Should other countries give Uyghurs the option of asylum in order for them to escape Chinese oppression?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,741
SoCal
#1
Should other countries (the West but also Muslim countries--especially but not limited to Turkic Muslim countries such as Turkey and the Central Asian countries) give Uyghurs the option of asylum in order for them to escape Chinese oppression? I was thinking of something similar to what was offered to Soviet Jews starting from the 1970s--as in, give them asylum elsewhere and push the oppressing government (in the 1970s, the USSR; right now, China) to allow these minorities (in the 1970s, Jews; now, Uyghurs) to emigrate. Life in China probably really sucks for a lot of Uyghurs right now but the Chinese government is unlikely to ease on its oppressive policies towards the Uyghurs. Thus, I was thinking--why not have some countries announce an open door policy towards the Uyghurs and push China to allow the Uyghurs to emigrate--if necessary, en masse--so that any Uyghur who wants to come there would be able to do so? One would think that Uyghurs could be a positive addition to various countries--especially Turkey and the Turkic Central Asian countries, but also perhaps some Western countries. Of course, I was also thinking of securely vetting Uyghurs to see if any of them have any ties to radical Islamist organizations; after all, a good batch might nevertheless contain some or at least a few bad apples. :(

It would be really nice if Uyghurs could have a decent life in China, but if that's not possible, what about having other countries offer them asylum en masse? Indeed, what are your thoughts on this?
 
Likes: M.S. Islam

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,417
#2
They should and already do:
Right of asylum - Wikipedia

The Uighurs' problem is getting out from under the Chinese locking them up. Possibly also China preassuring countries like Cambodia and the like to not honor the right of asylum. It's just one more human right China dislikes and wants to get rid of.

As for the mass-exodus idea. That's real bleak. It's a region that has been Muslim and Turkic for a millenium. The Chinese empire always found it troublesome, and now apparently its Communist successor-state has come up with a plan to settle with the Uighurs for good. China wants the area, so China gets it then. And then on it moves to the next place, one can surmise...
 
Likes: Futurist
Sep 2012
1,079
Taiwan
#4
Not going to happen, sadly. We could and should be helping Uyghurs already abroad get asylum (and we are doing well, by and large), but getting Uyghurs out of China is getting harder and harder - look at this from just two days ago. Beijing allowing Uyghurs out of China? They're trying to 'repatriate' those already abroad. I'm fortunate enough to count a number of Uyghurs among my friends and seeing what they're going through is heartbreaking, but to change the situation on the ground in Xinjiang would take a radical escalation with Beijing, far beyond the current trade war (which is already seriously rocking the proverbial boat).
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,741
SoCal
#5
Not going to happen, sadly. We could and should be helping Uyghurs already abroad get asylum (and we are doing well, by and large), but getting Uyghurs out of China is getting harder and harder - look at this from just two days ago. Beijing allowing Uyghurs out of China? They're trying to 'repatriate' those already abroad. I'm fortunate enough to count a number of Uyghurs among my friends and seeing what they're going through is heartbreaking, but to change the situation on the ground in Xinjiang would take a radical escalation with Beijing, far beyond the current trade war (which is already seriously rocking the proverbial boat).
Why exactly do they want to repatriate diaspora Uyghurs? Because they don't want them to lobby against China in other countries? Also, is China likewise trying to repatriate other opponents of the current Chinese regime--such as Chinese pro-democracy activists?
 
Sep 2012
1,079
Taiwan
#6
We know as little about why they want to repatriate the diaspora as why they are embarked upon this process in the first place. There are plenty of people far more learned in both PRC policy and the Uyghur plight than I, although I'm personally inclined to think this is as much an exercise in control as it is an ethnic cleansing. Beijing doesn't just want to eradicate the Uyghurs, it wants to know that it can. Being able to return those Uyghurs abroad pushes at the limits of that control; its a test, to see how far they can go, and how much the international community will let them get away with. If they can successfully complete this program of extermination and social re-engineering (as disgusting a phrase that is to have to write), then they have a framework they can adapt and use in the future, both at home and abroad. You may have seen Hong Kong police recently observing the methods used in Xinjiang..

In regards to the repatriation of other political dissidents, yes, if I recall correctly China has been quite active (although not always successfully) in trying to return such opponents to China. I forget the specifics, but I've assuredly read such things before.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,417
#7
One would think that China would have been in favor of mass Uyghur emigration due to the fact that this would have allowed China to make Xinjiang even more Chinese, no?
Why would the Chinese government see any need for that? The Uighurs make up less than 1% of the population of China. Swamping them is easier. Especially if they are first doctrinally Sinified – like what's apparently being tried with "training facilities" and these wonderful arrangements with "live-in friends".

China has always had manpower to ridiculous amounts, including to attempt these massive social and cultural transplants, grafts and other operations on bits of the "body politic". (Wombs of Chinese women being this endless fascination – first to use as little as possible, but now to churn out loyal citizens-belonging-to-the-nation again.)
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,417
#8
Why exactly do they want to repatriate diaspora Uyghurs? Because they don't want them to lobby against China in other countries? Also, is China likewise trying to repatriate other opponents of the current Chinese regime--such as Chinese pro-democracy activists?
In essence because by the CCP's count these people as belonging to the Chinese state. So, property rights... Including the right to dispose or rebuild them as the Chinese government currently sees fit. International protests against this is regarded as unacceptable meddling with Chinese sovereignty.

The things about people in China is that they belong to the state. That included anyone born Chinese in China, regardless of subsequent migration, citizenship etc.
 

Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,937
Korea
#9
One would think that China would have been in favor of mass Uyghur emigration due to the fact that this would have allowed China to make Xinjiang even more Chinese, no?
Consider the matter from a different perspective. If the concern of the Chinese is Uyghur nationalism and separatism, then it needs to reduce those inclinations domestically. Given there's little meaningful chance that the majority of Uyghurs are going to mass emigrate, then in order to pursue that goal, they must strongly disincentivize adherence to or perpetuation of those ideas. One way of doing so is to make it clear that any Uyghur who does hold to those ideals can expect no chance of reprieve of escape, even if they manage to flee to another country. From such a perspective, hounding an individual to the ends of the Earth actually makes strategic sense. Another point is that an Uyghur nationalist who does flee the country does not necessarily cease to be a nuisance. F0ma's article, for example, cites the case of a Uyghur living in Germany who was "politically active" to the point of having a nationalist tattoo on his body. His being abroad does not mean that he ceases to be a political factor, as he will likely assist in the perpetuation of the very ideas China wishes to eliminate.

From a purely strategic standpoint, what China is doing makes total sense. That doesn't mean it's compassionate, of course, but when compassion and reason clash, the Chinese seem to choose reason consistently. If the West genuinely doesn't like it, then it can simply economically embargo China on principle, and if it can't bring itself to do that, then it clearly doesn't care all that much. And that's the truth: the West does not especially care about this domestic issue, at least enough to motivate it to act. It might grab some low hanging fruit like, "No more deportation of Uyghurs for now," but that's probably going to be it, and that's not enough to motivate a policy change. In fact, it's just barely enough of a policy change to illustrate the total cowardice of the West, which itself probably further incentivizes China to continue down its current course.
 
Oct 2013
4,564
Canada
#10
Consider the matter from a different perspective. If the concern of the Chinese is Uyghur nationalism and separatism, then it needs to reduce those inclinations domestically. Given there's little meaningful chance that the majority of Uyghurs are going to mass emigrate, then in order to pursue that goal, they must strongly disincentivize adherence to or perpetuation of those ideas. One way of doing so is to make it clear that any Uyghur who does hold to those ideals can expect no chance of reprieve of escape, even if they manage to flee to another country. From such a perspective, hounding an individual to the ends of the Earth actually makes strategic sense. Another point is that an Uyghur nationalist who does flee the country does not necessarily cease to be a nuisance. F0ma's article, for example, cites the case of a Uyghur living in Germany who was "politically active" to the point of having a nationalist tattoo on his body. His being abroad does not mean that he ceases to be a political factor, as he will likely assist in the perpetuation of the very ideas China wishes to eliminate.

From a purely strategic standpoint, what China is doing makes total sense. That doesn't mean it's compassionate, of course, but when compassion and reason clash, the Chinese seem to choose reason consistently. If the West genuinely doesn't like it, then it can simply economically embargo China on principle, and if it can't bring itself to do that, then it clearly doesn't care all that much. And that's the truth: the West does not especially care about this domestic issue, at least enough to motivate it to act. It might grab some low hanging fruit like, "No more deportation of Uyghurs for now," but that's probably going to be it, and that's not enough to motivate a policy change.
That's it:

The Three Evils separatism, terrorism, and religious extremism are antitheses to Chinese identity and existence.

A Uyghur separatist in Germany or the US is still a proponent of separatism. That makes these individuals enemies to China.

An enemy of China is an enemy of China, regardless of race, creed, or geographic location.