On Saturday, 25th September 1954, a multi-billion-dollar paramilitary organisation called the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) — also known as Bingtuan — was established. The XPCC is responsible for facilitating the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) genocidal policies and turning East Turkestan into an open-air prison. 
How did it come about?
This inherently colonial entity was founded in 1954 with a purpose of increasing the Han population in the Uyghur homeland under false notions of “developing the region” and “promoting ethnic unity”. 
In reality, the XPCC’s “economic prosperity” is developed to benefit the system of the Chinese Communist regime. The corporation directly and indirectly manages 862,600 companies and operates in 147 countries including America and the UK. 
Under the direct authority of the CCP government in Beijing, the XPCC has served the process of militarisation, securitisation, gentrification, discrimination, and displacement of Uyghurs. They have largely been able to achieve their mission of Sinification (also termed Sinicisation) by facilitating the mass migration of ethnic Han Chinese to East Turkestan.
Sinification/ Sinicisation: Implementing Chinese Han culture, language, societal norms, and ethnic identity on to non-Chinese societies.
Laura Murphy, Professor of Human Rights and Contemporary Slavery at the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, describes the organisation in the following words:
“The main purpose of the XPCC is to control, intimidate, disperse, and ultimately break down the Uyghur people until there is nothing left of their culture.” 
How has it enabled genocide of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in East Turkestan?
The XPCC has carried out rapid urbanisation works via large-scale construction of new cities which effectively marginalise and push out Uyghurs.
In unison, the CCP not only heavily invests in the construction of these cities, but also subsidises affordable housing there for Han migrants.
In this way, the Uyghur population is being diluted by settlers. 
XPCC officials claim to be creating more “jobs and opportunities” for the region, but in reality, it leaves Uyghurs competing for land, minerals, water, investment, and other resources.
This strategy has effectively changed the demographic of East Turkestan by increasing the Han population and forcing Uyghurs and other Turkic groups to become minorities in their own land. 
Surveillance and military
The XPCC are notorious for sending the military to patrol districts and exercise their power to monitor and police citizens. 
In 2013, it was reported that East Turkestan had the largest number of “anti-terrorist” police units under the command of the XPCC. They are able to repress Uyghurs through security measures, such as monitoring activities within and outside the home.
Some methods also include facial scanning, phone applications, surveillance cameras, code reading systems placed on the doors of houses, and many more Orwellian-style systems.
Ruth Ingram, a researcher who has written for a number of worldwide publications including The Diplomat and Guardian Weekly, said in a piece published by Bitter Winter magazine,
“Those who weren’t interned, lived under the spotlight of surveillance and networks of neighbourhood snitches, the terror of practising any religious faith, knocks on the door at midnight, disappearing academics, authors and friends and communities were gripped by the fear of what tomorrow might bring.” 
Displacement and demolitions
Bingtuan authorities are responsible for hundreds of illegal demolitions of Uyghur homes and the dismantling of “unsanctioned mosques”. 
They strategically target rural areas as well as houses located within areas earmarked for expansion.
Farmers who protest against the destruction of their homes are often arrested and placed under harsh sanctions. 
The XPCC gained the greatest advantage after China began to exploit cheap labour. It thereafter became an internationally recognised organisation.
The paramilitary entity has recently come under scrutiny from the US for links to Uyghur forced labour, as it is well evidenced that people from rural areas in southern East Turkestan have been forcefully sent to work in cotton enterprises, one of the most profitable areas for the XPCC. 
Indeed, the organisation manufactures 40 per cent of the region’s wool. 
A lesser known fact is that the XPCC exports 17 per cent of the world’s ketchup. 
These products, as well as overseas investments, serve as a vehicle for the Bingtuan to interact with foreign companies and governments around the world. 
Clothes and computers
When global markets fail to do due diligence on their supply chains, it puts them at risk of being complicit, of being enablers of the genocide.
Major brands in the UK, US, and Japan were identified in a February 2020 report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) as benefiting from the exploitation of forced Uyghur labour.
Such brands include household names like Apple, Nike, Zara, Uniqlo, Samsung, and more. 
The CCP and its associates in the XPCC are responsible for the establishment of detention facilities which contribute to the genocide of Uyghurs in East Turkestan.
The Bingtuan runs its own prison facility and routinely uses its prisoners as labourers. Prisoners have been made to take part in the construction of these concentration camps — a truly sickening thought. 
Businesses must do better
Understanding the role of the XPCC leads us to understand the systems of persecution and the ongoing genocide that the CCP is carrying out against the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.
As a key mechanism enabling the genocide, companies must actually carry out proper due diligence checks to ensure their supply chains are not tainted with XPCC-enabled Uyghur forced labour.
- Raise awareness of the XPCC and their direct role in the genocide.
- Speak out on social media and to family and friends about China's persecution of Uyghur Muslims.
- Call out brands and companies that are linked to the XPCC and Uyghur forced labour.