We are pleased to republish this article by Dr Jenny Clegg, academic, author and veteran activist, originally published in the Morning Star. Jenny dissects the latest report on the situation in Xinjiang from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), whose funding by the US State Department, NATO, the British and Japanese governments, arms manufacturers and other dubious sources, utterly refutes its specious claim to be an “independent, non-partisan think tank”, with help from detailed analysis by CoWestPro Consultancy, which is also Australia-based. Jenny also advances the view that problems and shortcomings in China have to be viewed against its background as a developing country.
THE issue of Uighur forced labour is held up as a particularly pernicious abuse of human rights in China.
Prominent here has been the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi) 2020 report, Uyghurs For Sale, claiming that the Chinese government is orchestrating a forced Uighur labour programme.
Aspi counts the US Department of State, Nato, and a number of arms dealers among its largest donors — why an organisation oriented towards strategy and defence should take up the issue of forced labour is anybody’s guess.
Be that as it may, Aspi’s report has been used to support recent US legislation to ban goods made by Uighur labour. Now, with cries of “slave labour” from the likes of Tom Tugendhat leading the way, Britain may well follow suit with a similar Bill this year.
We are pleased to republish this summary of the French-language book, ‘Uyghurs: To put an end to fake news’, reviewed by Roger Keenan on the website Marxism-Leninism Today. Written by Maxime Vivas, a writer, journalist and former postal worker, the book refutes new cold war propaganda and presents the true situation, based on the author’s research as well as his travel to Xinjiang.
The United States government is ratcheting up a cold war against China. The Biden administration’s agreement to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, its decision to create a new department in the CIA aimed at countering China, and its recent decision to impose a diplomatic boycott on the Chinese Winter Olympics are just three recent signs of the aggressive posture taken by the U.S. in the new cold war. A key part of the new cold war is a tidal wave of ideological attacks on China aimed at showing that China is a threat—to human rights, democracy, women’s rights, labor rights, and American security. All of this is geared to justify American belligerence toward China and generate support for this belligerence and a frightened public’s willingness to pay for it. (Recently the Senate passed a bill previously passed by the House calling for $768 billion appropriation of Defense Department, $24 billion more than either Biden or the Pentagon sought.) A centerpiece of this ideological offensive that the mass media amplifies on a daily basis is that China is committing genocide against its Moslem Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang autonomous region.
Even though most politicians, as well as the general population, have no idea who the Uyghurs are, where Xinjiang is on a map, what Chinese policy toward the Uyghurs is, or even how to pronounce Uyghur, they buy the idea of Uyghur genocide. The widespread ignorance makes Maxime Vivas’s book so valuable. Vivas not only provides a primer on the Uyghurs and Xinjiang, but also explains the Chinese policy in Xinjiang, and makes a forceful argument that the charge of genocide is of apiece with other lies like those about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that serve to justify American imperial belligerence.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference of 14 January 2022, spokesperson Wang Wenbin gave a detailed response to a question from CGTN about recent US legislation penalizing China for alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in Xinjiang. Wang Wenbin’s response is reproduced below.
For some time now, US politicians, in collusion with some anti-China organizations and individuals, have been unscrupulously spreading and hyping up the lie of “genocide” and “forced labor” in Xinjiang for their ulterior political purpose. Today, I would like to take some time to share with you my experience of debunking lies on Xinjiang and avoid being misled so that you can all see the true face of those who fabricated those lies.
First of all, those who fabricate lies on Xinjiang always camouflage themselves with three cloaks.
The first is the cloak of academic research. They spread rumors in the name of scholars and academic institutions. A typical example is Adrian Zenz. His claim that “900,000 to 1,800,000 people have been systematically held in detention in Xinjiang” comes from a groundless report by Istiqlal TV, a Turkey-based media organization with close ties with extremists. Abdulkadir Yapuquan, leader of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a UN listed terrorist organization, is a regular guest of it. Zenz also claimed that 70 percent of the cotton plantations in Xinjiang in 2019 were harvested by human labor. But fact tells a completely different story: 85 percent of the cotton in Xinjiang is harvested by machine. These facts have proved that Adrian Zenz, a so-called “China expert”, is just a pseudo scholar with no academic integrity at all.
This statement from the International Action Center thoroughly dismantles US-led imperialist propaganda about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and exposes how these are being leveraged to build public support for a reckless and aggressive anti-China strategy that offers nothing to ordinary people in the West.
Claiming that it is acting in defense of human rights, the U.S. tries to cover its own criminal record on internal human rights violations and its record of endless wars, assassinations, coups and devastating sanctions by making charges and targeting other countries.
Propaganda fuels U.S. wars
The “2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” issued April 9 by Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, labeled China as “the greatest threat to the United States.” Numerous other reports and official statements claim Washington must prepare an intensifying level of U.S. intelligence operations, cyberattacks and investment in military technology to counter China.
The U.S. military has encircled China. With joint Democratic and Republican Party backing, the U.S. has imposed economic sanctions, an onerous trade war and canceled cultural exchanges and visas for tens of thousands of Chinese students. This campaign is cynically justified as a defense of human rights.
Interviewed by Jacquie Luqman for Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary radio show, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez discusses the US’s new Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and the Washington Post’s ‘smoking gun’ report linking Huawei to surveillance technology in Xinjiang. The full radio show can be found here.
In this article Keith Lamb, following up on a piece published last week, further explores the sham nature of the ‘Uygur Tribunal’ – its spurious sources, its funding, its flagrant bias towards Uygur separatism, and its use by the Western military-industrial complex to further the drive to war on China. Republished from CGTN.
In my previous article, using the examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, I outlined a system where Western elites can further their geopolitical ends and drive up their profit margins through the atrocity of war. Essential for instigating these atrocities is a superb propaganda system that indoctrinates Western citizens into supporting these wars through exaggeration, decontextualization and distortion.
A simple narrative of “good” versus “evil” is laid out to justify Western belligerence. However, the tail wags the dog, the geopolitical and profit motives are the prime mover and then the atrocity is constructed.
For example, Afghanistan, and the never-ending war on terror, were always going to be a “fantastic” money-spinner for a military-industrial complex devoid of a cold war with the Soviet Union. Then Iraq and Libya, both rich in oil, were plundered of their resources. Furthermore, the independence asserted by all three states was not to be tolerated by the West.
Below we republish an article by Keith Lamb in CGTN about the so-called Uygur Tribunal and its value for the imperialist powers in building public support for the US-led New Cold War on China. The author points out that millions of people in the West were deceived by the lies about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, or Muammar Gaddafi’s use of rape as a weapon of war, and therefore tacitly lent their support to the horrific and criminal wars waged against Iraq and Libya.
The sham “independent” Uygur Tribunal (UT), funded by the U.S. government through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), recently declared that China is committing genocide in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. This is despite “witnesses” changing and exaggerating their tales when seeking asylum; despite the main “academic” papers being funded by the military-industrial complex and the U.S., and despite the “evidence” being found full of inconsistencies and circular referencing.
What then is going on? Doesn’t the West pride itself on openness and honesty? If you believe the meta-propaganda then yes; but scanning history the West has inflicted agonizing suffering on the Global South and carrying out these injustices, and covering them up, requires sophisticated dishonesty.
On 16 December 2021, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed on the China Plus radio show ‘World Today’ about the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which has just passed through the US House of Representatives. The full episode can be found here.
In this interview with Ramiro Sebastián Fúnez for his show Unmasking Imperialism, Carlos L. Garrido and Edward Liger Smith take on a series of common misconceptions regarding the Chinese revolution and socialism with Chinese characteristics, including the relationship of socialism to the market, the questions of Tibet and Xinjiang, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Amongst their many important points, they make clear that the great achievements scored since the adoption of the reform programme in the Deng Xiaoping era would have been impossible and inconceivable without the foundations laid in the period of Mao Zedong’s leadership.
The following article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong, originally published on CGTN, exposes the so-called ‘Uygur Tribunal’ as being totally lacking in credibility and existing for the singular purpose of contributing to the US-led New Cold War against China.
On the same day that the U.S. hosted the first day of its “Summit for Democracy,” the U.K.-based “Uygur Tribunal” released a report alleging that China had committed “crimes against humanity” toward the Uygur ethnic group in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Findings in the report repeated the same allegations against China that have become commonplace in the West over the past several years. The so-called “Uygur Tribunal Chair” Geoffrey Nice presented the report and said that China is both detaining Uygurs in the millions and engaging in “genocide” through the control of births.
Of course, the “Uygur Tribunal” is not an impartial source. The campaign is a project of a U.S. consortium of anti-China think-tanks in charge of spreading propaganda in the name of human rights. In fact, the “Uygur Tribunal” website explains that the World Uygur Congress formally requested Geoffrey Nice to launch the project. The World Uygur Congress received $400,000 in 2020 alone from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a regime change-arm funded by the U.S. Congress and inheritor of the CIA’s numerous campaigns of political interference around the world.
This important article in CGTN by Alfred de Zayas, professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and former United Nations Independent Expert on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, discusses the wilful and dangerous weaponization of the word ‘genocide’ and its utterly inappropriate application to the treatment of the Uyghur population of Xinjiang.
When the UN Charter was adopted 76 years ago, the drafters wanted to add an international bill of rights, but no draft had been negotiated. In the light of the atrocities of World War II, it seemed more important to lay down principles of international criminal law in the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials. It was three years later that the General Assembly turned to the scholarly work of the Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin on the “ultimate crime” and, after much debate, adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948.
“Homo homini lupus” – a man is a wolf to another man. History records many atrocities and massacres including the Armenian genocide from 1915 to 1923, the Nanking Massacre in 1937, the Holocaust from 1941 to 1945, the genocide of the Igbos, the genocide of the Tamils in Sri Lanka…
Comedian and activist Lee Camp interviewed CGTN journalist and vlogger Li Jingjing on his program Redacted Tonight about common Western misconceptions about China. Highlighted in the interview is the importance of Chinese voices in countering the propaganda war and how these voices have been silenced and ignored by Western media.
We are pleased to republish this article by Alan Macleod, which first appeared in MintPress News on 2 November 2021, discussing the recent high-profile slanders issued by professional basketball player Enes Kanter against China. Macleod traces Kanter’s political trajectory, including his longstanding association with the Gulen movement, his enthusiastic support for Israeli apartheid, and his enduring friendship with war hawks such as Marco Rubio.
Despite not even leaving the bench, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter was the one drawing the headlines in their season opener at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The 6’10” Turk sported shoes emblazoned with the words “free Tibet.” “Under the Chinese government’s brutal rule, Tibetan people’s basic rights and freedoms are non-existent,” Kanter said in a video posted on social media, explaining the move.
On October 10th, the Associated Press released a report that walked back Western media claims of a “genocide” in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In the video embedded below, FoSC co-editor Danny Haiphong reviews this and other sensational claims about human rights in China to set the record straight.
This very useful editorial in the Morning Star challenges the recent reports about a purported police defector ‘Jiang’, who claims to have witnessed human rights abuses perpetrated against Uyghur people in Xinjiang. The story is “spectacularly telegenic”, but its authenticity is highly questionable.
The new cold war on China has an essential ideological front in order to shape Western public opinion.
It has captured the headlines on an international scale over the past seven days, not least on Sky News today.
Someone claiming to be a former police officer in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, claimed in a silhouetted interview that he had witnessed, heard of or participated in deadly beatings, sexual torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners in police stations and internment camps.
Below is the text of a speech given by Carlos Martinez at the recent webinar organised by the Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges to expose the Western media’s propaganda in relation to the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Thank you very much for inviting me to speak today.
Living in the West – as I do, in London, England – I’m exposed to a very intense media propaganda campaign in relation to Xinjiang.
When I read the newspapers, or I watch the debates in the Houses of Parliament, I often see accusations of Chinese genocide against Uyghur Muslims, of cultural genocide, of forced labour, of forced sterilisation of women, of prison camps. Actually we see these sorts of accusations every day.
On 24 September 2021, the Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR, an Islamabad based think tank) and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) held a webinar of international experts to expose the Western media’s propaganda in relation to the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was among the speakers. The video is embedded below, along with a list of the speakers and a report of the event, republished from Asia Free Press.
Sabah Aslam, Executive Director, Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution
Liu Lujun, Secretary-General, CNIE
Xu Lyuping, Vice-President of CNIE, former Vice-Minister of the International Department of CPC Central Committee
Carlos Martinez, author and co-editor of Friends of Socialist China
Dr Wang Jiang, Research Fellow, Institute of China’s Borderland Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China
Maria Zeb, Culture Program Manager, All Pakistan Chinese Overseas Youth Federation
Muhammad Zamir Assadi, journalist with Independent News Pakistan
Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute
Pang Chunxue, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of China in Pakistan
This excellent interview appeared on BreakThrough News on 30 August 2021. Rania and Daniel cover some crucial topics related to the propaganda war against China.
Note that Daniel Dumbrill is among the speakers at our webinar on 9 October – The Propaganda War Against China – along with Chen Weihua, Li Jingjing, Ben Norton, Danny Haiphong, Jenny Clegg, Michael Wong, Radhika Desai and Kenny Coyle.
In this recent interview on BreakThrough News, peace activist and East Asian studies scholar KJ Noh debunks several of the most popular myths regarding the supposed cultural genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. He also describes the contents of the recent European academic study about terrorism and counter-terrorism measures in the region.
Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed on the World Today podcast by Anna Ge, on the subject of the ‘Uyghur Tribunal’ and the latest round of accusations regarding China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
The segment is embedded below, along with a transcript.
You’re listening to World Today. Some Western media outlets have started hyping another report wrote by the infamous anti China activist Adrian Zenz. The report claimed there will be millions fewer Uyghurs and other ethnic minority newborns in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the next 20 years. But how did he come to this sensational conclusion, how reliable is his study? To delve into these questions and more, we’re joined by Carlos Martinez from London. He’s an author and activist. Thanks for joining us, Carlos. So first of all, how much faith can we put into this report based on the data samples and methodology Zenz used?
So there are two things that we need to look at here. One is the data samples and methodology, the actual scientific validity of the study. And the other is the way that it’s reported. Because for the vast majority of people that see this study, they’re going to see the headlines, they’re going to see maybe a few sentences from an article, they’re not going to take a close look at the data.
Now, in terms of the methodology, Adrian Zenz has really honed this method over the course of several years. He gets lots of data from lots of places, he throws it all together. And then he tries to find the subset, the small piece of that data, that seems to prove what he wants it to prove, his hypothesis. And that’s a classic technique that people use to lie with statistics, to make statistics work for them. The correct scientific approach is to analyze all the data you have, and see if it confirms your hypothesis or not, not to narrow the sample down in a very specific way, until the data tells the story you want it to.
An equivalent example might be, maybe I’ve got a hypothesis that people read more books than they used to 10 years ago. So I start by asking a random sample of 100 people: how many books did you read 10 years ago? And then I go and stand outside a bookshop or a library and ask another 100 people, how many books did you read this year? Obviously, the average is going to be higher now, but not because 10 years have passed, but because I’ve selected the sample that’s going to give me the answer that I want. And this is what Zenz has done, essentially, he has narrowed in on a very small subset of data for one year, in a section of Xinjiang, in southern Xinjiang. And on the basis of that data, he projects that the population growth rate will reduce by 1/3.
But then, his study gets blanket coverage in the Western media. And the headlines also, that the Uyghur population number is going to reduce by 1/3. Now to cut actual population numbers by a third in 20 years, not only do you have to stop anybody from having children, but you also actively have to kill a few million people on top of that. So the whole thing is just ludicrous and unbelievable.
The population growth rate might be declining somewhat. But that’s actually the case throughout China for a number of reasons including urbanization, people joining the workforce, people going into higher education and so on. But actually we’ve seen that over the last decade, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang increased by 25% compared to the Han population, which increased by just 2%. So this latest study from Zenz is really just something that really be ignored but in fact is being given blanket media coverage in the West and is feeding into this overall story that we have of China committing a genocide or a cultural genocide in Xinjiang.
You have visited China before. What is your impression about China and Xinjiang? Is there a gap between Xinjiang in western media and in your personal experience?
Yes, I would say there’s a big gap. I went to Xinjiang, specifically to Urumqi, in January last year. In terms of my expectation, going on the basis of what I had seen in the Western media before I went, I thought I would witness the intense repression of Uyghur Muslims. I didn’t think that I would see Uyghur people and other ethnicities living ordinary lives, engaging in their customs, engaging in their traditions. But actually, that’s exactly what you do see in Xinjiang. I mean, the group I was in, we didn’t have an official guide. We weren’t being told where to go by a CPC or government official. We walked around freely. We saw mosques everywhere. We saw many hundreds of Uyghur Muslims wearing distinctive clothing, walking, working, and definitely not seeming like they were in fear of being persecuted. In fact, you go to the central area and you see many people, especially older people dancing outside to traditional Uyghur music. We ate in Uyghur restaurants, the food was halal, there was no alcohol available.
All the street signs have both Chinese and Uyghur writing, one sees newspapers, one sees magazines in Uyghur script, so the feeling I got was one of not just ethnic diversity, but also of harmonious relations. If I compare it with Australia, which is a country that I’ve visited several times, the indigenous population in Australia is an oppressed minority who are prevented from living their traditional ways of life, who suffer from a much lower life expectancy than the rest of the population, from much lower educational attainment and outcomes, much higher prison rate and so on. If you go to an Australian town, any Australian town really, you can see that the situation for indigenous people there is disastrous. And the state, the government does very little to help those people. And there is ethnic conflict rather than ethnic harmony. It would be unusual for example, if I went into a cafe in Brisbane, to see a European-Australian and an Indigenous Australian, working together or having, you know, a normal friendly relationship. But it wouldn’t be at all unusual in Urumqi or Kashgar to see a Uyghur person and a Han person working together and being friends.
So yes, I would say in terms of the what I see about Xinjiang in Western media and my personal experience, there’s an enormous gap.
It seems that China’s Xinjiang has increasingly become a card played by the West. Recently, China has dismissed a so called Uyghur tribunal set up in the United Kingdom, to hear allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. What do you make of the legitimacy of the tribunal and the motivation behind it?
Well, I think it’s fairly clear that the so called tribunal has got no basis in international law. It’s part of an ongoing and quite wide ranging and long term propaganda campaign. And in turn, it’s clear that propaganda campaign is part of a US led New Cold War project, which is, is pretty well known that it’s designed to slow down China’s rise, and to try and maintain a unipolar world in which the US leads, in which the US enjoys hegemony, in which the US can structure international relations in order to serve the interests not of humanity but its own interests. If China keeps growing, and it keeps promoting and pushing a system of multipolarity, which is a more democratic framework of international relations, then the US doesn’t get to impose its will on the world any more.
China’s economy is growing, right? China has wiped out extreme poverty, China has shown that it can deal with a huge threat like the pandemic, China is taking the lead in trying to prevent climate breakdown, which is the number one threat facing humanity. And is actually the sort of thing where, in the West, we like to think we’re in charge of dealing with climate breakdown, because we’re more civilized, we’re more enlightened than the rest of the world. But actually, China’s taking the lead on that. And every success that China has is a sort of ideological blow to this capitalist or neoliberal orthodoxy. So that’s really why the US and its allies are obsessed with slandering China, making it look bad, trying to prevent other countries from working with it, trying to slow down its rise, trying to cut it out of of global value chains, trying to prevent it from having access to certain raw materials, and elements of technology, and so on.
The Uyghur tribunal fits into a more generalized setup of information warfare that the US and its allies are waging against China.