Image: conceived and created by @tibettruth
Tibet’s culture is being burned into oblivion by the occupying Chinese regime, yet blazing even more fiercely within Tibetan hearts is the hope that one day their land shall be free of China’s tyranny and that their rightful independence will be regained. This aspiration has fueled resistance to Chinese rule since Tibet was invaded in 1950. More recently it has been a major demand issued by Tibetans who have self-immolated. A reality not only ignored by the exiled Tibetan Administration but cynically re-written, an action we oppose and expose.
Image: gannetcdn/amended @tibettruth
With 2020 about to blast off we thought it an opportune moment to remind our subscribers, readers and many friends around the planet of the degree of corruption at the heart of international athletics and within the Olympic community.
Of course there’s so many issues, but for us it’s the sickening appeasement of China’s regime which is most irksome. None more so than agreeing to host the 2022 Winter Games in that country. A decision taken despite the broken assurances and failures surrounding the 2008 Olympics, hosted in China. During which Tibetans and Uyghurs were being brutally oppressed, tortured and jailed for demanding freedom and human rights.
Those heading the international athletics community turned their eyes away, maintained a silence, while not a single athlete or club we appealed to directly expressed any concern or solidarity. Others went further, including the guy above, Craig Reedie, current head of the world doping agency, who denied and appeased on the subject of China’s troubling human rights violations.
This narrative of denial, excuse and concealment looks set to be repeated during the next twelve months as preparations intensify for the 2022 Winter Games. Will athletes take a stand this time, or can we expect the allure of fame, self-interest and fortune to take precedence once again?
Like the rest of the corporate world England’s premier soccer teams feed from the trough of China’s regime. Chinese money and with it a corrosive influence is increasingly funding English clubs, as witnessed by pitch-side commercials, shirt branding and Chinese language fan sites. Teams are also investing inside China, seeking to maximize their commercial footprint. The potential profits ensure an active collusion from soccer’s elite who close their eyes to China‘s dark record of human rights violations, censorship and forced labor-camps.
So desperate are clubs to nurture and maintain positive relations with China, that like many governments, they signal to the Chinese regime that they will not permit concerns on human rights to interfere with their lucrative corporate objectives. When presented with criticism on this they employ the classic excuse of declaring themselves as being non-political. Which is a joke since their collaborative silence in knowledge of persecution and oppression is a conscious decision very much defined by politics!
Against this background of craven appeasement, yesterday, we noted the comments of the Arsenal player, Mesut Özil who posted on Instagram
“East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men. But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?”.
We applaud and respect the integrity and conviction of this player to add his voice and status to give greater exposure to the cultural genocide waged against the Uyghur people. He is right to draw attention to the apathy of fellow Muslims, yet such callous indifference and silence is not restricted to the followers of Islam. Western governments and Non-Governmental Organizations such as United Nations Women and UNCSW are silent on the harrowing abuses being forced upon Uyghurs.
What of his club Arsenal? What’s their response? Within hours of his online comments they posted a statement on a number of prominent Chinese social-media platforms, including Weibo in which they stated:
“Regarding the comments made by Mesut Özil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement…The content published is Özil’s personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”.
That grovelling appeasement may not be sufficient to satisfy the extreme nationalism of Chinese opinion, engineered by years of state imposed indoctrination. As in other recent cases were corporations have been required to issue apologies it may well be that Arsenal will be issuing further statements, would they if pushed release Mesut Özil? You betcha!
In collaborating with China’s regime; ignoring the atrocities and misery inflicted upon Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongolians, Manchurians and the Han Chinese people, premier league clubs such as Arsenal are very much engaged in politics. Their collective silence is nothing less than a willing complicity!
As November 25th has been designated the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women our sense of solidarity towards this event and the objectives it champions is tainted by a troubling reality.
The very United Nations agencies behind this event, UN Women and UN Commission on the Status of Women are the same organizations which have knowingly and consistently ignored China’s program of forced sterilizations against women. Along with the wider women’s ‘movement’ and prominent NGOs, supposedly dedicated to women’s rights, they pose themselves as defenders of such freedoms and human rights across social media. Yet have cynically refused to condemn or oppose a range of violations inflicted by the Chinese regime.
These include: a policy of forcing Uyghur women into marriages with Han Chinese colonizers of occupied East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang). Coercing Uyghur women to accept Chinese officials cohabiting their homes and sleeping with them, in essence rape! Detaining thousands of Uyghur women in forced labor and indoctrination camps where they face emotional, physical and psychological abuse. The placement of Uyghur girls,many infants into detention centers where they are denied access to their parents and forced and brainwashed to adopt Chinese language and cultural identity. A program of forced sterilizations which targets Uyghur, Tibetan, Manchurian, Mongolian and Han Chinese women.
This harrowing catalogue of violations does not trouble those who would have you accept them as being defenders of women’s rights, it’s not ignorance of these disturbing abuses which explains their collective silence. The reason is one of political correctness, selective values and agenda that refuse to stand against such atrocities, this is a singular example of silence is complicity. The hypocrisy and denial such organizations present on these issues is breathtaking and questions entirely their credibility and ethical standing.
Anyone within the Central Tibetan Administration (formerly the exiled Government of Tibet now CTA) care to explain why on earth the editorial team of their website has featured a promotional review of a film which, while posing as an artful exploration of lives and communities transformed through economic and infrastructure developments, is essentially propaganda.
Last time we checked the CTA (headed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay) was, apart from peddling an appeasement deal-of- surrender to China, engaged in exposing and opposing the suppression of Tibet and erosion of Tibetan culture. It regularly issues statements and reports on the expansionist agenda of China, cautions the international community on the corrosive influence of Chinese corporations and regularly criticizes projects, that have exploited and massively degraded the environment of occupied Tibet. From concerns about Huawei to open hostility towards mining companies which are opening up Tibetan mountains the CTA has a respected and established record of challenging and reporting upon the genuine concerns posed by China’s political, economic and corporate objectives.
With that in mind the decision of its website to give such full-page prominence to ‘Common Destiny’ (a film receiving the approval and support of China’s regime) and heavily promoted by the propaganda mouth-piece Xinhua during it’s screening at the Venice Film Festival in September, is all the more baffling.
The editors of the CTA site have copied and pasted a review written by Tom Baxter, formerly working in communications at Greenpeace East Asia, the environmental campaigning organization with offices in China that’s offered not a word of opposition or critique on the nuclear poisoning of occupied Tibet and East Turkistan. Does that explain the ‘softly-softly’ content of the author? He seems to broadly follow the official narrative issued by the film makers, a story of individual lives seemingly transformed by the controversial development project run by China’s regime. The series of inspiring personal stories from differing countries where the project operates, while no doubt uplifting serve another and darker purpose. Did such an objective, we speculate, concern New Zealand Director Martin Campbell, British screen-writer Guy Hibbert or the American director of photography? Perhaps they were too consumed by the allure of assembling of people centered accounts of hopes and dreams? Uncaring that these tales of realization come with a troubling economic and environmental cost. A fact well known to those countries signed into a developmental program of Chinese economic hegemony
But this ‘documentary’ was never going to consider such contexts, the crippling debts, failed infrastructure projects or the political and economic dominance imposed upon those partnering governments by China’s regime. No inclusion or reference to the environmental impacts of such developments. Those major issues had no place in this carefully engineered propaganda, the audience is engaged with the various personal narratives, distracted by the emotion, struggle and relative triumphs. A strategy which no doubt was factored into the film from its beginnings and obediently employed by six other (Chinese) directors all of whom were approved by China’s government! The production company behind this exercise in disinformation was none other than Beijing Silk Road Media Group, a public-relations arm of the project and by extension fully committed to the ideology and dictates of China’s regime. Interestingly its producer Liang Yan claimed at the screening that the film is not backed by government, anyone buying into that should seek reality counseling immediately!
There is no genuinely independent film-making within China especially when the subject is a cornerstone of the Chinese regime’s global economic policy. As such there would have been a very close scrutiny of its production. content and promotion, what has been produced is yet another slick, emotion focused distraction that promotes the supposed triumphs of the Belt Road Strategy. It also features key propaganda themes exemplified by the account of a Uyghur boy dreaming of winning a basketball scholarship. Touching story, right? But wait a minute while young Yusuf Jiang (note the Chinese second name) is aspiring to realize such ambitions Uyghur children of all ages are being torn from their families and detained within indoctrination centers to be brainwashed into obedient Chinese speaking citizens. Did that well-documented reality not trouble Martin Campbell or Guy Hibbert? Would not their creative talents not be better served by making a documentary on the cultural genocide waged against Tibet or the Uyghur homeland of East Turkistan?
What also of the Central Tibetan Administration and its promotion of this Chinese orchestrated disinformation? Was it some gross error of editorial judgement that decided to feature this film on their site? A calculated decision to curry favor with China, a signal of further appeasement? No matter the reasons, giving publicity to such propaganda while the same regime behind the film is waging a genocidal assault against Tibet’s culture and national identity raises worrying questions. Particularly for any Tibetan who expects their exiled Administration to be championing the just cause of national freedom rather than uncritically disseminating the lies and disinformation of China’s government!