Every parent’s worst nightmare. We hear the words connected to atrocities that stab our hearts when we read them in the headlines. To speak the words “disappeared child”, “missing child”, “hurt child”, “sick child”, “kidnapped child"... immediately a parent feels a hard pit of intense dread in their stomach, immediately imagining themselves in that unfortunate family’s shoes. And while we briefly bear a twinge of their pain, the parents of lost children carry a silent burden of trauma their entire lives. Perhaps the worst pain, many mothers who have lost children will attest, is the idea that the children they lose are forgotten.
And yet today the world is ignoring more than 500,000 Uyghur children’s cases who are connected to one perpetrator, hiding in plain sight. And what is most frustrating is the silence from the world community. Where are the child advocacy groups? Where are the leading voices for children? What happened to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)? When China's money is involved, most of Hollywood's vocal stars, rights advocates, and the mainstream media are turning aside and selling their moral values and conscience for the temporary benefit that they receive from China and its market.
While the world ignores not only the possibility of prevention, but even sickly justifies these atrocities, the kidnappers are not named as such. Their crimes are carried out under a government system that has set out to socially reconstruct these children’s brains, forcibly reshaping their bright futures and destiny into something uniformly set before them by a system of dystopian horrors. Under this system, these children are treated as a tool for carrying forth a particular legacy, one that has been whitewashed and edited, censored and polished. It is being carefully constructed without thought of consequences.
What is described above, shockingly, isn’t Nazi Germany. It isn’t Poland under the iron gates whose iconic phrase is still wrought in iron above them. Rather, this truth that “work makes you free” has been etched on people’s brains, into their souls, and upon their consciences. Not only on the victims, but for the ordinary citizens who are likewise brainwashed into accepting their own complicity in crimes against humanity. What is described here is today’s China and occupied East Turkistan referred to as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by the Chinese government.
Just recently, US Customs recently seized a shipment of 13 tons of human hair, harvested and produced from the prisoners of China’s modern-day concentration camps. We know what this hair represents, a very physical representation of never again happening again. Separate from the space of trade agreements and partisan politics, the true “middle kingdom” is as lost to western worlds as it ever was, for all the 20th century advantages of technology, for the ideological war that wages on has left western minds behind, unable to understand the context of something they can never inherently grasp.
All across Chinese social media one may find scattered videos, snippets of life in a Chinese kindergarten, a typical Chinese kindergarten by all appearances. But there is nothing typical of the children in these videos. They are Uyghur. Chinese netizens praise these children with their large eyes and cute looks. Beautiful Uyghur children, they are claimed and conquered for Han Chinese culture, dressed in traditional Chinese outfits to perform songs in Mandarin and to dance in step. Most importantly, they must voice praise for the Party and Xi Jinping in scenes reminiscent of North Korean propaganda.
Children have become the main target of China’s policy of assimilation and social engineering. The Chinese government is trying to eradicate the Uyghur ethnic identity by targeting the younger generation. While their parents are detained in the camps, Uyghur children are taken away, held hostage in Chinese government-run orphanages, where they are indoctrinated, forced to abandon their Uyghur identity and swear loyalty to the CCP, and forced to recognize Xi Jinping as God.
More than 500,000 Uyghur children are to be held as hostages in these Chinese “boarding facilities”, as is confirmed by the rapid development of large kindergartens, the hiring of teachers, and the number of children reported missing by relatives. Separated from their families by government mandate, a mass atrocity on this level that continues to ignore the reality that such separation will inflict massive psychological damage for those affected, and enormous guilt for the parties associated with this Nazist style of forced colonization and racial assimilation.
A groundbreakingly important report by Dr Adrian Zenz which was recently released also makes clear that in addition to the kidnapping of Uyghur children, the Chinese regime is also preventing the birth of Uyghur children. Plummeting population growth rates, forced sterilization, abortion, and birth control as well as the internment of Uyghur mothers have resulted in confirmation of literal genocide.
As his report concluded, “The population control regime instituted by CCP authorities in Xinjiang aims to suppress minority population growth while boosting the Han population through increased births and in-migration. Draconian measures that impose surgical birth control methods enable the state to increase or decrease minority population growth at will, akin to opening or closing a faucet. Additionally, regional authorities actively encourage interethnic marriages (SupChina, August 7, 2019), in an effort to dilute Uyghur cultural identity and promote assimilation.”
Adolf Hitler himself stated in Mein Kampf that the State “must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children….The State must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing…”. In this Orwellian hell, China has declared Islam a “mental illness” and stated that Uyghurs must be “cured”. Rather than seeking genetic perfection, China is seeking intellectual and spiritual unity at the cost of culture, morality, and human lives. What civilized society can do this to children? We have our answer: true evil does exist, and its rules unchecked today in China.
While recent sanctions against Chinese officials are a good step, much more is needed. It is unimaginable that members of the Chinese Communist Party be allowed to reap the benefits of wealth and democracy while denying human rights at home. It is inconceivable that any country can continue in good conscience to treat China as anything other than the backwards, terrorist rogue state that it is. We see the Chinese regime’s asinine, inconsistent, dishonest responses and retaliatory actions in their reciprocal sanctioning of U.S. government officials (a meaningless and rather pathetic action that represents the last-ditch efforts of a regime that has become like a dog trapped in a corner, biting everyone around it.
Unless we continue to hold this regime accountable for it is crimes against humanity, unless we stop them from setting the next world order with the totalitarian system, just look at the Uyghur children, Uyghur slaves and the current state of East Turkistan, and imagine the world you are leaving behind for your children and grandchildren. We must trust that the true hearts of mothers are not easily swayed. They won’t allow Uyghur children, or the women who desire to become mothers and are prevented from giving birth to their own children, to become collateral damage of short-term politics.
(The writer is the founder and executive director of Campaign for Uyghurs. Views are personal.)