In the past five years, the region of Xinjiang China has become a reoccurring topic in the western news cycle. The region is now known for the continued issues surrounding the treatment of the Uyghurs community by the Chinese government. The West has continued to denounce China’s crimes against humanity. Over time, western powers have instated sanctions and boycotts due to the continued violations of human rights.
The Uyghurs are an ethnic minority in China and mostly of the Muslim faith. They are around 11.6 million individuals living in Xinjiang. They are culturally closer to Turkish as they use the Turkish language rather than mandarin or Cantonese.
China Defend their case
The Chinese government is in continual denial of any allegations of genocide. They justify their tyrannical and unjust actions towards this Muslim minority as a necessary part of their national defense. According to Al Jazeera news, The Communist republic of China argues that they are fighting extremism and helping to grow wealth in the poorer sectors of the community.
Moreover, the Chinese government has started a wave of official propaganda aiming at reducing the noise surrounding Xinjiang. The government used videos of Chinese individuals claiming that no such concentration camps or illegal treatments of human rights were happening. The New York Times and ProPublica have done a month-long analysis of most of these clips. Through a survey of around 3,000 videos, the two news agencies have found evidence of a mass media and propaganda campaign by the communist government of China. According to ProPublica, the Chinese government used Western media platforms such as Youtube and Twitter to influence other countries.
Most videos are similar, they portray a local Chinese citizen who opposes all allegations of human rights violation in Xinjiang and expresses their good lifestyle. Moreover, they often chastise the western corporations and governments who are criticizing the Chinese government. Thus, these efforts represent one of the most important efforts by the Chinese government to alter opinions.
In a recent interview, Juergen Kurz, a member of the German Greens has openly attested that China has not committed any crimes against the Uyghurs community. Kurz is of German descent and has lived in China for over eighteen years. He was recently in XianJaing and stated that there are new better living conditions, especially for women and girls. Moreover, he stated in an interview with the German Telepolis,
“There is no reason to suspect forced labor or genocide in Xinjiang,” he said (Li Yan, China Daily, July 19)
He continues to explain that western cultures have painted a picture of China for geopolitical reasons only. Moreover, according to Kurz, the situation in Xinjiang is safe and without human rights violations.
On the other hand, many reputable sources continue to contradict the narrative that Juergen Kurz was putting forward. Human rights organizations as well as members of the United Nations have claimed that over one million Uyghurs have been placed in detention centers. The continued reports also make details of forced labor as well as obliged sterilization.
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