In part one of this three-part work, we showed how the Chinese were demonized as Nazi-like villains who were a global threat.
In part three below, we look at the addition of a new heinous crime to the list of atrocities – slavery.
THE U.S. HAS BEEN using the Uyghurs of Western China for their own political ends since at least the 1990s, as CIA whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and others have made clear. But who took the narrative and made it the biggest story of recent years? This particular reboot, in which the “evil Chinese” were accused of the heinous crime of genocide, was actually pushed to the top during the Trump administration before then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to the door.
Pompeo, a former director of the CIA (whose mission specifically includes the creation of disinformation campaigns) essentially pulled the pin on the genocide grenade and left it the White House in the hands of his successor.
BIDEN HAD A CHOICE
What options did President Joe Biden and Secretary Anthony Blinken have? Discard it and deny it, or run with it?
Despite the total lack of real evidence, the Biden administration decided to go with it and even double down on it. They cited the tale as grounds for the call for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. They added it to the operations of their highly coordinated “global civil society network” in which the US makes use of disaffected people in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet, and even Inner Mongolia.
A NEW TWIST
But Biden’s team apparently noticed something. While Xinjiang had been painted by Pompeo as a massive gulag, the truth was that it was a fast-rising community that had been lifted from widespread poverty to a steadily developing area with several strong, thriving industries: some of which were quite successful—much too successful, in the eyes of the United States.
The success of the “genocide” campaign emboldened the people driving the narrative to write a new shocking chapter: the tragic survivors of the non-existent genocide were now being forced into slavery.
SHIFT TO PRISON LABOR
The slavery accusation kept to the long-held themes of the main campaign – alleging that the Chinese were committing heinous crimes against innocent people.
But here’s what’s curious. The Biden administration used the poorly evidenced claims of genocide to sign into law sanctions not against the Chinese government for the crime of crimes, but against the region of Xinjiang.
Now just stop and think about that for a moment.
Xinjiang is a region of China, governed by the Chinese government, whom the West accuses of committing the worst crime in humanity: the systematic, mass murder and intentional destruction of a people.
Yet, their reaction is NOT to level sanctions against the leadership. There are no calls for the Chinese government heads to be hauled before the International Court of Justice.
No; instead, they draft an act of law to sanction a region. Clearly this is a very peculiar response. The US response is to draw up the “Xinjiang Forced Labour Bill’, not “The Xinjiang Genocide Bill”.
There is no question that a Uyghur genocide (if it were real) would be immeasurably worse than the use of prison labor, which is something that many countries, including the United States itself, uses at regular intervals.
What this reveals is that the narrative is not one of reality and truth, but has evolved to become part of a disingenuous hybrid economic warfare strategy.
THERE IS NO GENOCIDE
Chinese officials may be as heavyhanded as usual, but there is no genocide in Xinjiang.
The populace is not fleeing.
There are no refugees.
There are no mass graves.
None of the atrocity storytellers are even slightly consistent.
There are no photographs except mislabelled images of schools and municipal buildings.
Many mainstream journalists surely know how weak the allegations are, but for reasons of their own are choosing not to express that fact.
A PERSONAL NOTE
When the present writer was growing up, there were some great journalists at work. I was gripped by gritty, feet-on-the-ground frontline journalism: honest reportage that actually inspired you to want to be a journalist.
In my case, I opted instead for the military. And in there I learned to respect the truth. We had to work only off the facts: embellishment kills. Never assume anything.
I had a hard Ulsterman Sergeant Major who physically hammered the need for honesty into me: “Facts, facts, facts, deal only in facts!” Lives were at stake, and you quickly realized that truth and attention to detail was what kept people alive.
However, it is astonishing to see how many modern journalists are wholeheartedly adding their weight to reinforce a great untruth. In September 2020, New York-born geopolitical writer Mario Cavolo described the Uyghur concentration camp story as “the greatest hoax of the decade”. It could even be said to be the lie of the century so far.
It would seem that objectivity and adherence to facts are long since dead in many quarters of modern journalism.
Reporters have been co-opted and even embedded into the establishments which are openly advocating and supporting the prospects for a mistargeted war, just as they did in 2001.
However, what is so disturbing about this present narrative is the magnitude of the fake allegation: we are talking about genocide.
This is the most serious of allegations. Genocide in our time is a crime that has been committed by Nazi Germany, by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and during internecine communal conflict in Rwanda.
These are real, actual, shocking, campaigns in which very large numbers of humans were slaughtered.
Now these historical memories are being demeaned by journalists who print fake tales of atrocities, protecting themselves with disclaimers. They tell us it is an “alleged/ possible/ maybe/ if/ but” genocide.
Starting with just eight anonymous people quoted by a Washington DC anti-China group, it has turned into a monster narrative that has caused immeasurable harm.
As we said at the beginning of this three-part series, the obituary of the Uyghur genocide lie has yet to be written. It will be, and shame should follow.
Phil Hynes is a geopolitical analyst based in Hong Kong
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Image at the top by Simon Sun/ Unsplash