Under the draconian conditions which are exercised in occupied nations such as Tibet and East Turkestan (renamed as Xinjiang following annexation by Communist China in 1949) there is no normality, as experienced and understood in more democratic and liberal societies. The range and extent of human rights abuses inflicted upon Uyghurs and Tibetans, the ongoing corrosion of language and tradition, under the twin demographic assaults of Chinese colonisation, and a coercive population-control program,which targets Tibetan and Uyghur women with mass campaigns of forced sterilisation, reveal what is in effect a policy of cultural genocide.
Yet the presentation being offered by China’s Ministry of Propaganda is that stability and order have now been returned to East Turkestan, achieved through martial law and thousands of troops patrolling the streets. Meanwhile we are informed that the Chinese brutes who have clubbed their way across Urumchi the past few days have now been put back in their box by the communist authorities. Of course there is always the suspicion that such thugs were in part an orchestrated effort, or at least tolerated by Chinese authorities, whose massively armed forces appeared curiously impotent and indifferent when faced with mobs carrying sticks!
Interestingly the international media is largely conforming to what is a somewhat slanted picture of events, China must be rubbing its hands with glee to see reporters ignoring the political causes of unrest, the decades of injustice and human rights violations suffered by Uyghurs, distracted by what it happily portrays as inter-ethnic violence. Such reportage fails miserably to grasp the underlying reality that gave birth to the protest by Uyghurs on Sunday July 5 and is careful to overlook the role of the occupying Chinese regime. Shamefully it is almost impossible to find any extensive or meaningful news coverage that enquires into how so many peaceful Uyghur demonstrators lost their life on that day. No question of a massacre by China’s security forces was considered. Instead we have a carefully constructed image, assembled and managed by China, that deflects any attention away from causual factors, or the role of Chinese forces, by focussing on the subsequent thuggery which erupted on the streets of Urumchi. A report in today’s English newspaper, The Guardian reveals the nature of official control exerted by the Chinese authorities over foreign journalists, a Chinese government notice issued to the foreign media said:
“Till now, the ’7.5 [July 5] Beating, Smashing, Grabbing and Firing Severe Violent Criminal Event’ has been under effective control. The normal social order, production and people’s life have been restored and all the following-up measures have been conducted systematically.”
The communist authorities then assured journalists that its ‘press officials’ would continue to help journalists cover events, adding that:
“For your convenience and safety, the press centre would like to remind all the reporters that [sic] please follow the related Chinese regulations and rules voluntarily during your interview, do not conduct any activities contradicted to your professionalism. Especially, do not agitate the ethnic [sic] animosity and provoke the ethnic [sic] relationships with improper questions.”(emphasis added)
Sadly, many media outlets, with the honourable exception of the Financial Times http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f21598a0-6a24-11de-ad04-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss have complied with such suffocating restrictions and uncritically consumed and published that perspective, including major news channels such as the BBC.
This suits the political and propaganda objectives of the communist regime, which appears to have learned a number of manipulative lessons from its experience during the Uprisings in Tibet of 2008, although again there was a concentration on what was claimed to be ethnic violence. Such artifice enables China to appear distanced from events, concealing its state-engineered injustices and violations with a carefully constructed fabrication that misrepresents the factual nature of events. Key to such a distortion is to deny any political legitimacy to demonstrations, which themselves are a direct response to communist Chinese occupation, by actively transforming protests. Any one who observed matters in Tibet last year will notice a familiar pattern, one that suggests a covert strategy is at work, in which demonstrations are effectively hi-jacked, their political objectives and demands buried under an engineered violence, and then subsequently presented as riotous and criminal activity, supporting the fiction that the Chinese authorities are simply trying to restore social order. What many journalists have chosen to ignore is that it’s the violence and oppression of the Chinese state against the Uyghurs of East Turkestan that is responsible for the tragic scenes on Urumchi’s streets. Until justice and freedom is returned to the region the propaganda words of Urumchi’s Chinese-controlled Mayor, Jerla Isamudin, “Under the correct leadership of the regional party committee and government… the situation is now under control.” will remain a hollow and perverse lie.