CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Blinken urged to get 'first hand' look on Xinjiang, not play politics
Published: Jul 08, 2021 12:22 AM
Xinjiang Photo: VCG

Xinjiang Photo: VCG



Instead of listening to sensational but fake stories of actors for victims from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who have been financially supported by "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken should visit the region to get real "first hand" information, experts said, warning that Blinken's move signals the US has never given up its efforts to use the Xinjiang card against China. 

On Tuesday, Blinken met with seven Uygur "camp survivors, advocates and relatives of individuals detained" in Xinjiang, according to a release from the US Department of State. It also noted the move aims to call on China to end "genocide" against Uygurs and other ethnic minorities and to promote "accountability" for the Chinese government's actions.

The meeting happened one day after the 12th anniversary of terror attacks in Urumqi on July 5, 2009. The violent crimes involving beating, smashing, looting and arson left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured. 331 shops and 1,325 vehicles were smashed or burned. Extremist and terrorist forces at home and abroad jointly planned and carried out these violent crimes. 

"Blinken chose to meet with so-called victims at this sensitive point in time purposely, aiming to signal support to 'East Turkistan' terrorists. The State Department used the word 'genocide,' which also showed that the US will ramp up efforts to pressure China by using Xinjiang topics," Jia Chunyang, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

Those who claimed to flee from China's Xinjiang region are actually actors who had been contacted and financially supported by the "East Turkistan' terrorist organizations and anti-China organizations and they are responsible for acting as "victims" to spread lies and rumors, Jia said. There is no possibility for Blinken to get "firsthand" information considering all he met are actors who are making sensational performance.

"If Blinken wants to get first hand information, he can visit Xinjiang. We always welcome visitors, but few US politicians come," Jia said. 

State Department spokesman Ned Price told media that Blinken wanted to "hear first hand" these people's stories.

The State Department did not give the names of the so-called victims. But the Global Times has found from a post of the Twitter account of "Uyghur Human Rights Project" (UHRP) that Omer Kanat, "executive committee chairman of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), was one of those meeting with Blinken.  

UHRP is a main project of the US-backed WUC, which is generally believed to seek the fall of China. The project was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).  The NED granted the UHRP a "whopping $1,244,698 between 2016 and 2019," according to the independent US website Grayzone. 

Global Times reporters found that many sensational stories of so-called victims of Xinjiang's training centers that had been reported by Western media could be traced to Radio Free Asia (RFA), a US government-run news agency that was created by the CIA during the Cold War to project propaganda into China and the Soviet Union, WUC and its offshoots. The claim of "1 million Uygurs being detained in Xinjiang" was furnished by Kanat. 

In response to Blinken's move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the routine press conference on Wednesday that China has reiterated that the Xinjiang affairs are not about religion, human rights or ethnic minorities. They are about fighting terrorism and extremism. 

"The crimes of 'abuse', 'atrocity' or 'genocide' can never be attributed to China. US lies and rumors have been exposed by the fact and truth that Xinjiang enjoys stability and prosperity and residents there are leading happy and fulfilling lives. The US attempt to use human rights as a cover to mess up Xinjiang and contain China's development will never succeed," Wang said. 

Blinken's predecessor Mike Pompeo also met with so-called victims from China's Xinjiang in March 2019. But different from Blinken, the names of these "victims" were listed in a statement of then spokesperson Robert Palladino, including Mihrigul Tursun, whose lies had been refuted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

Jia said that Blinken's meeting with these so-called victims also shows the Biden administration's continued use of the Xinjiang card to contain China. The US has never given up the tactics to show support for separatists and uses them to attack China. 

Jia also warned of the possibility of further US sanctions under the excuse of human rights. 

However, in facing the US' unilateral sanctions out of untenable accusations on human rights as well as some anti-China scholars and organizations' hype of related topics, more Chinese firms and individuals have also taken measures to fight back.

Hong Kong-based leading textile and apparel manufacturer Esquel Group said in a statement on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking relief from the economic and reputational harm caused by the placement of its subsidiary - Changji Esquel Textile Co. Ltd. - on the US Entity List, which falsely accused the company for using "forced labor."

In April, led by the 26-year-old Nuradli Wublikas, a Uygur man from Kashi, a group of young Uygur people living in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province, co-authored a joint letter and prepared to sue Australian think tank Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) for its report on the so-called forced labor in China's Xinjiang, as the ASPI report has hurt the image of the Uygur group and undermines their employment opportunities.

In April, a court in Kashi Prefecture of Xinjiang accepted the lawsuit of a local yarning company named Xiongying against the infamous anti-China German "scholar" Adrian Zenz for his reports on so-called forced labor in the region, as Zenz's reports have severely damaged the company's reputation and caused economic losses.

The Global Times also learned from sources that more companies and individuals affected by the "forced labor" slander and the ensuing sanctions, including labor services companies, are preparing to use the law to protect their interests.
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