By Henry Chia
November 21, 2022
A screen shot from a video purportedly showing a concentration camp under construction in Xinjiang, China.
The release of a video purportedly exposing a secret concentration camp under construction in China is prompting outrage around the globe.
The video, which has been shared by a prominent Chinese Twitter account, shows row after row of white buildings spread across a dry and dusty landscape.
The Twitter user says the camp is located near the city of Korla in the Xinjiang province and stretches “as far as the eye can see”.
“That is so wrong on so many levels,” one observer said, before adding “two years ago nobody would believe this is possible”.
Asia Markets has attempted to verify the authenticity of the video, however under the Chinese Communist Party’s regime it is difficult to find confirmation from official sources.
Previously, the CCP has claimed such facilities are “re-education camps”.
“The CCP first denied the existence of any camps, until there was enough evidence, then they said they were just ‘re-education camps,” a Chinese user said.
“(They claim) it’s just like a summer language and culture camp, where people are happy and dance and sing songs.”
Another screen shot of the video posted online.
History of Xinjiang camps
It is known there are ‘camps’ in Xinjiang, but what is disputed is their exact purpose.
Critics call them concentration camps, or ‘internment’ camps, but Chinese officials like to refer to them as ‘vocational education and training camps’.
Human Rights Watch claims they’ve been used to indoctrinate Uyghurs and other Muslims for the past five years as part of an anti-terror policy announced in 2014.
There have been claims the camps have become places of torture, rape and even genocide.
Videos like this are difficult to verify because of Chinese Government policies.
Previous video leaks
In 2020, a video was leaked showing people in Xinjiang kneeling blindfolded and shaven and being led onto trains.
On the BBC, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, was asked to explain the imagery, which western intelligence services claim to have verified.
“I don’t know where you get this video tape,” said the Xiaoming.
“Sometimes you have transfers of prisoners in any country.”