Han migrants incentivized to move to Xinjiang as Uyghurs sent away

There is well-documented evidence that the Chinese government is transferring detained Uyghurs from internment camps in Xinjiang to factories in other parts of China where they are forced to work. At the same time, a new report from Radio Free Asia says, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), or bīngtuán 兵团, a “quasi-military organization, is luring Han Chinese settlers to the region’s south as part of a policy experts say amounts to demographic engineering.”

XPCC has long recruited Han migrants from the rest of the country, but as scholar Rian Thum explains to Radio Free Asia: “Up until, say, the last decade, the vast majority of Han settlers moved to the northern part of the administrative unit… But what we’ve seen more recently is an effort to move Han Chinese people into the southern part of the region, which is the part where historically a vast majority of the population is Uyghur.”

The aim is clear: to dilute the Uyghur presence in southern Xinjiang and accelerate the minority’s assimilation into the majority culture.

—Jeremy Goldkorn