From Byline Times
By CJ Werlemann
What started in June as a series of peaceful demonstrations against Beijing’s growing exertion of its rule over Hong Kong has devolved into escalated violence between protestors and the territory’s police force.
The chants in favour of democracy and opposition to the Chinese Communist Party have now been replaced by violent confrontations, culminating with the police shooting and killing an unarmed protestor at point blank range.
There’s also no denying that these pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protestors rightfully and understandably believe that they are fighting for their lives and the future of their families. In particular, Xinjiang’s Muslim concentration camps loom large in the minds of those who live within touching distance of China.
Xiao Qiang, director of the Counter-Power Lab at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information, has said that the party views Xinjiang as its “frontline” testing ground for data-driven surveillance measures, which allow authorities to track the every movement of every Uighur every second of the day via GPS tracking devices, facial recognition cameras and DNA databases.
Xiao Qiang is the founder and editor-in-chief of the China Digital Times and a research scientist at the School of Information.