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Chinese Internment Camps


There’s a thought experiment that goes something to the effect of “Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler?”. How about “Would you go back and destroy the German concentration camps if you could”?

It’s fair to say that you cannot time travel to destroy a concentration camp from the past, but that does not mean that the modern day equivalent do not exist.

Chinese internment camps

Xinjiang Camps

By all accounts, even if they are not concentration camps, the Chinese government is running what are commonly referred to as internment camps. Camps where they concentrate people…

These facilities are in Xinjiang, northwestern China. They hold mostly Uyghur Muslims. Even the Xinjiang’s Muslims that are not in these concentration camps are subjected to forced political indoctrination and mass surveillance.

The Xinjiang internment camps are officially called Xinjiang Vocational Education and Training Centers. The camps have been criticized by many countries and human rights organizations. They allege human rights abuses, mistreatment, rape, and torture, with some even alleging genocide.

If genocide’s indeed occurring in these concentration camps – how is that different then what the Nazi regime did during WW2? As of 2019, it was estimated that Chinese authorities interned up to 1.5 million people. These prisoners were mostly Uyghurs, but also Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other ethnic Turkic Muslims.

Last year the Bahrain Council of Representatives called for the protection of Uyghur Muslims in China. They “expressed deep concern over the inhumane and painful conditions to which Uyghur Muslims in China are subjected”.

The NBA Connection Chinese Concentration Camps

When Daryl Morley of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets Tweeted about the Issue, LeBron James claimed that Morley was uneducated. He opined that Morley’s tweet might be affecting people financially. Presumably not the Uyghurs.

The NBA has long eyed the billion people strong market of potential new fans in China. They have been deferential to the Chinese Communist Party. As have other companies such as Disney. It became embroiled in the Mulan Controversy when it thanked eight government bodies in Xinjiang itself.

A much fairer question than the one I opened this article with is: “Are you willing to do business with companies that are in bed with a government that is running internment camps?” Do you agree with rounding up groups of people because of their ethnic heritage and locking them up? With the systemic raping and torture of them?