Pervasive controls over daily life: Foreign media and Human Rights Watch allege that the Chinese government is instituting a range of controls over daily life for Xinjiang residents, including restrictions on religious practices. Outside of Xinjiang, a similar trend is taking place. Religion throughout the country is under assault: recently there was a crackdown on Christian churches. Christians in Henan province were reportedly forced to take down posters of Christ and replace them with portraits of Xi.
As another example, the government has increased the list of banned topics and words that can’t appear on internet content. Recently, the viewing or sharing of foreign news media was almost entirely banned. Homosexuals were once given a fair amount of room to quietly enjoy their lifestyle; now the government is becoming less tolerant in a push to reinforce “family values.” At a Dua Lipa concert in Shanghai, police dragged away audience members who held gay pride flags or even stood up to cheer.
The Chinese government’s assault on basic freedom is not a regional issue but a nationwide phenomenon. Indeed, China has lately moved closer to totalitarianism than at any time since the Mao era. The abuses in Xinjiang are a harrowing example of this pattern.