Chinese Authorities Continue to Destroy Mosques in XinjiangSeptember 07, 2018
Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom since 2009, wrote in a letter to the Financial Times on Aug. 20 that there are 24,400 mosques in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), in response to recent news reports, including an earlier one in that newspaper, about the worsening human rights situation there . . .
But Liu failed to mention, however, theongoing demolition of mosques that began in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) and in Hoten (in Chinese Hetian) in 2017 as part of a “rectification” campaign launched by Chinese authorities and overseen by local police.
Though government officials in December 2016 refused to say how many mosques were destroyed, an investigation by RFA’s Uyghur Service indicated that around 5,000 mosques were demolished over the three months. Two mosques that were demolished in 2017 in Hotan prefecture’s Ilchi village had been replaced by an underwear factory owned by a mainland Chinese company and an entertainment center for district residents, said a village official in charge of religious issues.
The Top Eriq mosque in Tosqa county, Aksu prefecture, was replaced by a residential building, while the county’s Gulbagh mosque was replaced by residential apartments, he said.