China has interned hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in camps in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Despite the story’s scale, foreign journalists are struggling to even connect with the people involved.
The Masthead talked to current and former Xinjiang correspondents about the unique challenges of reporting on the region.
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“A Cone of Silence Has Developed in the Region”
By Caroline Kitchener
Earlier this year, I sent a WeChat message to an old friend in Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province. Approximately 1 million Uighurs, Xinjiang’s largely Muslim minority, have been forced into internment camps, which are designed to churn out secular citizens loyal to the Communist Party. I told my friend, who is ethnically Uighur, that I was interested in hearing about “some of the things going on right now,” and asked if we could talk on the phone. She sent me a GIF of a dancing cat. And then she blocked me.
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