Adrian Zenz, Ph.D.
Dr. Adrian Zenz is Senior Fellow and Director in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Washington, D.C. (non-resident). His research focus is on China’s ethnic policy, Beijing’s campaign of mass internment, securitization and forced labor in Xinjiang, public recruitment and coercive poverty alleviation in Tibet and 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,” the “Karakax List,” and the “Xinjiang Papers.” Dr. Zenz is an advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, and a frequent contributor to the international media.
Dr. Zenz obtained his Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge. He conducted ethnographic fieldwork in western China in Chinese and regularly analyses original Chinese source material. Dr. Zenz has provided expert testimony to the governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. After publication of his research on forced labor in cotton picking, the U.S. government banned the import of goods made with cotton from Xinjiang. Following his research on population optimization and birth prevention, an independent Tribunal in the United Kingdom determined that China’s policies in the region constitute genocide. Dr. Zenz’s 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.”
Dr. Zenz has acted as academic peer reviewer for a wide range of scholarly journals, including The China Journal, the Journal of Contemporary China, Asian Studies Review, International Security (Harvard University), China Perspectives, Central Asian Survey, the Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Asian Ethnicity, China: An International Journal, the Journal of Chinese Political Science, Issues and Studies, and Development and Change. Dr. Zenz is a member of the Association of Asian Studies. He has published opinion pieces with Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at @adrianzenz.Contact Dr. Zenz
Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“The Xinjiang Police Files: Re-Education Camp Security and Political Paranoia in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies, vol. 3(2022): 1–56.
“The Xinjiang Papers: An Analysis of Key Findings and Implications for the Uyghur Tribunal in London.” The Uyghur Tribunal. December 9, 2021.
The Xinjiang Papers: An Introduction. The Uyghur Tribunal. (2021).
‘End the dominance of the Uyghur ethnic group’: an analysis of Beijing’s population optimization strategy in southern Xinjiang. Central Asian Survey, Volume 40, Issue 3. (2021).
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
Unemployment Monitoring and Early Warning: New Trends in Xinjiang’s Coercive Labor Placement Systems. China Brief (Vol. 22, Issue 11). (2022).
Public Security Minister’s Speech Describes Xi Jinping’s Di-rection of Mass Detentions in Xinjiang. ChinaFile. (2022).
Evidence of the Chinese Central Government’s Knowledge of and Involvement in Xinjiang’s Re-Education Internment Campaign. China Brief. (2021).
Coercive Labor and Forced Displacement in Xinjiang’s Cross-Regional Labor Transfer Program. The Jamestown Foundation. (2021).
Parent-Child Separation in Yarkand County, Kashgar. Medium. (2020).
Xinjiang’s System of Militarized Vocational Training Comes to Tibet. China Brief. (2020).
Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang. 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. China Brief. (2018).
New Evidence for China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang. China Brief. (2018).
Is the Belt and Road Anti-Democratic? ChinaFile. (2018).
Corralling the People’s Armed Police: Centralizing Control to Reflect Centralized Budgets. China Brief. (2018).
China’s Domestic Security Spending: An Analysis of Available Data. China Brief. (2018).
“Full Employment” in Tibet: The Beginning and End of Chen Quanguo’s Neo-Socialist Experiment. 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. China Brief. (2017).
Problematic Privilege in Xinjiang, The Diplomat. (2017).
Xinjiang’s Rapidly Evolving Security State. 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).
Beijing Plans a Slow Genocide in Xinjiang. Foreign Policy. (2021).
Coercion in Xinjiang’s Cotton Fields. The Wall Street Journal. (2020).
China Has a New Plan to Tame Tibet. The New York Times. (2020).
China’s Own Documents Show Potentially Genocidal Sterilization Plans in Xinjiang. Foreign Policy. (2020).
Xinjiang’s New Slavery. Foreign 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).