“Wash Brains, Cleanse Hearts”: Evidence from Chinese Government Documents about the Nature and Extent of Xinjiang’s Extrajudicial Internment Campaign

Adrian Zenz, “‘Wash Brains, Cleanse Hearts:’ Evidence from Chinese Government Documents About the Nature and Extent of Xinjiang’s Extrajudicial Internment Campaign,” Journal of Political Risk 7, Issue 11, November 2019.


Zenz investigates the numerous public communication campaigns that the Chinese government has initiated to soften the nature of the internment camps.


“Drawing on the government’s own statements, this article seeks decisively to refute these propaganda claims. Overall, the author analyzed three types of data sources, all of which are mutually consistent and confirm the growing body of first-hand witness accounts. The first type consisted of official government documents and related media reports that are publicly accessible but not designed for international audiences. The second source consists of local government data in the form of detailed tables and spreadsheets that list the fates of thousands of minority individuals. The third source is a confidential, classified Chinese policy document issued by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s Party Political and Legal Affairs Committee. This highly significant document details how Xinjiang’s so-called “vocational training centers” are supposed to be run.”

Keywords: Extremism, Re-Education, Securitization