OPINION / VIEWPOINT
Xinjiang hype illustrates Western media hypocrisy
Published: Mar 19, 2021 09:57 PM


How does the BBC apply

How does the BBC apply "results before evidence" principles when reporting on China? Graphic: Xu Zihe, Feng Qingyin/GT



In the 21st century, there has probably never been such a massive and terrifying a demonization campaign against one single country's ethnic policy such as the West's ongoing demonization propaganda campaign slandering Chinese ethnic policy in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The harmonious and prosperous reality is that Xinjiang people from all ethnic origins and cultural backgrounds enjoy full equality, freedom, and dignity. But this undeniable reality is now being disregarded, distorted, and demonized by a number of malicious mainstream media in the West through their baseless narratives about so-called "genocide" and "concentration camps" in Xinjiang.

People all over the world still vividly remember the fact that the largest humanitarian disaster haunting tens of millions of Muslims in the contemporary world was not caused by China in any sense. It was the West's infamous invasion to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. When those corporate media employees who tried their best to remain silent about crimes against humanity at Abu Ghraib suddenly portray themselves as the most fervent supporter of Muslims' human rights today, their imprudent "dedication to human rights" looks extremely unreliable. It also illustrates their attempt to weaponize, and abuse the concept of human rights - which they do not truly care about at all.

Perhaps the theory of a prominent scholar in the field of Middle Eastern Studies would offer an insightful perspectives explaining many Western media's hypocritical understandings of human rights. In 2002, when political figures such as former first lady Laura Bush in the US abused the concept of women's rights as an excuse for the US to invade Iraq, Palestinian scholar Lila Abu-Lughod wrote a famous masterpiece denouncing this hypocritical mentality of "colonial feminism." She noted that this discourse does not have any real desire to understand sophisticated culture and social norms of other societies. Nor does it care about women's rights per se. It simply abuses the concept of women's rights to advocate conflict against geopolitical rivals of the West. In her article, Abu-Lughod also emphasized that this similar hypocritical practice of using women's rights as an excuse for colonial invasion can also be found from the British colonial invasion of India and the French colonial invasion to Algeria. 

Applying the same logic to Xinjiang, one suddenly realizes that everything is clear: those corporate media do not care about the actual lives of Muslims. They have never shown any minimum degree of empathy toward those Muslims - many of whom are currently suffering chaos in the Middle East caused by Western meddling and invasions. The reason why they portrayed themselves as enthusiastic activists for the Uygur people's human rights in Xinjiang is another way to demonize, and to rage propaganda war against China, which they deem as a geopolitical rival of the West. We still vividly remember American scholar Samuel Huntington, whose theory of "clash of civilizations" was used by many hawks as guiding principle to justify the West's invasion if places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Once of his famous quotes said that the largest challenge to US hegemony would be the solidarity between the Confucian civilization and the Islamic civilization. Thus, it is not surprising that many "Cold War warriors" in our era are currently obsessed with fabricating the myths about "Chinese persecution of Muslims." Their aim is to instigate distrust between China and the Islamic World. 

This malicious attempt to start conflicts and to demonize China in the world, however, is doomed to fail. Because the power of truth will inevitably disapprove all lies. From 2010 to 2018, the population of the Uygur people in Xinjiang saw a 25 percent increase rate of 2.55 million with a total population of 12.72 million people. This disapproves any fabricated lies about "genocide." Until today, approximately 1,200 diplomats, journalists, and religious leaders have visited Xinjiang to learn about China's efforts to fight against terrorism, extremism, and separatism. Those international visitors have given detailed and reliable testimonies, disapproving those shameless lies about "concentration camps" in Xinjiang. When 24 Western states attempted to condemn China at the UN Human Rights Council in 2019, more than 50 states all over the world, including 28 members of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, staunchly stood in solidarity with China and debunked fabricated lies and malicious intentions of the West's demonization of Chinese ethnic policy in Xinjiang.

Attempts to abuse the concept of human rights are sacrilegious disrespect of this sacred concept shared by the international community. Such despicable moves to weaponize human being's empathy and goodwill through lies in order to delegitimize a developing state will certainly face righteous opposition from all peoples from the world - who all value truth and justice. 

Bao Haining is from the International Affairs program of the George Washington University. Zhang Sheng is director of the West Asia Studies Center of the H&J Research Institute, and research fellow of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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