Party Orders Cadres to Live With Families in China’s Xinjiang

CCP official with three Uyghur women.

An image posted on social media of a state official with a Muslim family somewhere in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. (Image: YouTube Screenshot via Human Rights Watch)

While it may sound like something from an Orwellian story, government officials were sent to live with Uyghurs in their homes in Xinjiang so that they could watch them and ask questions about their lives and political views. That is currently the reality for families in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Toward the end of last year, Xinjiang authorities mobilized more than a million cadres to spend a week living in homes of predominantly Muslim families, reported Human Rights Watch (HRW). The majority of those families live in the countryside.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

“The cadres meticulously document their activities, including by submitting reports of the homestays with accompanying photos,” said HRW in a media release.

“Some of these photos and videos can be found on the Wechat and Weibo accounts of the participating agencies, which show scenes of cadres living with minority families, including in the most intimate aspects of domestic life, such as cadres and family members making beds and sleeping together, sharing meals, and feeding and tutoring their children,” said the rights group.

“None of these videos or photos are posted by the visited families, and there is no indication that they consented to having them posted online.”

The ‘home stay’ in Xinjiang has been extended

Early this year, Xinjiang authorities extended this “homestay” program and now cadres spend at least five days every two months in the families’ homes. There is no evidence to suggest that families can refuse such visits, said HRW.

As part of their time with families, the cadres conduct political indoctrination and explain the Chinese Communist Party’s policies toward Xinjiang. Meanwhile, families are obligated to tell cadres about their lives and political views.

HRW said that these homestay visits are part of the government’s increasingly invasive “Strike Hard” campaign in the region, which is home to 11 million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities.

News of the homestays comes amid an increase in repressive policies in the region that include the indefinite detaining of over tens of thousands in unlawful “political education” centers and the setting up of mass collection of DNA and voice biometrics from individuals between the ages of 12 and 65.

Reasons why such measures have been put in place are to “safeguard social stability” and to “fight terrorism.” In recent years, state-run media has reported sporadic bomb and knife attacks by so-called terrorists in the province and elsewhere in China.

While there have been some reports of Uyghurs joining radical groups abroad, such as the Islamic State, critics say the Chinese government is overstating the threat from the Uyghurs.

In the past several decades, there have been high levels of immigration from China’s Han majority to the province. The Han now make up nearly 40 percent of the province’s population of 19 million.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

The tower in Kaiyuan Temple with cherry blossoms.

Historical Tale From China: Murong Yanchao Outsmarts a Swindler

During the Later Han Dynasty (947-950), Yunzhou’s leading commander, Murong Yanchao, was celebrated for his ...

A basket of eggs.

Reviving the Simple Long-Lost Art of Roasting Eggs

Roasting eggs is probably the most ancient way of cooking eggs. About 1 million years ...

A closeup view of jail cell iron bars casting shadows on the prison floor.

Successful Entrepreneurs in China Lose Everything Overnight on Trumped-Up Charges (Part 2)

Mr. Yang said persecuted entrepreneurs like him are too numerous in his home province and ...

A polar ring galaxy.

Astronomers Have Discovered a Rare ‘Polar Ring Galaxy’ Wrapped in a Huge Ribbon of Hydrogen

A galaxy can come in many shapes and sizes, from giant, slowly rotating ovals and ...

Mr. Yang.

Successful Entrepreneurs in China Lose Everything on Trumped-Up Charges (Part 1)

Mr. Yang, one of China’s highly successful entrepreneurs now living in exile, recounted how he ...


Besenwirtschaften Explained: Learn More About the Broomstick Inns

Many cultures have their unique seasonal practices, and among these are the Besenwirtschaften. While the ...

Double rainbow over a field of yellow flowers with a tree in the background.

The Power of Emotional Healing in Traditional Chinese Medicine

“The heart’s ailment requires the heart’s remedy,” remarked Zhang Jingyue, a renowned physician from the ...

Sad girl sitting alone.

6 Tips for Successful Emotional Healing

There can be times when you experience some intense emotional pain or trauma that has ...

Engraved illustration of men surrounding Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed.

The Mystery of Spirit Photography: The Lincoln Photo and Beyond

Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of American President Abraham Lincoln, had her photo taken in 1872. ...

Send this to a friend