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.
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!
Our crew over on Twitter has today been sent a video statement from the Anonymous project called ‘Operation Tibet’. It calls upon those taking part in the global Million Mask March on November 5 to remember Tibet and also highlights China’s disturbing policy of forcing Uyghur children from their families and detaining them in brainwashing centers. Many thanks to @tibettruth and @AnonymousTibet @Project_Tibet for news on this.
We have today issued an appeal to the organization Save The Children, asking them to speak-out against China’s harrowing abuse of Uyghur children, detained at what are in reality indoctrination centers. The emotional and psychological damage of forced separation from their parents is traumatizing countless numbers of infants across occupied East Turkistan.
What’s going down with Herbert Diess the head of Volkswagen (VW)? On March 13 he offered a clarification regarding a remark he’d made earlier that week which created a storm across German public opinion. Due to its troubling similarity with the Nazi slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (work makes you free) which adorned the entrance to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
It seems Diess used the phrase “Ebit macht frei” during a presentation to an audience of VW managers.’Ebit’ is reported to be an accounting acronym which refers to earnings before interest and taxes, a phrase linked to an accountancy examination of a company’s quarterly financial report.
“At no time was it my intention for this statement to be placed in a false context,” Diess stated on his LinkedIn page March 13. “At the time I simply did not think of this possibility.”.
Well these things happen right? A misunderstanding, but let’s jump to the present and Herr Deiss looks to have attracted understandable concern and controversy. From what we read he appears to have asserted during an interview with the BBC on April 16 that he was unaware of China’s treatment of Uyghurs or the use of ‘re-education’ camps in occupied East Turkistan.
A region where Volkswagen operates a large manufacturing plant. Given the years of reportage on China’s brutal oppression of Uyghur culture and international concern regarding the forced indoctrination of Uyghurs at these camps it’s difficult to understand how the head of VW would be so ignorant.
Or are we witnessing a selective denial at work here? Would it be too cynical to wonder if a corporation chose to collaborate with a tyranny, actively overlook any odious realities in the pursuit of profit?
Perhaps Herr Diess should contemplate upon his country’s dark history, the denials and refusal to accept responsibility for the existence of concentration camps, often located nearby German villages and towns. As Captain Sol Nichtern, an American soldier who took part in the liberation of those held at Dachau noted: “The concentration Camp at Dachau is built right up against the side of the village; the houses go right up to the outer wall…And the German people who lived on the other side of the street claim that they didn’t know what was going on in the [very] next street”. Source: testimony of Sol Nichtern, 44, Ast Project, (Physician with Medical Corps, 517th Special Clearing Company).
The stench from such places was nauseatingly intense, no doubt reaching unbearable levels when the crematoriums were burning masses of bodies.Yet local citizens insisted they knew nothing, and were struck by temporary blindness during the regular occasions when slave-labor units were marched in and out of such camps.
That the Chinese regime has waged a cultural genocide against the Tibetan and Uyghur people is well known and documented. As is China’s grisly record concerning human rights violations, forced-labor camps, censorship and a program of forced sterilizations. Now if we allow that Herbert Diess is being truthful when insisting he is unaware of such oppression or the existence of camps which brutalizes and indoctrinates Uyghurs, a major question remains.
Having been informed of, and able to assess the wealth-of detailed reports, eyewitness testimony and media accounts that document China’s totalitarian excesses against Tibet and East Turkistan, what action will the head of Volkswagen be taking?
Will he choose to maintain ignorance and on that basis seek to justify his company’s lucrative collaboration with China’s regime? If so, as looks likely, he will be guilty within the court of world opinion, not simply of ignorance, but complicity!
It’s easy for folk to have an impression of China as a modernized, economically booming country. After all that’s been the narrative pushed by mainstream media since the 1980s and China’s restructuring of its domestic economy. It became a market-orientated economy, awarded by the USA Most Favored Nation status (from which human rights were eventually decoupled on the dubious assertion that unfettered economic engagement would lead to political democratization). Allowed entry to the World Trade Organization in 2001 the Chinese economy has gone on to become a dominant global force. The reportage of this transformation has become something of a cliché and become firmly placed in popular perception of China.
What’s been less reported is that this economic metamorphosis has enabled massive investments into China’s military occupation of Tibet and other occupied territories such as East Turkistan and Southern Mongolia. Nor has the mainstream media devoted any meaningful coverage to a parallel increase in the concentration of political power within the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed some would say that China’s embrace of capitalism and free trade was in part designed to maintain and strengthen the position of the regime. This has resulted in even greater repression, censorship and human rights concerns, which have been largely ignored and tolerated by other countries. Meanwhile China’s President Xi Jinping has consolidated to himself supreme political control, with the mass applause of the ‘National People’s Congress’.
Throughout the years China’s communist authorities have used fear and corruption to ensure control and that process has intensified, especially for the peoples of occupied Tibet and East Turkistan.
In the past few days so-called Tibet Television has been broadcasting a series targeting ‘anti-corruption’ and the ‘regulation’ of communist party members. Coded language for another propaganda drive to suppress any dissenting Tibetan voices within its administration. Another purge against Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, as there’s no tolerance for any belief apart from the dictate of China’s communist party, as commentated upon in the Global Times (a conduit for China’s propaganda) by Xiong Kunxin, a lecturer at the so-called Tibet University in Lhasa:
‘The CPC remains an atheist organization. Thus, CPC members are banned from religious beliefs, because they can only believe in Marxism; believing in other religions means betrayal of their chosen belief and it will shake their belief in Marxism and separate them from the Party’.
China may well have opened the doors to global trade, it’s cities and manufacturing transformed by an economic revolution, but make no mistake at its political heart it remains a totalitarian state which murders, tortures and enslaves to retain power.
After the Chinese regime recently allowed in a select group of media to visit East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang) the chosen reporters issued a glowing account of how wonderful the treatment of the Uyghur people was by China’s authorities.
The laughingly named ‘Silk Road Celebrity China Tour’ took place from January 9 to 16 and the compliant ‘journalists’ dutifuly regurgitated the propaganda narrative after being escorted around a number of locations.
One among that party surely merits this year’s award for nausea. Erdal Kurucay, a presenter from Turkey’s ATV station,who a number of Chinese media mouthpieces claimed rejected international concerns on the violent oppression of Uyghurs and their culture as little more than “terrorist propaganda” and “misinformation” propagated by “global capitalist and imperialist forces.”. A script drafted and approved in Beijing’s Department of Disinformation!
We’ve a feeling that this pro-Turkish government reporter was fulfilling a foreign policy agenda of his beloved authorities, which has been issuing a number of appeasing statements on China, in the hope of securing trade deals.
He concluded by claiming that he had visited a ‘reducation center during the trip and insisted it been a “therapy centre” for criminals! Source: Ibid
Now there’s nothing new here, mainstream media and governments around the planet have been sucking up to the Chinese government, but to see Turkey effectively endorse the violent suppression of its Turkic brothers and sisters is particularly distasteful.
As to journalists and media outlets who serve as a conduit for the propaganda of China’s regime they are justly condemned as facilitating, through their active collaboration, the terrorism waged against those suffering under the tyranny of China’s dictatorship.
Looking at this image of Uyghurs imprisoned in a Chinese run concentration camp, one of our colleagues remarked, ‘The only thing missing is a yellow star stitched onto the uniform’. A reference to the emblem forced upon Jewish prisoners by the Nationalist Socialist Party. A controversial analogy for some, yet there’s no denying that the Muslim culture of occupied East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang Region) is being systematically and violently dismantled. Mosques obliterated, Islamic traditions banned, Uyghur women forced into marriages with Han Chinese colonists. The Uyghur language marginalized as Chinese is forced upon school children.
Meanwhile human rights organizations and the United Nations have received accounts that Uyghurs have been rounded up and forced into what are effectively concentration camps. There they suffer a harsh regime of indoctrination and abuse that has the objective of generating obedience to the ideology of China’s communist party. A people are being violently denied their culture, which has been criminalized, racism and apartheid are driving forces in such tyranny. As they were of course for Nazi-Germany. Uyghur culture is now portrayed as the great enemy of ‘social stability’, regarded too as ‘less than’, dark resonances indeed from recent history.
China denied such camps existed, but only this week information came out acknowledging their existence, SOURCEwhile insisting it was all very legal!
Some insist such reports are fabricated, the product of US inspired propaganda, others defend the Chinese regime, while the haunted expressions stare out from behind the barbed wire! We’ve been here before!