Uninvited guests keep watch for China inside Uighur homes

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Chinese government has launched a program in its far west which analysts say effectively puts informants inside living rooms, dining areas and prayer spaces, not to mention at funerals, weddings and other occasions once considered intimate and private.

The ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper said last month that 1.1 million civil servants are participating in an initiative which the government says will alleviate poverty and foster ethnic unity between the majority Han Chinese and Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

The Associated Press spoke to five Uighurs living in exile in Istanbul who shared the experience of family members who have had to host Han Chinese civil servants in Xinjiang.

Interviewees said their loved ones saw the homestay program as a chilling intrusion into their personal lives.