The legal definition of genocide under international law is not gas camps and physical extermination of peoples.
It would appear that the Chinese government have embarked upon policies that can only be interpreted as an attempt to end the Uighur people as an identifiable ethnic and cultural group. China's policy of transferring hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in Xinjiang to new jobs often far from home is leading to a thinning out of their populations. It is an attempt to alter the demographics of its far-western region
A report, by academics of Nankai University adds to the growing body of evidence of concerted efforts to persecute Uighurs in what human rights experts and some governments have labelled genocide. The Nankai report said the labour transfers were a long-term measure that “not only reduces Uighur population density in Xinjiang, but also is an important method to influence, melt, and assimilate Uighur minorities.”
“Let them gradually change their thinking and understanding, and transform their values and outlook on life through a change of environment and through labour work,” the report said.
The former senior adviser to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Erin Farrell Rosenberg, found “credible grounds to conclude” that Xinjiang’s labour transfer programme met the criteria of two crimes against humanity.
“Specifically, there is substantial evidence that the Chinese government is carrying out a widespread and systematic attack against the Uighur civilian population pursuant to a government policy,” said Rosenberg. “Further, there are credible grounds to conclude that, as a part of the attack, the crimes against humanity of forcible transfer and persecution are occurring.”
The Chinese government says that people are volunteering to engage in these labour programmes, but it is a system of coercion that people are not allowed to resist. Rather than a project to lift people out of poverty, there's a drive to entirely change people's lives, to separate families, disperse the population, change their language, their culture, their family structures. The overarching goal is one of assimilating Uighurs into China's majority Han.