In part one of this three-part work, we showed how the standard steps towards creating international hostility were taking place, with China as the target. Stage One was to create a crisis (“China is a military threat to the world”); Stages Two and Three were to demonize China’s leader and people. Stage Four requires the distribution of reports about shocking “atrocities”. Below is part two.
STAGE FOUR OF the plan to create consent for war is to accuse the target country of committing atrocities. Right on cue, the West is claiming China is doing terrible things to the Uyghur ethnic minority—and not just any atrocity but the worst one imaginable: genocide, the physical destruction of an entire national or cultural group.
This is a shocking thing to accuse anyone of—and particularly when the accusation not only lacks evidence, but is clearly false. The roughly 13 million Uyghur people in China are obviously very much alive, and their numbers are expanding.
So how to make the accusations of genocide and atrocities stick? One quickly notes that the reports in the media are filled with terms such as “alleged”, “claimed”, “believed”, “critics say”, and so on.
A basic tenet of critical thinking is that huge claims need huge evidence. Yet virtually none is presented. Again and again, we see horrific accounts of atrocities being printed in the Western media with disclaimers in the text admitting that there is no evidence for what is being described other than one person’s word.
Then we have “academic” style reports in which anti-China campaigner Adrian Zenz is presented as sole author, despite the fact that he would have had to have read numerous documents in a language he has admitted he cannot read. So who really did that work for him?
We are talking about accusations of the most serious of crimes, including millions of innocents being jailed, the creation of death camps, the commission of mass rapes, and the accusation that an entire ethnic group is being subjected to genocide.
In such cases, surely no self-respecting journalist would print such “allegations” as facts – yet we see this on a daily basis, in the largest media outfits in the world, including the BBC and CNN.
STARTED WITH DE-RADICALIZATION
The basis for these trumped-up allegations is China’s deradicalization program, enforced largely in the Xinjiang Autonomous Uyghur Region.
Several places around the world saw the rise of radical Sunni Salafism throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and the ensuing resurgence of Jihadism did not spare China. The country faced a very real domestic terrorist problem in Xinjiang province over the past thirty years.
During the 2010s, this had the potential to evolve into a more trans-regional or international jihadist campaign. Radicalisation of the local Uyghurs by pious zealots largely funded from the middle east led to multiple terrorist incidents in Xinjiang and in other parts of China.
This author has followed the transitional nature of radicalization and morphing terrorist problem in the region for twenty years. Analysis of that evidence is for another paper.
The Chinese government decided to address the rapidly emerging problem with an aggressive, large scale deradicalization program. They eventually labeled it as “re-education”, a mistake that has come back to be haunt them.
THAT GENOCIDE CLAIM
Now to the “genocide”. The normal English language definition of genocide is clearly not happening in China. So the accusers in the West have co-opted a much broader, non-standard definition found in a United Nations document – see below.
There are fewer more difficult and challenging subjects to address than that of genocide, which is why the topic has been selected. Recently, the focus changed to a deceleration in the numbers of Uyghur births – yet the same deceleration in birth rates is seen in multiple countries, as this report shows.
The objective of the genocide narrative is to manufacture consent in the wider world for the acceptance of what comes next—such as the recent passing of the “Xinjiang Forced Labour Bill” which means that all Xinjiang manufacturers are automatically assumed to be guilty of crimes until proven innocent, an outrageous flouting of the international rule of law.
ORIGIN OF THE TALE
But let’s start with the very large elephant in the room: the total lack of verifiable evidence. Journalists are supposed to provide a “checks and balances” service against disinformation by the powerful – yet in this case reporters are acting in connivance with them. It’s little wonder than journalists have lost the trust of readers.
The story that China had “disappeared” millions of Uyghurs was not actually started by “independent researcher” Adrian Zenz, as many people believe. He was commissioned to do a study by the BBC but initially turned it down. He said it was “too hard, too little evidence”—although he did later step into the fray to produce that “evidence”.
The original allegations of “millions” of people being jailed came from the Chinese Human Rights Defenders, or CHRD. Look at its website, and you get the impression that this is a grassroots organization from China. It is nothing of the kind.
The CHRD is run from the United States and gets finance from the US government. One of its spokespeople is William Nee, former head of Amnesty International in Hong Kong.
A FEW ANONYMOUS SOURCES
Between July 2017 and June 2018, the Defenders allegedly conducted interviews with Uyghur residents in eight villages in Kashgar Prefecture. The word “allegedly” is the correct term here, since names, photographs or any sort of descriptions of these individuals are missing.
“We have extrapolated estimates of the numbers of rural residents detained in ‘de-radicalization’ camps or forced to attend ‘re-education’ sessions in both Kashgar Prefecture and all of Southern Xinjiang by mid-2018,” the report says. “The extrapolations are based on the limited data drawn from our interviews with Kashgar villagers, numbers provided by high-level XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region] officials, and the XUAR government’s claim that it nearly accomplished its ‘anti-terrorism’ and ‘de-extremism’ targets, including for the re-education programs, by the end of 2017.”
So we have a grand total of eight anonymous people apparently interviewed in several small villages, which is then extrapolated to cover the entire Kashgar Prefecture, and then further extrapolated to cover all of southern Xinjiang Province.
This qualifies as neither a quantitative or qualitative study, and would fail a high school test for basic research—yet astonishingly, it is accepted by the international media as the basis for grotesque allegations of the largest magnitude.
EXTRAPOLATIONS ON EXTRAPOLATIONS
Adrian Zenz then further extrapolates the already extrapolated extrapolated figures from eight anonymous people to ultimately expand the allegations to encompass the entire region of Xinjiang and reach incredible figures of more than a million people jailed.
Others have built upon this to “grow” the number further to multiple millions of people.
The number keeps growing. Minky Worden, formerly of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, implies that there is solid proof of ill treatment for an enormous number of victims, writing in the press about “China’s documented mistreatment of Xinjiang’s 13 million ethnic minority Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims”.
MORE ECHOES OF HITLER
The creators of the narrative were careful with their use of language. The term used initially by the CHRD was “deradicalization camps” and was likely lifted straight out of an official report. To avoid connection with the deradicalization process, which is legitimate and performed around the world, the media changed it to detention centers, internment camps, concentration camps and so on, with deliberate echoes of Hitler again. (See part one.)
Moreover, the CHRD wording referring to large numbers of people appeared to be intentionally vague about the “numbers provided” by “high level” regional officials. The references were likely to the total numbers of people who had “passed through” deradicalization facilities and re-education centers. They echo a 2017 official report regarding the entire deradicalization program in Xinjiang.
But CHRD words its report to give the appearance that their staff personally talked to high-level Xinjiang officials, although they appear to be simply quoting a publicly available official report. It’s hard to imagine an individual representing a U.S.-based anti-China group rocking up to high level officials in Xinjiang and demanding to do an interview on human rights abuses.
Still, the CHRD’s allegations, flimsy as they are, have been accepted as “evidence” in the mainstream media, and in the non-legally binding “independent” people’s Uyghur Tribunal—although it is generally known that “independent” in this case translates to “funded by the U.S. government”.
The success of the genocide story, driven in recent years by former CIA director Mike Pompeo, inspired the people driving the narrative to take it further, and to “discover” that Xinjiang is now filled with individuals now suffering yet another of the most heinous crimes imaginable:
The pressure on the Chinese was about to get a whole lot heavier. But this time, the aim was to attack the economy of Xinjiang.
Phill Hynes is a geopolitical analyst based in Hong Kong.
Read how Xinjiang become a world-class tourism region here.
Image of a Xinjiang boy at the top comes from lwtt93/ Wikimedia Commons