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HomeCultureHow the CCP Is Redefining What It Means to Be Chinese

How the CCP Is Redefining What It Means to Be Chinese

In July 2017, Gulzira Auelkhan’s father fell ill. So she made the short hop from her village in the windswept Kazakhstan countryside into her native China to care for him. Upon arrival in the western province of Xinjiang, however, she was arrested, for no given reason. No charges were ever brought, but she spent the next 15 months being ferried between five different prison camps with barbed wire and watchtowers, during which she was interrogated 19 times and tortured with electric batons. Her interrogators had no clear explanation for her detention. “Once they asked me, ‘Do you have a TV in Kazakhstan?’” says Auelkhan, 42. “‘In which case your ideology has been corrupted.’”

Auelkhan, an ethnic Kazakh Muslim who grew up speaking a Turkic dialect, was forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, salute the Chinese flag…

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