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Volume11
MonthNovember
Year2009
TitleSilencing the Silk Road: China's Language Policy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Author(s)Aurora Elizabeth Bewicke
First Page135
AbstractAs part of its push for mono-culturalism throughout China in general, and in the XUAR in particular, China's language policy is at the forefront of what some have labeled China's program of "cultural genocide." While most agree that this provocative terminology is overstated, China's language policy may well be at the root of various human rights violations. Part II of this article will describe the historical context and modern realities of China's language policy in the XUAR, which is compromised of both overt policies in the form of laws, regulations, and policy statements as well as more covert policies, which may be gleaned from the contents of international reports and the pages of news stories worldwide. Part III will discuss the status of language policy in international law, including the major relevant multinational treaties, regional agreements and bodies, and other infirmative sources. Part IV will analyze how China's language policy violates human rights standards. Finally, Part V will summarize and conclude that the international community has a duty to take action in order to prevent the further destruction of Uyghur culture in the XUAR.