After bloody race riots rocked China’s far west a decade ago, the ruling Communist Party turned to a rare figure in their ranks to restore order: a Han Chinese official fluent in Uighur, the language of the local Turkic Muslim minority.
Now, newly revealed, confidential documents show that the official, Zhu Hailun, played a key role in planning and executing a campaign that has swept up a million or more Uighurs into detention camps.
Published in 2017, the documents were signed by Zhu, as then-head of the powerful Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party in the Xinjiang region. A Uighur linguist recognized Zhu’s signature scrawled atop some of the documents from his time working as a translator in Kashgar, when Zhu was the city’s top official.
“When I saw them, I knew they were important,” said the linguist, Abduweli Ayup, who now lives in exile. “He’s a guy who wants to control power in his hands. Everything.” [Continue reading…]