2019 was the year when Washington’s cold war with China intensified so much that by the judgement of the Western narrative managers, China could no longer be seen merely as a U.S. rival with a somewhat oppressive aura. It had to be seen as an unparalleled monstrosity, one that’s committing crimes against humanity and whose government is thus deserving of any destabilization efforts possible. The anti-China rhetoric had to be ratcheted up to the level demonstrated by one Guardian headline from year: “are we conniving with a genocidal dictatorship?”
This headline was one of a review of the film China: A New World Order, one of the many recent pieces of misleading propaganda about China that have been presented as neutral geopolitical examinations. But if this film and its media promoters are so neutral, why have they trustingly upheld human rights abuse claims about Xinjiang that the aforementioned Guardian article admits are “scarcely possible” to independently verify? And why have they scarcely mentioned the cause of the Communist Party of China’s policies around the Uighurs, which is the presence of a U.S.-aided campaign to proliferate violent religious extremism throughout China?
It’s especially notable that the Western media ignores the latter factor in its coverage of Xinjiang. Figures who supposedly only want to show their concern for the well-being of the Chinese people aren’t focusing on the reality of a Western campaign to put these people under threat of terrorist attacks. As the journalist Andre Vltchek wrote in an analysis from last week:
For some time, I have been warning the world that the West, and the United States in particular, are helping to radicalize the Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province and outside.
And not only that: I clearly mapped movement of the Uyghur radicals through some countries like Indonesia, towards Turkey, from where they are then injected into brutal war zones like Idlib in Syria. I worked in Idlib area, with the Syrian commanders, and I spoke at length with the Syrian internally displaced people; victims of the Uyghur genocidal attacks.
This crisis of Islamic radicalism within China, exacerbated by the Western-created war in Syria, has also been reported on by the Chinese government, whose claims about the extent of the problem have been judged to be accurate by an in-depth analysis from the National Security College professor Michael Clarke. The U.S./NATO empire’s incentive for inflaming the problem, Vltchek explains, is that this move helps undermine the very foundations of Chinese sovereignty:
Washington is horrified that China is taking a lead in building a much brighter future for humanity. It is because, if China succeeds, it could be the end of Western imperialism and neo-colonialism, leading to real freedom and independence for dozens of until now suffering nations. Therefore, Washington has decided to act, in order to preserve the status quo and its dominance over the world. Step one: to antagonize, provoke and to smear China by all means, be it over Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea or, above mentioned “Uygur Issue”. Step two: to try to turn a part of China’s constitutionally-recognized national minority — Uyghurs — into ‘rebels’, or more precisely, terrorists.
But I’ve articulated these facts about the Xinjiang situation before. They merely provide context for why the West has propagated the “concentration camps” lie, and they’re unlikely to convince someone who’s been bombarded with repetitions of this lie throughout the last year. To rebut the lie, I’ll need to give a true account of how China has treated the Uighurs in its custody.
To correctly understand this story, one must firstly disregard the completely unsubstantiated claim that “one million” Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang, as well as the utterly groundless and sometimes self-contradictory claims of abuse that some have propagated within the media. As journalist Tyler Burns wrote this year about the deliberately sensational and misleading statements from one of these supposed Uighur whistleblowers Omir Bekali: “The account here is even more outlandish and tells of farcical chanting and hourly oaths of loyalty to the Communist Party. This particular account puts ol’ Joe McCarthy himself to shame with its overuse of tired, Cold War era anti-communist cliches. The entire story, which was largely reported on, seems to be wholly false.”
Beyond these absurd rumors, there’s a reality that not just vindicates China, but sets an example to the world for how to compassionately and nonviolently alleviate terrorist threats. It’s no wonder why every Islamic nation in the world has declined to join in on the Western imperialist countries’ disingenuous condemnations of China’s Uighur policies, and why many of these nations have even praised China for what they agree is a humane program of de-radicalization.
If China’s housing facilities for the radicalized Uighurs are “concentration camps,” why is there no evidence of people in these facilities being killed? Mass killings aren’t a necessary criteria for concentration camps, but it’s telling that propaganda sources have had to fabricate this claim in order to advance their narrative; the only source that’s even accused the centers of executing people is the Falun Gong-affiliated China Tribunal. And Falun Gong is a far-right religious cult that’s known to promote baseless claims of Chinese prison organ harvesting to further its goal of undermining communism.
If they’re concentration camps, why is there no forced labor within them? There’s no evidence that the center’s residents are being exploited for their labor; there’s only evidence that people get training for various jobs, which at times results in them getting paid work after they leave the centers. A common role of concentration camps is to exploit labor from undesirables and to sometimes kill those unable to work, yet neither of these things have taken place within these centers.
If they’re concentration camps, why do the enrollees at these centers get to go home regularly and ask for leave to take care of their children? What kind of concentration camp would let its members do these things?
If they’re concentration camps, why do they consistently release their enrollees after an educational process that typically lasts from six months to two years? Given all of the other facts I’ve mentioned, this disproves the “ethnic cleansing” narrative; the purpose of ethnic cleansing is to kill off or deport disfavored populations, which isn’t at all the purpose of these centers.
But you’ll never see any of these things emphasized by the Western media. The propagation of atrocity stories and the use of the word “camps” serve a useful purpose for the U.S. empire, not just in regards to the Western media’s coverage of China but in regards to its coverage of the DPRK. U.S. headlines have used terms like “prison camps” and even “gulags” to describe prisons in socialist Korea, despite the fact that the DPRK’s prisons are far more humane than the brutal mass incarceration centers that the U.S. has.
By assailing these countries with atrocity allegations in the same fictitious vein as pieces of anti-Soviet slander like The Gulag Archipelago, the U.S. is able to demonize its rivals while deflecting from its own atrocities. The “Chinese concentration camps” claim is the biggest lie of 2019, one that’s done severe harm to the political education of countless Westerners.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here: