China collecting DNA samples from all residents of Xinjiang

International

China collecting DNA samples from all residents of Xinjiang

By Harpreet Kaur

December 14, 2017

China collecting DNA samples: From DNA samples to iris scans, Chinese authorities are using free physical exams to gather and store biological data from millions of people who live in the country’s far west region of Xinjiang, citing an official document that suggests the government’s surveillance program in the region is even wider than previously believed.Chinese authorities have been waging a wide-scale security crackdown in Xinjiang which officials say is necessary to curb extremism. Beijing is also reportedly seeking the immediate return of Uighurs studying abroad. Overseas, Uighurs and human rights groups say the measures have turned Xinjiang into a police state, with widespread arbitrary detentions and invasive surveillance.Nearly 19 million people have participated in the medical exams, dubbed Physicals for All, in 2017, according to reports. For people determined to be “focus personnel” a euphemism for those the government views as dangerous their data will be collected regardless of age.