EXPLAINER—Five Things to Know About the Bingtuan

August 27, 2020
Untitled design (10)

The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is also known as the Bingtuan, or “military unit” in Chinese.

1. Exercises State & Police Powers

The Bingtuan, meaning “military unit” in Chinese, is a paramilitary force made up of 14 Divisions. It commands a population of 2.7 million over an area of 80,000 square km of East Turkistan, around 12% of the region\’s total population.

It is sometimes referred to as a “state within a state.”

Under the slogan “maintain stability & promote ethnic unity,” the Bingtuan enforces demolition orders destroying Uyghur homes, dismantles “unsanctioned” mosques, and deploys militia units and forces for “emergency unit special warfare.”

2.Serves as a Colonizing Force

The Bingtuan was founded to “increase the Han population” in the Uyghur homeland and has constructed 13 new cities to absorb Han migrants and dilute the Uyghur population.

Construction often destroys Uyghur homes and strains already-fragile natural resources, contributing to severe environmental degradation.

Chinese propaganda depicts the Bingtuan as a continuous part of Han colonization efforts in East Turkestan dating back thousands of years.

3.Commits Brutal Abuses

The Bingtuan carries out systematic human rights abuses against Uyghurs.

It oversees a brutal prison system, construction and supervision of extra-judicial internment camps, a vast surveillance network, and involuntary population transfers and forced labo

4.Profits from Uyghur Forced Labor

TheBingtuan is the single largest producer of cotton in the Uyghur Region and utilizes forced labor throughout the textile supply chain from irrigation all the way to finished products.

For global companies, it is practically impossible to be involved in any kind of agricultural or industrial activities in the Uyghur Region without engaging in some way with the Bingtuan, and therefore with forced labor.

5.Operates a Global Business Empire

The Bingtuan constitutes a multibillion-dollar state-owned business. Bingtuan-controlled interests make up around 20% of the regional economy.

Over 850,000companies in 147 countries, including the United States, Germany, and the U.K. are part of the Bingtuan\’s international business operations.

For more information, see the UHRP 2018 report,The Bingtuan: China\’s Paramilitary Colonizing Force in East Turkestan.


Uyghur camp survivor and UHRP board chair to give Congressional testimony

Read More

Coalition position regarding Inditex and the Uyghur forced labour crisis

Read More

USCIRF calls for international response to atrocities against Uyghurs

Read More

UHRP encouraged by UK parliament motion recognizing genocide, calls on governments to respond accordingly

Read More
Featured Video

Book Talk With Amelia Pang

Our conversation with Amelia Pang, author of “Made in China” and the New York Times op-ed “It Took a Genocide for Me to Remember My Uyghur Roots: My family’s forced assimilation.”
Play Video