Holocaust museum plays into US evil ways with baseless Xinjiang report
Published: Nov 11, 2021 09:34 PM
People dance outside the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 22, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

People dance outside the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 22, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) on Tuesday released a report to hype its "great concern" that "the Chinese government may be committing genocide against the Uygurs." This politically oriented and flawed report soon met with opposition, including criticism from Jewish people.

Graham Perry, a British solicitor and international arbitrator who is Jewish himself, said that condemning China of committing "genocide" in its Xinjiang region is legally baseless. This is also seriously disrespectful to people who have really suffered from genocide. "But if you look at the politics, you will find that parliamentarians in different countries have come under pressure and have reached a conclusion that China is guilty of 'genocide.' Why hasn't a court made a decision?" Perry told the Global Times in a previous interview.

Just as Perry put it, evidence is the key thing. The museum said its 60-page report is "based on publicly available information." However, that public information is nothing more than previously issued groundless and doubtful media reports and so-called research. Based on such disinformation, how can a report be reliable?

The report is full of hasty generalizations and disguised concepts. For example, it says, "In 2019, at least 186,400 fewer children were born in Xinjiang compared to what would have been expected if birth rates had remained static at the pre-2017 baseline." This is a word trick aimed to prove the existence of "forced sterilization and other birth prevention measures" in the region. However, this argument is absurd. 

In particular, the Uygur population grew at a compound annual growth rate of 1.67 percent during the first two decades of the 21st century. This was much higher than that of China's ethnic minority populations, which stood at 0.83 percent. 

If people follow the USHMM's logic, they can say that the US has been engaged in a nationwide "genocide" for the last 30 years. Data from statista.com shows that "the number of births in the US has steadily been decreasing since 1990," with 410,000 fewer children born in the country in 2019, compared to what would have been expected at the 1990 baseline. 

"The report was obviously poorly written. It should have at least avoided using the 'evidence' that has already been explicitly refuted by the Chinese government and concrete data of China," said Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. "It proves that the discussion in the West about Xinjiang affairs has become a pure ideological propaganda that repeats."

On September 26, China issued a white paper detailing the demographic development of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It points out that along with the process of industrialization, urbanization and modernization, Xinjiang's demographic development went through three periods of growth: high birth rates, high death rates and low growth rates; high birth rates, low death rates and high growth rates; and low birth rates, low death rates and low growth rates. This trend results from a combination of factors. These include economic and social development, evolving policies and regulations, and changes in views on marriage and childbearing. It conforms clearly to the general trends of demographic development elsewhere in the world.

"The USHMM report is a totally political thing. The West doesn't care the truth anymore. What they engage in is speculating for the sake of speculation," Shen noted. The report, according to Shen, reflects the fact that US officials are trying to show a gesture that they care about Jewish people and other ethnic groups such as Muslims. Why? Because there has been anti-semitism in the country. 

The historical genocide of Jews is a massive moral burden for modern Western history and culture. But "the US has reaped large political benefits by taking advantage of the genocide against Jews. Now it is trying to bleach such reputation," Shen said. Therefore, the US is targeting Muslims in China's Xinjiang to show that it is caring for human rights. Meanwhile, it is casting a blind eye to the sufferings of Muslims in the Middle East. 

Genocide refers to specific moves. But the West is confusing the definition with false accusations against its target. They are purposely making a fuss in this way. As a matter of fact, their accusations do not match up with reality. Those such as cultural genocide and assimilation were what the Westerners had done to the local ethnic minorities during their practice of colonization. Do they still remember the sufferings of Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians? 

Westerners have sophisticatedly developed systematic racism - even to the point of "scientific racism" - to define "inferior races" to provide legitimacy for killing. Has the lesson of the Tulsa Race Massacre been really reflected and learned from this past 100 years? Can African Americans "breathe" safely now in the US?

What a shame of the USHMM to smear the landscape of happiness in China's Xinjiang region, all the while ignoring the ongoing evils in the West. What they are doing now is projecting their own sins onto China. They are using their own thinking to imagine and demonize China. That's petty. 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn