Satellite images show that the Chinese government is destroying the Grand Bazaar, the largest international trade market in Kashgar, a famous oasis city in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), located in a city over 2000 years old and is the most important stop on the historic Silk Road, Grand Bazaar has 4,000 shops selling more than 9,000 products on 250-acres of land. Typical items sold at this market include spices, teas, silk, dried fruit, carpets, Uyghur musical instruments, Central Asia clothing, and skullcaps.
RFA cited one local official saying that the local government removed the symbol of Kashgar to build a new tourist attraction. However, Uyghur activists and foreign scholars view that the destruction of the Grand Bazaar is really to serve the Chinese authorities’ ongoing plan to erase traditions and customs in the Xinjiang region.
Through interviews, RFA discovered information that the Politics and Law Commission of Xinjiang is the entity that developed and implemented the plan for the demolition of the market.
According to RFA, for the past five years, Chinese authorities have ramped up a crackdown on Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
The ruling power in this western part of China has detained hundreds of thousands in camps and prisons. It also has been subjecting the people to severe rights abuses, including torture, forced labor, forced sterilizations, and abortions.