The Chinese government is continuing its crackdown on ethnic and religious minorities.

The Communist government of China has forced 38 villages inhabited by the country’s Yi minority into communities planned by the government.

The Yi are a small ethnic group from southwest China with a distinct language and religion. The Yi are believed to have lived in the mountains of Sichuan for around 3,000 years.

According to the Associated Press, thousands of Yi have been ordered to leave their homeland in the Sichuan mountains and made to work in state-run agricultural plantations.

Foreign journalists visiting the new Yi community report that pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping were placed in every apartment before the Yi arrived, with posters across the community encouraging the Yi to abandon their native language and adopt Mandarin.

Mardarin is the only option for Yi students in the communities’ state-run schools.

While the Chinese government claims the relocations were part of a national anti-poverty campaign, the move has been associated with other recent mass-persecutions of China’s minorities such as Mongolians, Uyghurs and Chinese Christians.

Earlier this month, protests broke out in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia after the Communist government announced that Mandarin will replace Mongolian in half of all school programming.

The government has since suppressed the protests, with those continuing to speak out risking severe punishment.

“If you don’t send the kids [to school], they take away your jobs,” one Mongolian man told the L.A. Times. 

“You can’t get subsidies or loans from the banks. They put you on a blacklist. They are arresting the people who signed petitions. They have all kinds of methods.”

On Friday, it was revealed that China is operating as many as 400 internment camps in Xinjiang province for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.

It is estimated that around 1.5 million Chinese Muslims are held in internment camps, with many used as forced labour for tech giants such as Huawei.

In a True North exclusive, Uyghur rights groups have urged the Canadian government to reconsider its relationship with Huawei over its involvement in Uyghur internment.

We’re asking readers, like you, to make a contribution in support of True North’s fact-based, independent journalism.

Unlike the mainstream media, True North isn’t getting a government bailout. Instead, we depend on the generosity of Canadians like you.

How can a media outlet be trusted to remain neutral and fair if they’re beneficiaries of a government handout? We don’t think they can.

This is why independent media in Canada is more important than ever. If you’re able, please make a tax-deductible donation to True North today. Thank you so much.