On Monday, China’s State Council issued a white paper titled, “The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang” containing a detailed list claiming that since 2014, China has “arrested 12,995 terrorists, destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials.” It reiterated the need for its “boarding schools” … I’m sorry: “education and training centres” to rehabilitate and eradicate terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang. As our producer Yvonne Tong reported last week, detainees in the re-education camps in Xinjiang are not only Uyghurs but also ethnic Kazakhs. She went to Almaty in Kazakhstan, to find out more.
Kazakhstan shares a 660-mile border with China. On Tuesday, in a surprise television address, Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation. He’s been the country’s leader since its independence from the Soviet Union almost 30 years ago. On Wednesday the Kazak parliament agreed to change the name of its capital Astana to Nursultan in his honour. But the change in leadership is likely to do little to improve the human rights situation for those who’ve been affected by China’s increasing pressures on Muslims.