to ensure that “lazy people, drunkards and other people with insufficient inner motivation” are taking part in campaigns to pick cotton in China’s Xinjiang region.

The document shows that authorities in Chinese county Yarkand were compiling lists of the “unmotivated” by late 2019, which included individuals as old as 77. These people were then sent to other counties to labor in cotton fields as a solution for their “laziness.”

[T]his perceived Uyghur idleness is seen as a national security risk and that’s why the drive in 2018 and 2019 to push Uyghurs into all kinds of work is seen as a matter of national security … and of course, this urgency creates a very strong level of coercion.
—Adrian Zenz

Political exploitation: Zenz explained that indicators used by the International Labor Organization have failed to effectively combat Uyghur forced labor because they only account for commercial and not political exploitation. “These indicators were designed to measure forced labor in individual companies or economic sectors,” he said. “They are largely unsuited to evaluating the key mechanism that underpin state-sponsored forced labor, especially in Xinjiang, where state goals for coercive mobilization are primarily political.”

Without the proper tools necessary for the international community to hold China accountable, “Beijing’s economic and long-term political aims in Xinjiang could mean that coercive labor transfers into cotton picking and related industries might persist for a long time to come,” Zenz warned.

In other words, Beijing is not just looking for cheap labor when officials in Xinjiang force Uyghurs to work. Rather, it is primarily a political campaign to make these Uyghurs submit to China’s Communist Party rule.

Untraceable: It is extremely difficult for foreign companies to scrutinize forced labor. Eyewitness accounts are nearly impossible to gauge. Most of these workers are kept in guarded environments, even if they haven’t been criminally charged. In some cases, forced laborers are children who were told it’s part of their curriculum to go to the fields to pick cotton.

Additionally, Xinjiang labor programs are no longer confined to factories or farms within the region. The West has been debating whether to impose a ban on Xinjiang exports in order to avoid forced labor. However, for the past few years, even factories outside of Xinjiang have been employing Uyghurs who have been forcibly removed from their homeland.

Prophecy says: China will continue to exploit the Uyghurs and other minorities and force them into submission. These are part of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to dominate China, its periphery and beyond. During His ministry, Jesus Christ spoke of “the times of the Gentiles,” an era in which powerful Gentile nations such as Russia and China will be the main global powers (Luke 21:24).

In “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm.” The tragic repression of the Uyghurs is only a preview of the prophesied suffering that will be brought about by the Gentiles.

To learn more, read “They Want the World to Bow Down to China.”