Our thoughts go out today to the reported 31 people killed REPORT and many injured in the series of explosions in Urumchi, the capital of occupied East Turkestan, known to China’s regime as Xinjiang.
China’s authorities have swiftly determined ‘terrorism’ as the cause and laid blame firmly upon elements within the Uyghur population. If we are to accept Beijing’s claims then the flames of dissent are being fanned by external extremist forces, its a familiar account which is being uncritically reported as fact by western media.
The details and perpetrators will no doubt be difficult to independently establish, and we should assess such events against the ever present reality that China’s regime is notoriously censorial and manipulative on the issue of East Turkestan, like Tibet and Southern Mongolia a land which has suffered decades of oppression and violence courtesy of Chinese rule.
What is known however is that China is waging an ideological war on the subject of East Turkestan and for years has been actively portraying Uyghurs as Islamic terrorists, a charge that is backed more by a cynically constructed narrative than objectively established facts.
It may well be that people in the region have decided to launch an armed campaign against China, the resulting suffering is a cause of deep concern, yet a reactionary response, reliant upon a regime that specializes in terror itself, should be tempered with an understanding of the context of vicious colonization, oppression and exploitation which Uyghurs have endured. What terrorism will they again suffer as China places Urumchi under a military lock-down?
Yesterday’s blast which caused death and injury at Urumchi railway station in East Turkestan is drawn from a well poisoned over decades of violent repression against the Uyghur people, by a Chinese regime that is determined to assimilate and erode the culture and national identity of that Central Asian land. Ignored by a corrupted United Nations, virtually invisible to Muslim states whose support and attention is focused upon the great injustice of Palestine what options do Uyghurs actually have?
As the world looks on at the bombing, presented through the distorting lens of China’s propaganda ministry, shocked and appalled, just what does it expect from those whose land and freedom have been stolen? Uyghur culture is under siege, swamped by Chinese colonization, while across East Turkestan Chinese troops occupy every city and town, which are now polluted and gaudy Chinese sprawls.
A once highly cultured state has become a Chinese colony, exploited and oppressed, with its natural resources sucked dry to service the economy of the tyrant. The Uyghur people denied the most fundamental of freedoms, women forcibly sterilized, a culture in chains. It is of course a grim reality that China’s authorities prefer you were ignorant of, how better to conceal such tyranny than by character assassination!
This is an agenda that operates behind China’s reportage on East Turkestan, a dark and cynical motive to portray the region as a laboratory for unrest and terrorism. In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy China’s psychopathic leadership, rather like a rapist criticizing a woman for resisting his assault, protests against even the mildest form of dissent.
Meanwhile China is engaged in an ideological war that seeks to deceive international opinion on the subject of East Turkestan, seen most tellingly in coverage of the attack in Urumchi. It places great value upon the role of psychological operations, and its potential to distort the perceptions of a target audience, in this case via a compliant and largely uncritical global media. Such manipulation has become a favored tool of the Chinese security and propaganda agencies See File
In 2000 China established the Institute of Psywar of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army which trains officers in a range of psychological warfare techniques, including disinformation and media manipulation.
As noted by Chinese military academics Wang and Yang:
“In modern times the vast development in information, science, psychology, the science of broad-casting, and other sciences, and in particular the emergence of new and high technologies such as satellite communications,electronic computers, networking technology, and multimedia technology, provide a firm theoretical foundation and modern tools for psychological warfare.” (Source-Wang Zhenxing and Yang Suping, “On PSYWAR in Recent High-Tech Local Wars,” Junshi Kexue [China Military Science] December 20, 2000, pp. 127-33)
Within the twisted world of disinformation nothing is ever as it appears and without condoning the loss of life or injury, we need to exercise caution in responding to events such as the bombing at Urumchi. Perhaps too we can remember the decades of repression and suffering endured by the Uyghur people, whose plight is callously ignored by the international community.