Kazakh officials have largely remained “silent” about the “misery of ethnic Kazakh prisoners” being held in Xinjiang along with Uyghur Muslims, The National Interest reported. The position taken by Kazakh officials comes despite the presence of around 200,000 people from China’s Xinjiang region in the post-Soviet state, many of whom have existing ethnic links to Kazakhstan.
There has been some public concern raised regarding the Turkic Muslims, including ethnic Kazakhs and Uyghurs facing “genocidal restrictions” in Xinjiang. Families of Kazakhs detained in Xinjiang have held demonstrations outside the Chinese consulate in Almaty for more than 600 days, according to The National Interest report.
People have demanded information regarding the whereabouts of their relatives. According to the news report, relatives of many Kazakh nationals remain detained in “re-education centers” and forced labour facilities in Xinjiang.
Police arrested several protesters with some being fined USD 8,400 which is equal to an entire year’s average salary in Kazakhstan, as per the news report. Visits of senior Chinese officials to their northwestern neighbour have been met with arrests and financial punishments.
Official stories in school books encourage young Kazakhs to support the return of relatives from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan. Chinese territories have been home to more than 1.6 million ethnic Kazakhs since the 1800s. The same stories also support the favourable view of China, which continues to exist in history textbooks in state schools.
Some of the reasons for the picketing actions in Almaty lie in the “vague pro-China sentiments” that dominate Kazakh institutions, according to The National Interest report. State-sponsored and approved textbooks stress on the need to increase the number of ethnic Kazakhs in Kazakhstan while repatriations are discussed, as per the news report.
It is viewed as a key element for the “increased social cohesion” of the country. According to textbooks, Kazakhstan’s transition to a mono-ethnic state will bolster the unity and historic identity of the country.
One textbook of the 10th class on Chairman Mao Zedong’s programs states that China has become a nuclear and space power despite unbalanced growth and agricultural failures. However, the books do not mention the famine and the cultural revolution, as per the news report. These textbooks use the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army sculptures to demonstrate the military power of China.
11th Class history textbooks have mentioned that ethnic returnees, including those from Xinjiang, tend to have large families, which helps to address labour shortages, promote the status of the Kazakh language, and redress the horrors of the Soviet era. Official textbooks have stated the contributions of ethnic Kazakh returnees to Kazakh culture music and sport.
Individual Kazakhs and groups will continue to call for justice for Uyghurs and Kazakhs. However, it is “hard to see a huge rethink of the government’s approach,” the report said. Kazakh nomads fled to Xinjiang during the famine in the 1930s.
The descendants of these people are among those detained in the Xinjiang camp system and are currently making efforts to visit Kazakhstan. By giving them chance to migrate to Kazakhstan, the government has been trying to convince the people to return home. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.