Human Rights Watch's call for an enquiry over Xinjiang shows biased Western narrative
Published: Apr 21, 2021 01:17 AM
Children have fun in an alley at Qianjin Village in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 18, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

Children have fun in an alley at Qianjin village in Kashgar, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, August 18, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a new report calling for an investigation by the UN into the alleged crimes against humanity committed in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, citing groundless accusations that China has refuted repeatedly, which demonstrates that the alleged impartial NGO is biased, and reveals the Western human rights narrative's hegemonic nature, observers said on Tuesday. 

The HRW claimed that there are detention centers, demolition of mosques, forced labor and sterilization programs targeting Uygurs and other Turkic Muslims, turning a blind eye to repeated rebuttals by Chinese authorities and Xinjiang locals. 

The report actually made a mistake starting in headline, by listing Uygurs as descendants of Turks because Uygur language is of Turk origin. The narrative replicates that of East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an extremist, terrorist and separatist organization that challenges China's sovereignty and stability in Xinjiang.

China issued a white paper in 2019 to refute the wrong claim, which aims to separate ethnic minorities in Xinjiang from the big family of Chinese by distorting the linguistic connection and anthropological lineage, Jia Chunyang, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

The recent insults over Xinjiang are just the beginning, and their aim is to lobby sanctions against Chinese officials and companies, engage with more countries to join the US and bring up the topic in multiple forums like the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly to humiliate China. 

The report is just one piece of the opinion war machine that the US and the West have skillfully used. These reports are usually followed by media exaggeration, proposals from politicians and government sanctions, Jia said, noting the West does not cover up the coordination of the different pieces.

The reports usually come from scholars and "impartial" NGOs, as HRW claims itself to be. The HRW alleges it does not accept governmental funding as a prove of its impartiality and credibility. 

But observers found HRW does not refuse money from organizations like Oxfam Novib, which has a government background. 

Global human rights scholars are increasingly aware of the organization's bias in its reports and personnel composition as ideological favoritism of leading and central figures in HRW inevitably affect the organization's stance, Peng Qinxuan, an associate research professor at the Wuhan University Institute of International Law, told the Global Times. 

Peng also mentioned HRW's major sponsor, Open Society Foundations, established by the financial shark George Soros, who has long been holding hostility against China, opening the possibility of HRW being used by financial moguls to limit the Chinese market. 

West's financial hegemony and narrative of superiority are intertwined and mutually reinforcing, and human rights issues have extended beyond politics and diplomacy, Peng said. 

A recent investigative report by the Global Times found that some Western media, including Bloomberg, launch attacks on forced labor claims against Xinjiang's PV industry, similar to Western coercion tactics on the cotton and textile industry. The campaign is targeted at Xinjiang's rapidly ascending economy and attempted to ultimately obstruct the development of China. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said on Tuesday's press conference that the organization has always been full of prejudice and the report is pure slander.

"We welcome foreign friends with fair and objective view to visit Xinjiang and other places in China. What we oppose is the so-called 'investigation' based on presumption of guilt and fabrication of lies with attempt to smear China," Wang said.

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