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Idris knew instantly.The old woman was a spy, sent by the Chinese government to infiltrate his family.All this is taking place in China's far west region of Xinjiang, home to the predominantly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs, who have long reported discrimination at the hands of the country's majority Han Chinese.The Associated Press spoke to five Uighurs living in Istanbul who shared the experiences of their family members in Xinjiang who have had to host Han Chinese civil servants. These accounts are based on prior communications with their family members, the majority of whom have since cut off contact because Uighurs can be punished for speaking to people abroad.Last December, Xinjiang authorities organized a "Becoming Family Week" that placed more than 1 million cadres in minority households.The Xinjiang United Front Work Department said in February that government workers should live with their assigned families every two months, for five days at a time.A Uighur cadre named Gu Li said she regularly pays visits to a Uighur household, staying three to five days at a time.
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