The German anthropologist Adrian Zenz has revealed how China internates more than one million Muslim Uighurs. Here he explains why the responsibility lies directly with head of state Xi Jinping. By Bernhard Zand
China’s diplomats are careful not to pronounce its name in public, although many are confronted with it almost on a daily basis: the German anthropologist Adrian Zenz, 45, has almost single-handedly triggered a debate that severely limits China’s leadership. He has researched the history of the repression of the Uighur Muslim minority and revealed the system of internment and re-education camps that established Beijing in the west of the country. According to Zenz, more than a million Muslims are stuck in these camps, without trial, without court decisions.
What makes Zenz’s research so unpleasant for Beijing is that he works with Chinese government documents and shares the findings with international organizations, governments in Canada and the United States, and the United Nations. “That probably explains,” he says, “why China’s government has never directly criticized or researched me to this day, and they basically have nothing to oppose to my sources.”