Radio Free Asia-A Conduit For China’s Disinformation On Tibet

RFA Tibetan Service Director Kalden Lodoe

Image: print-screen

A question. Why is Mr Kalden Lodoe, Tibetan Director of Radio Free Asia (Tibetan Service) approving from his colleagues output such as this?

“And in March 2008, a riot in Lhasa followed the suppression by Chinese police of four days of peaceful Tibetan protests and led to the destruction of Han Chinese shops in the city and deadly attacks on Han Chinese residents. The riot then sparked a wave of mostly peaceful protests against Chinese rule that spread across Tibet and into Tibetan-populated regions of western Chinese provinces.” (emphasis added) Source: RFA-Tibetan Pilgrim Sees Restrictions, Heavy Police Presence in Lhasa 2018-08-31

You would be forgiven on reading the quote above to wonder if it had been written by an official within China’s Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, or its propaganda channel, Xinhua news. Why do we say this?

The syntax used has a striking similarity with terminology used by official Chinese sources. The description as ‘a riot’ of the Tibetan response to a brutal oppression in Lhasa during 2008 is precisely the narrative used by China’s regime at that time. Seeking to denigrate and misrepresent Tibetans as rioters, engaged in criminal behavior, while conveninently ignoring the legitimate protests against China’s illegal and vicious rule. The reference to ‘deadly attacks on Han Chinese residents‘ is also borrowed from China’s disinformation on those demonstrations.

The closing sentence concludes by endorsing the fact-free claims of China’s regime regarding Tibetan territory by repeating their propaganda: ‘…that spread across Tibet and into Tibetan-populated regions of western Chinese provinces.’ The so-called western Chinese provinces referred to in reality are the traditional Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham.

So if Chinese propagandists did not write such baseless drivel who did? Well the people responsible are employed by Radio Free Asia (Tibetan Service) in Washington DC. A body influenced and controlled by the State Department, via the US Agency For Global Media. There is also, so some have discussed, a pro-China sway within the organization, ultimately though the English version of such reports  is down to a Richard Finney.  An individual who consistently features such misleading and toxic propaganda into reports on Tibet, betcha his State Department controllers must be very pleased with his contributions. After all they have for decades appeased China’s bogus claim over Tibet!

Traditional Tibetan Medicine Is Not The Cause Of Mercury Contamination In Occupied Tibet

Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com

Let’s put it out there from the get go, non weird science can be amazing too, right? Perhaps it’s greatest strength is the core principal of asking questions, and not just any old inquiry but carefully selected and following empirical protocols. The results are then subject to peer review and eventually, if not countered as lacking evidence or repeatable proof, declared as scientific fact. Awesome hey? Sure, but before we hit the sidewalk in celebration we need to ask does science get it wrong? Totally! Another question which needs to be considered is, does science get manipulated and exploited for reasons of commerce and politics? You betcha! From the dangers of smoking, GMO and pharmaceuticals to water pollution and events like Fukushima scientists have been co-opted (some willingly) to push ‘facts’ that suit the interests of corporations and also government. The person in the lab-coat is thought to be authoritative, objective and lacking in bias, right? What more convincingly neutral messenger if you wanted to influence public opinion, after all they’re dedicated to fact and impartiality. You can trust them, can’t you?

 

Image: asianscientist.com

Which brings us to China and its regime, long known for propaganda, censorship and ruthless totalitarian control, exerted over every facet of Chinese society, including academic institutions and media. Both areas are entirely politicized and subject to the ideological dictates of China’s communist party (CCP) under the control of President Xi Jinping. Nobody better represents this dismal state of affairs  than Professor Huang Jiefu, a member of the CCP and Chinese government with disturbing links to the forcible removal of human organs from political prisoners inside China. Yet the same individual has the role of professional liar, touring the international circuit of surgeons’ conferences to deny and deceive, an enthusiastic propagandist! We’re not claiming that every academic declaration from China is to be dismissed, but those related to politically sensitive issues should be scrutinized with a particularly critical lens, especially when linked with Tibet!

 

Professor Huang Jiefu, professional liar for China’s regime, of which he is a member.

Image: scmp

On July 18 2018 we noted the publication of the following paper: ‘Traditional Tibetan Medicine Induced High Methylmercury Exposure Level and Environmental Mercury Burden in Tibet, China (sic)’ It was copyrighted to the American Chemical Society SOURCE and authored in the majority by Chinese writers from Chinese government controlled academic institutions. It claimed the inclusion of mercury in Tibetan medicines, which the authors reportedly measured “in the municipal sewage in Tibet”. Not exactly a positive news story on Tibetan culture is it? What impression does it give? Does it cast Tibetans into a negative light? But they are questions of a political shade. Let’s get back to the science for now.

Now we imagine that the loyal academics of; China’s Ministry of Education Laboratory of Earth Surface Process (Beijing University), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, (Beijing) and Chinese Academy of Sciences East China Normal University, (Shanghai) when formulating their central thesis statement followed standard scientific procedure and allowed for critical examination of any and all factors that could impact findings and tests?

 

China’s Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Totalitarian Control Over Information Published By Media And Academic Institutions

Image: archivenet

We raise this important question because what’s been published gives an impression of a paper which had the objective of fitting the ‘facts’ to a predetermined conclusion. That of course would be bias. Surely those eager academics are dedicated to impartial research only, right? Well if so we would expect them to examine a range of factors that could result in significant levels of mercury in Tibetan sewage, and moreover to include results and measurements on other possible contributory sources in their paper. Unless of course what we have here is a politicized study which has propaganda aims? Dang there goes the political reflex again! Now where did we get too? Ah right! The science part.

An obvious start point would be for them to ask, is their geographic sample sufficiently diverse and of a range to be regarded as an accurate representation?

Did they consider other sources of mercury which could explain the supposed presence in those sewage samples taken?

What measures did they employ to identify what percentage of mercury in the sewage could be shown to be derived from traditional Tibetan medicine, as opposed to pollution incidents and or industrial wastage/use?

Were those who supplied the Tibetan medicine samples unknowing of the claimed mercury content, or complicit in adulterating such treatments?

In declaring Tibetan medicine to contain mercury did their paper examine the sources of constituent herbs, to establish if such plants were on contaminated soils or exposed to wind borne pollution?

Did the authors sufficiently examine the role of gold mining and its use of mercury which escapes into the surrounding environment, including the hydrosphere?

Were measurements taken in those limited sites where sewage was examined, to test water quality and presence of metals such as mercury?

Did they properly assess the possibility of mercury contamination from gold mining and the fact that mercury can contaminate the atmosphere and water at a very long distance?

 

Chinese Mining Across Occupied Tibet Is Creating Massive Pollution And Destruction

Image: greenpeace/wuhaifeo

It’s our view that such questions would be fundamental to any proper scientific examination of a thesis which was to conclude the production of Tibetan medicine as the causal factor of mercury within sewage. We invite the paper’s authors and its copyright holders American Chemical Society to furnish evidence that these possible other factors were included in the research, otherwise people may well speculate if the paper can considered a serious academic work.

While we await a response on that, back to our favorite subject, politics! Yay! So what to say about all this, well had Sherlock Holmes been investigating no doubt he would have remarked:

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.’ (Conan Doyle, A Scandal in Bohemia)

Are we witnessing such a manipulation with this paper? Does the Chinese regime control academic bodies and use them as a conduit for its disinformation? What’s known for sure is that the once pristine land of Tibet has, since China invaded in 1950, been ruthlessly exploited for its minerals, water, gas and forests. The environmental impact has been devastating, rivers and lakes polluted, the atmosphere and soils contaminated by mining for gold, other metal ores and asbestos. Taking all this into account it’s reasonable to consider that mercury contamination in occupied Tibet is significant and probably widespread, with frequency variation.

 

A Once Pure River In Gyama, Tibet, Now Poisoned By Chinese Mining

Image:rfa

To blame this upon Tibetan medicine is a cynical duplicity and calculating falsehood, sure metals such as gold or silver may traditionally be included. Who knows mercury may have been, or some unscrupulous or ignorant supplier may add it. It’s not exactly an empirically derived conclusion. When compared to the magnitude and nature of China’s rampant mining of Tibetan lands, with its resultant pollution and industrial scale use of mercury, Tibetan medicine cannot justifiably be cited as the source of such contamination. It is founded upon principles that are in harmony with the land and respect the environment.

 

Traditional Tibetan Medicine

Image: trace.org

Back-in-the-day reports emerged of deforestation in eastern Tibet, a handful of publications associated such destruction with the lifestyle of Tibetans living in those areas. Such journalists, and environmentalists chose to ignore Chinese state supported lumber corporations who were transforming the once verdant forest of Tibet into a lunar landscape. They turned a blind-eye to the never ending convoys of trucks shipping timber back to China. They chose to cast a judgmental eye on Tibetans, now why would they do that? Perhaps, as in the case of this latest questionable ‘research paper’, the answer may be found in China’s Ministry of Disinformation!

Dutch University Takes A Stand Against Corrosive Chinese Government Interference

Image: archivenet

We wish to applaud the University of Groningen for its January 29 announcement  to cancel plans to open up a campus in China Although their statement  is unclear on reason for this decision, the issue of Chinese government control and manipulation within academic institutions is a matter of increasing concern. Such a factor may well have been the trigger to reverse their intended collaboration.

In November 2017 the Chinese regime declared that “all foreign-funded universities should have a Communist Party official sit on the board. The president of the University of Groningen’s board, Sibrand Poppema, said then that the inclusion of a party official on UGY’s board “does nothing to alter” academic freedom and independence and that the Party representative would have no ability to control academic content. Nonetheless, Poppema said that the university must “continue to ensure that self-censorship does not become an issue.” (Source)

It is greatly encouraging to note the decision of this University and all respect to them for taking a stand against the corrosive influence of China’s regime.

China’s Regime Moves Into Gaming To Push Ideology Of Dictator Xi Jinping

“Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission.” Chinese Dictator Xi Jinping

Always ready to exloit the opportunity to promote its propaganda message the Chinese regime of dictator Xi Jinping has muscled into gaming, with the object of warping the thoughts of gamers. Oops! Did we suggest a distortion? OK! For the sake of balanced reportage, let’s modify that to ‘encouraging a sense of patriotism and loyalty to the values of Marxist-Leninist ideology, with of course, Chinese principles’.Phew! Sounded better first time, right? But you get the message here, a billion dollar industry that reaches into the homes of countless numbers of Chinese gamers enables China’s tyranny to peddle its totalitarian dogma. Central to such objectives is the deification of Xi Jinping, whose authority has become even more total, his political ‘philosophy’ now a state doctrine. No surprise then that some of his most recent slogans are being inserted into China’s most popular games.

“Survival-shooter game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is the hottest videogame of the year, selling over 13 million copies globally, and Chinese companies are racing against one another to create their own copycats of it. Chief among them is a mobile version titled Wildness Action.. In the latest update of the game, released by gaming company NetEase this week, red banners with slogans reflecting China’s “core socialist values” are emblazoned everywhere from buildings to bridges to containers. Another slogan, “Safeguard national security, safeguard world peace,” can also be seen in the game.” Source: https://qz.com/1131079/chinese-copycats-of-video-game-playerunknowns-battlegrounds-pubg-adopted-xi-jinpings-core-socialist-values/

 

China To Expand Its Tibet Propaganda Museum

Jewish Museum in Prague, venue For Hitler’s ‘Museum Of An Extinct Race’

Image: archivenet

In 1942 Adolph Hitler agreed to the establishment, proposed by a Dr. Augustin Stein, of a Jewish museum in Prague, which would hold all the objects that the Germans were confiscating from the synagogues in then Bohemia and Moravia. Some reports claim that the Nazi dictator suggested it be called ‘The Museum Of An Extinct Race’.

On October 29, 217 the Chinese regime announced that it was expanding the Tibet Museum, situated in Lhasa and launched in 1999 it’s a propaganda showcase to peddle the lie of a corrupted and cruel Tibetan society being liberated and advanced since China invaded in 1950.

Image:archivenet

The dictatorship of Xi Jinping has drawn much inspiration from the Nazis, it’s record on human rights, forced sterilization campaigns, forced labor camps and ethnic ‘cleansing’ is a chilling example. Like Hitler’s regime China’s totalitarian authority ruthlessly enforces a policy of censorship across all media, while promoting an unending stream of disinformation. Not only are such falsehoods directed at the Chinese people but fine-tuned for overseas consumption, accuracy, balance and objectivity are replaced by the ‘big lie’. A term coined by Hitler and applied as propaganda technique by Joseph Goebbels

“The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it….” Jospeh Goebbels, ‘Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik’ Die Zeit ohne Beispeil January 12 1941

China’s regime plans to expand it’s propaganda museum in Lhasa. With the willing support of these Tibetan traitors.

Image:scmp

On issues of particular political or economic sensitivity the Chinese regime operates a similar campaign, repeating endlessly disinformation and propaganda, the ‘Tibet Museum’ is but one component of that machinery of deception. It targets tourists and under the guise of objective curation injects a toxic fabrication of Tibetan history into the minds of those wandering its corridors.

If anyone reading this is contemplating travelling to Tibet, or you know someone who is (a decision we would urge folks to seriously reconsider) please share this information with them.

Columbia University: A Willing Accomplice In China’s Lies On Tibet

April 9th 2013 The Confucius Institute at Columbia University Inauguration Ceremony. Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director-General of Hanban, Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University

Image: hanbannews

We’re just gonna call this one right out. Certain departments within Columbia University  are riddled with supposedly objective academics, who in truth are actively promoting a bias which has its origins in the propaganda laboratories of China’s regime. Especially when it comes to the subject of Tibet. Yet despite the academic posturing and intellectual presentations it’s apparent that an agenda is being pressed, one which has the fingerprints of the Chinese Communist Party all over it.  Students attending classes on Tibetan history or culture are exposed to information that has a worrying resemblence to the official distortions found in the statements of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prominent ‘authorities’ on Tibet who have extracted a profitable academic career from the plight of Tibetans collaborate closely with the Chinese authorities.  Some go much further, becoming advocates of China’s presence in Tibet, others apply a distorting veneer over Tibetan history or overtly misrepresent the facts. Such deceptions, for that is what they are, lie barely concealed within the specialized lexicon of what is termed, ‘Tibetology’. Such ‘useful idiots’, as Stalin would have recognized them, are of value to the Chinese authorities, who consider that ‘academics’ (especially of non-Chinese origin) promoting  their falsehoods on Tibet carry a persuasive and authoratitive voice. Moreover such individuals are often called upon by a largely unthinking media to offer ‘informed’ perspectives and insights on the issue. Thus enabling the toxic propaganda to be published across mainstream media as ‘objective’ analysis, while in truth it’s the approved dogma of China’s tyrants.

Columbia University has become something of a welcoming base for such operations, and also an  active and willing partner with the controversial Confucius Institute. An organization which covertly is little more than a resource of the Chinese security services, trawling human intelligence information behind the mask of cultural events and courses. On October 6, 2017 a day-long conference was hosted at Columbia University entitled ‘Beyond Empire and Borders: The Third International Conference on the Qing Dynasty and Inner Asia” . The list of participants, many drawn from Chinese institutions, included Mr Tsering Shakya and Mr Robert Barnet who have on numerous occasions invited the concern and outrage of Tibetans for comments which can at best be described as peddling China’s untruths on Tibet. No coincidence either that the event, so we are advised, was sponsored by none other than the Confucius Institute!

China’s Missing Girls-Media Peddling A Slanted Academic Report?

Shaanxi University, China

Shaanxi University, China

How much trust and credibility can we invest in reports arising from collaborations between western academic institutions and Chinese universities, especially if the subject under examination is an issue of immense political sensitivity to China’s regime?

Contemplating that question it’s important to remind yourself that under the totalitarian control of the Communist Party of China universities do not have the liberal freedoms or operational independence enjoyed by institutions in the USA, Canada, Europe, and countries in Asia such as India.

The presence of the state and its political interests imposes a suffocating pressure across China’s academic community, and this is felt most acutely within those areas deemed as critical to the national or party interest.

One such topic, that attracts international concern is China’s notorious coercive birth control policies, its associated human rights atrocities and demographic and social impacts. Western media is awash with reports on China’s gender imbalance, or claims from the Chinese regime that the ‘one-child’ policy has been ended. Sadly less attention is given by the same champions of free speech to the harrowing range of violations suffered by women across China who face forced sterilizations, forced abortions, arbitrary arrests, loss of employment and denial of housing. The coercion has not gone away, although you may be forgiven for thinking so when viewing the reportage from mainstream media.

But then we have to remind ourselves that such articles are being composed from within China, derived in the most part from official Chinese ministries, who exert a tight control over foreign correspondents. In addition over recent years at a senior executive level media agencies such as Associated Press, Reuters, the BBC have developed a close association with China’s authorities. We must consider also the political influences which operate within such agencies, no doubt they conform to the policy of their respective governments towards China.

An accommodation would seem to have been reached, at the center of which is an active willingness to comply with Chinese demands on reporting of issues seen as sensitive. These include Tibet of course, but also the whole subject of population control policies and their consequences, is it any wonder then that journalists based in China, sourcing their reports from Chinese officials, aware that any violation of their contract with the Ministry Of Information or Foreign Affairs could result in their visa being withdrawn  produce articles that echo the official line?

This appeasement, for that is what it is, is illustrated most tellingly in the manner in which China’s population issues are reported, indeed so slanted is such coverage that it’s authorship may as well be credited to National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China!

Take for example a report today which is across the media ‘China’s Missing Girls Actually Exist’ a claim deriving from recent statistical analysis by a collaboration between University of Kansas and Shangxi Normal University that Chinese women; thought once to have not existed due to the demands of the population control program and cultural preference for having male birth, now apparently exist.

University Of Kansas

University Of Kansas

The tone and content of this report characterizes the issues mentioned above, diluted and compliant journalism, combined with a source that relies upon Chinese statistics, which are often used for political and propaganda purposes. One also evaluated by a Chinese University controlled, monitored and authorized by China’s regime, in partnership with a foreign academic institution; that in order to operate within China most probably has to comply with and be sensitive towards the China’s authorities.

These important considerations of course have been ignored by mainstream media who are channeling the report with a credulity that must be bringing a warm glow of satisfaction to China’s regime. The story which is being ignored is that a docile media is at best being manipulated to promote China’s politically engineered propaganda, at worst it is a willing partner in spreading disinformation. What would be the object of such a deception and as Sherlock Holmes may inquire, who would most benefit?

Well we already have some indication provided by the political realities that apply to the issue itself within China, that the findings are drawn from China’s census, which as already mentioned is  politicized data. Further explanations can be extracted from comments offered by a joint-author of the report:

“People think 30 million girls are missing from the population. That’s the population of California, and they think they’re just gone…..Most people are using a demographic explanation to say that abortion or infanticide are the reasons they don’t show up in the census and that they don’t exist. But we find there is a political explanation.” Source John Kennedy, Associate Professor of Political Science. University of Kansas (emphasis added)

Now it might be, although don’t hold your breath, that deep inside the report Professor Kennedy and his co-author Shi Yaojiang, of Shaanxi Normal University have included a disclaimer to the effect that their ‘findings’ are not stating that countless numbers of female fetuses weren’t forcibly aborted, or female babies abandoned as a result of the brutalizing pressures of China’s coercive population control policies and/or the influence of cultural preferences for a male child.

So far we have not noticed such an assertion, and shall happily welcome such an inclusion, meantime what we are left with is an impression that looks to be trying to exonerate  China’s regime by deflecting criticism and attention away from its vicious population control policies (as a determining factor of the gender-imbalance) to some administrative oversight or expediency at we are invited to believe, local level.

Unlike mainstream media we exercise a critical eye of any information associated with the Chinese authorities and so evaluate this report with particular scrutiny. China has a long record of using academics to peddle its propaganda, it concludes that in doing so its purposes are concealed and given a more credible and authoritative gravitas.  This latest effort while consumed and reported as fact by CNN, AP, Reuters, BBC et al when examined carefully raises serious questions, not least of all its accuracy, motivation and purpose.

 

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