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China Studies

Adrian Zenz, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Adrian Zenz is a Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Washington, D.C. (non-resident), and supervises Ph.D. students at the European School of Culture and Theology, Korntal, Germany. His research focus is on China’s ethnic policy, public recruitment in Tibet and Xinjiang, Beijing’s internment campaign in Xinjiang, and China’s domestic security budgets. Dr. Zenz is the author of Tibetanness under Threat and co-editor of Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Change. He has played a leading role in the analysis of leaked Chinese government documents, including the “China Cables” and the “Karakax List.” Dr. Zenz is an advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, and a frequent contributor to the international media.

Dr. Zenz obtained his M.A. in development studies from the University of Auckland, and his Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Zenz has provided expert testimony to the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. He has published opinion pieces with Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and The New York Times. Most recently, his work on parent-child separation in Xinjiang prompted The Economist to feature this atrocity on its cover page and to refer to it as “a crime against humanity” that represents “the gravest example of a worldwide attack on human rights.” You can follow him on Twitter at @adrianzenz.

Book Dr. Adrian Zenz


Opinion Pieces

China Has a New Plan to Tame Tibet. The New York Times. (2020).

Xinjiang’s New SlaveryForeign Policy. (2020).

China Didn’t Want Us to Know. Now Its Own Files Are Doing the Talking. The New York Times. (2020).

You Can’t Force People to Assimilate. So Why is China at it Again? The New York Times. (2019).

Reeducation Returns to China. Foreign Affairs. (2018).

Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal Articles and Book Chapters

A Research Note on Recent Developments With Tibetan-Medium Tertiary Student Intakes and Degree Programs. In: Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Power Vol. 11, U. Wallenböck et al. (eds.), Prague: Oriental Institute. (2019).

“Wash Brains, Cleanse Hearts”: Evidence from Chinese Government Documents about the Nature and Extent of Xinjiang’s Extrajudicial Internment Campaign. Journal of Political Risk, 7(11). (2019).

Securitizing Xinjiang: Police Recruitment, Informal Policing and Ethnic Minority Co-optation. The China Quarterly. (2019).

Thoroughly Reforming them Toward a Healthy Heart Attitude” – China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang. Central Asian Survey. (2018).

The Limits to Buying Stability in Tibet: Tibetan Representation and Preferentiality in China’s Contemporary Public Employment System. The China Quarterly, 234(2), 527-551. (2017).

Mapping Tertiary Graduate Student Trends and Advertised Public Sector Recruitment in Amdo and Kham Tibetan Regions in the P.R. China. In: Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Change, J. Ptackova and A. Zenz (eds.), Prague: Oriental Institute. (2017).

Beyond Assimilation: Dynamics of Tibetanisation and Re-Tibetanisation in the Context of Tibetan Education in Qinghai Province. Inner Asia, 12(2), 293-315. (2010).

Research Articles and Working Papers

Coercive Labor and Forced Displacement in Xinjiang’s Cross-Regional Labor Transfer Program. The Jamestown Foundation. (2021).

Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton. The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy. (2020).

Parent-Child Separation in Yarkand County, Kashgar. Medium. (2020).

Xinjiang’s System of Militarized Vocational Training Comes to Tibet. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2020).

Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2020).

The Karakax List: Dissecting the Anatomy of Beijing’s Internment Drive in Xinjiang. Journal of Political Risk. (2020).

Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Grand Scheme of Coercive Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang. Journal of Political Risk. (2019).

Break Their Roots: Evidence for China’s Parent-Child Separation Campaign in Xinjiang. Journal of Political Risk. (2019).

Is This the End of Belt and Road, or Just the Beginning? ChinaFile. (2019).

Xinjiang’s Re-Education and Securitization Campaign: Evidence from Domestic Security Budgets. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2018).

New Evidence for China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2018).

Is the Belt and Road Anti-Democratic? ChinaFile. (2018).

Corralling the People’s Armed Police: Centralizing Control to Reflect Centralized Budgets. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2018).

China’s Domestic Security Spending: An Analysis of Available Data. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2018).

“Full Employment” in Tibet: The Beginning and End of Chen Quanguo’s Neo-Socialist Experiment. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief (2018).

China’s Securitization Drive in Tibet and Xinjiang. China Policy Institute Analysis. (2018).

Chen Quanguo: The Strongman Behind Beijing’s Securitization Strategy in Tibet and Xinjiang. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2017).

Problematic Privilege in Xinjiang, The Diplomat. (2017).

Xinjiang’s Rapidly Evolving Security State. The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief. (2017).

Beijing’s Eyes and Ears Grow Sharper in Xinjiang. Foreign Affairs. (2016).

The evolution of Tibetan representation and preferentiality in public employment during the post-fenpei period in China: insights from new data sources. ISS Working Paper No. 620, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague. (2016).

By Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, and Erin Rosenberg, an attorney specializing in international criminal law and reparations.   In January, the U.S. government determined China’s actions in…

‘In the past, my lazy thoughts . . . were serious. Now, I finally understand that the happiest thing is to use the money I earn with my hard-working hands and my sweat.” These are the words of a Uighur villager in…

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