The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewall

Tim O'Donnell

The Great Firewall may have been breached.

Beijing doubled down Monday after The New York Times published a report on over 400 leaked documents that provided a look into China's mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, though the government didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents.

"It is precisely because of a series of preventative counterterrorism and de-extremism measures taken in a timely manner that Xinjiang, which had been deeply plagued by terrorism, has not had a violent terrorist incident for three years," said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geng added that the Times took things out of context in an attempt to "smear and discredit China's antiterrorism and de-extremism capabilities."

But aside from Geng's comments, the Times reports that Chinese state media said little else about the issue, which is not surprising given the sensitive nature of the issue. But there were signs that at least some aspects of the leak snuck past Beijing's internet firewall, which blocks access to the Times. One user on Chinese social media platform Weibo reportedly posted about Wang Yongzhi, an official cited in the report who initially helped implement China's harsh measure, but eventually ordered the release of more than 7,000 detention camp inmates before he was arrested. "History will not forget this person and this page of paper," the Weibo user wrote, indicating that the documents might have made their way through. Read more at The New York Times.

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