WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flood Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Beijing denounces New York Times' decision to publish leaked Xinjiang documents

The Chinese government has reacted furiously to the publication of more than 400 pages of sensitive Communist Party documents by the New York Times, which linked President Xi Jinping to the country's mass detention centers in the far western region of Xinjiang. CNN's David Culver reports.

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 9:50 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 9:50 AM

The Chinese government has reacted furiously to the publication of more than 400 pages of sensitive Communist Party documents by the New York Times, which linked President Xi Jinping to the country's mass detention centers in the far western region of Xinjiang.

The documents, which were published by the New York Times on Saturday, represent one of the largest ever data leaks from inside the Chinese government. Their disclosure provides a rare window into the secretive policy decisions around the continued mass incarceration of religious and ethnic minorities.

According to the US State Department up to 2 million mostly-Mulism Uyghurs as well as other minority groups have been detained without due process in detention camps, a system described by former detainees as designed to eradicate their language and cultural heritage.

The Chinese government initially denied the camps' existence but now says they are voluntary vocational training centers, part of a region-wide program designed to curb Islamic extremism.

But the internal party documents published by the Times showed there was clear discussion about the mass detention of Muslim minorities, with one top official ordering his staff to "round up everyone who should be rounded up."

The documents also linked the campaign back to President Xi through previously unpublished speeches he made to local officials in 2014, calling for "absolutely no mercy" in a crackdown on "terrorism ... and separatism."

Xi made the speech just days after a terrorist attack in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi in April 2014. The far western Chinese region has a long history of unrest and protests, including a 2009 police crackdown which spiraled into citywide violence in Urumqi.

According to the Times, the documents were leaked by a "member of the Chinese political establishment" who wanted to make sure Xi and other senior party official didn't escape culpability for the policy.

Speaking at his daily press conference Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang did not deny the documents were real but did accuse Times' reporters of willful misinterpretation.

"It (the Times) used clumsy patchwork and distortion to hype up the so-called 'internal documents' and smear China's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts. What are they up to?" he said.

Geng said that the country's de-radicalization efforts had been a major success.

"Xinjiang affairs are purely China's domestic affairs. The issue Xinjiang faces is not about ethnicity, religion or human rights ... Thanks to the preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts, Xinjiang ... hasn't seen a single violent, terrorist incident over the past three years," he said.

The Xinjiang regional government said the New York Times article was "entirely fabricated by domestic and foreign hostile forces" and "full of lies."

"The western anti-China forces ... don't want to see the stability and harmonious development of Xinjiang, and have constantly fabricated fake news to attack and smear Xinjiang," the statement said.

The leaked documents said that a number of party officials were purged for disagreeing with the campaign or attempting to release Uyghur detainees.

Beijing's vast network of detention centers in Xinjiang have been widely criticized across the Western world, with 23 countries including the United States and Australia issuing a statement condemning them in late October.

But there has been even broader support for the Chinese government in other parts of the world, with 54 countries signing a counter statement praising the Xinjiang program.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33591

Reported Deaths: 1204
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds264246
DeSoto176718
Madison135536
Jones115949
Neshoba101673
Harrison100312
Rankin99915
Lauderdale93781
Forrest92743
Scott78515
Jackson70417
Copiah62715
Washington62610
Leake59820
Lee57521
Holmes57041
Oktibbeha55728
Wayne55116
Warren54020
Yazoo5336
Grenada5227
Lowndes51513
Leflore50756
Lamar5007
Lincoln49234
Pike46617
Sunflower4368
Monroe43135
Lafayette4194
Covington3965
Panola3926
Bolivar37018
Attala36523
Simpson3603
Newton35210
Adams33218
Tate31912
Pontotoc3166
Marion30812
Chickasaw29119
Claiborne28910
Winston28210
Noxubee2738
Pearl River26932
Jasper2666
Marshall2643
Clay25111
Smith23412
Union23311
Coahoma2136
Clarke21125
Walthall2087
Lawrence1892
Yalobusha1838
Kemper17914
Carroll17111
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1564
Montgomery1432
Calhoun1425
Tippah14211
Itawamba1408
Hancock13413
Webster12811
Tunica1153
Jefferson1143
Jefferson Davis1144
Prentiss1113
Greene1089
Amite1043
George943
Wilkinson949
Tishomingo911
Quitman891
Alcorn762
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone722
Franklin472
Benton420
Sharkey400
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 102°
Columbus
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 95°
Oxford
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 87°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather