China has browbeaten 500,000 Tibetan farmers into forced-labor camps where they’re subjected to militarized vocational training aimed to reform “backward thinking” and improve “work discipline,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday.
Dr. Adrian Zenz, a German anthropologist who exposed the mass detention of Muslim Uighurs in the remote Xinjiang province, has been compiling information about the forced labor with a group of global elected officials to impel governments to take a harsher stance on China, the outlet said.
According to New York Post,Zenz’s research shows China has built military-style training centers in Tibet, which at least 500,000 pastoralists and farmers have been forced to enter between January and July, the outlet reported.
The camps include “enforced indoctrination, intrusive surveillance” and steep punishments for anyone who fails to meet labor quotas set by Beijing, the outlet said, citing Zenz’s research.
The Beijing policy requires the rural workers to be trained in “work discipline,” law, the Chinese language and aims to reform “backward thinking” through the militarized instruction.
Beijing has deemed Tibet part of China for hundreds of years, but the region considered itself autonomous until communist party leaders invaded the area in 1950 and took control.
Since then, many Tibetans have accused China of trying to wipe out their Buddhist culture and language while taking advantage of their natural resources and encouraging Chinese residents from other parts of the country to move there and establish dominance.
Zenz’s research mirrors his work in Xinjiang where one million ethnic Uighurs are languishing in forced internment camps and comes as the International Olympic Committee faces calls to take away Beijing’s chance to host the Winter Olympics because of their poor human rights record.
The communist nation is facing criticism over their treatment of Uighurs and for how it handled pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during a series of demonstrations that began last March.
“Just as the international community was rightly outraged by the details presented in the Xinjiang papers, and the treatment of the Uighur people, they will be just as troubled by this report on forced labour camps in the Tibet Autonomous Region,” said Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching, the co-chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, in a joint statement.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the founder behind the Member of Parliament alliance, has urged the IOC to reconsider their choice of allowing Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics while MPs from New Zealand, the Netherlands and the UK have questioned if the games can go on. They’re concerned over mounting human rights abuses and restrictions on the press, the outlet said.
Craig Foster, the former Australian soccer captain, told the outlet the IOC would be directly blamed if it permitted their “mega events to be used to whitewash broad scale abuse occurring under the shadow of the stadia,” the outlet said.
“It is near impossible to see how China can stage a mega-sporting event in accordance with these basic human rights since many are antithetical to governmental principles themselves,” Foster, an adjunct professor at Torrens University, told the outlet.