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Uyghur Genocide: An American Fantasy

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ByThe Counter
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Who are the Uyghurs?

Uyghurs reside in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. They are majority Muslim and are descendants of a variety of ancient peoples.

They are a Turkic-speaking people. You’ll easily identify their culture with vibrant music, beautiful traditional dances and rich flavourful cuisines.

Uyghurs and the Western media

A genocide is taking place. The Uyghurs are the victim and the guilty party is the monstrous Chinese government. This is what the US government and Western media claims.

This article will attempt to debunk such claims by using historical facts, verified independent sources, and common sense. Let’s see what we can find.

Understanding Uyghur Autonomous Region

Since the 18th century, Xinjiang has witnessed many conflicts. The Soviet Union and The Republic of China have long contested the land. Most recently, the Uyghurs formed a republic, twice, which dissolved and China moved in to govern. But it wasn’t smooth sailing.

After many failed Chinese leaderships, a governor named Zhang Zhizong opened a new path forward for Xinjiang and its people. He was remembered as a competent leader, who often wondered why Uyghurs hadn’t been given leadership.

Then, the first non-Chinese governor was appointed. Masud Sabri is an Uyghur intellectual, anti-Soviet, and a Turkic nationalist. What followed next was a peaceful transition into what is now known as the Uyghur Autonomous Region..

Unfortunately, extreme ideologies began finding their way through Xinjiang. Taking root among nationalistic or religious Uyghurs. Several terrorist groups would form. These groups spread propaganda which distorts Xinjiang’s history, fabricates religious texts and understanding, and exaggerates ethnic differences.

One particularly famous extremist ideology is to “kill a non-Uyghur and die as a martyr to enter heaven.” Uyghurs who resist this ideology have been labelled a heretic and killed too.

On 30 July 2014, 74-year-old Juma Tayier, then Vice President of Xinjiang Islamic Association and imam for the Id Kah Mosque, was returning home after Fajr prayer. He was captured by three terrorists and brutally killed.

Ms Zhang, her husband, and an acquaintance drove their truck to Shache County, when they came across a group of terrorists. Her husband and the acquaintance were dragged out of their truck and killed. Ms Zhang narrowly escaped by hiding in the truck’s upper sleeper.

She said her husband was the only son of her parents-in-law, and his death was a catastrophic loss for the family.

While shopping at a bazaar with her family, Dilqamar Tursun, heard an explosion. Her right leg was severely injured and was amputated. Six civilians and four police officers died in the attack.

She expressed that the terrorists deprived her right to a healthy life and wished they would vanish forever.

Since 1992, China has experienced 27 terrorist attacks. And 20 of them were in Xinjiang.

China’s Response and Xinjiang’s Growth

In collaboration with the state government of Xinjiang, the Chinese government(CCP) laid out a clear strategy for combating terrorism. The policies focused on exterminating terrorism at the root. Targeting the spread of extremist ideologies and de-radicalizing individuals affected.

Here are key points of China’s policy* in combating terrorism and extremism:

  • Defining extremism and terrorism clearly
  • Laying out clearly defined policies against extremism and terrorism following the rule of law
  • Specifying clearly, the rights of citizens and organisations in the process of counter-terrorism
  • Not linking terrorism and extremism with a specific religion, ethnicity, or location
  • The legitimate rights of criminals are protected according to the law
  • Public security institutions have investigative power but strictly according to the law
  • Vocational schools to be used for de-radicalisation regulated by the law

*Taken from Information Office of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region August 2022

Xinjiang’s clear definition of extremism and terrorism made combative and preventive measures smoother. Authorities were able to prevent future creation of terrorist groups by assigning high-risk individuals(those exposed to extremist videos or audio) to vocational schools.

There, as trainees, they learn about China’s legal system, the law, false religious teachings, and practical skills they can use to start a business or get employment.

The curriculum in these vocational schools wasn’t by assumption. But rather by evidence gathered in the court of law. It became clear after countless court cases involving terrorists, that these individuals did not know their actions were illegal. They truly believed it was a good act for entering heaven.

These vocational schools are well-equipped. Many of its facilities made sure the trainees were comfortable and could focus on their education and training.

Trainees would graduate and return to society with goals of starting a business or gaining employment according to their newly-found interests.

Over time, the state government of Xinjiang have developed valuable experience and knowledge in combating extremism and terrorism. They’ve developed further initiatives to support productive aspirations of Uyghurs. Some of these initiatives focused on building and protecting financial income for Uyghurs.

Today, Uyghurs enjoy a fairly high economic and population growth. Xinjiang’s society has matured and they enjoy peaceful days. The last terrorist attack was in 2016.

Debunking the accusers

Sudden international interest in Uyghurs started during the early days of the US-China trade war. Especially the unveiling of China’s One Belt One Road Initiative, which puts Xinjiang as an important economic hub. Who is propagating the Uyghur genocide myth? Let’s take a look.

Adrian Zenz, a German researcher living in the US, published a paper documenting the alleged genocide of Uyghurs by the government of China. His paper “Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang” was cited by the US government and Western mainstream media.

Zenz’s paper blatantly omits important figures and facts. He weaves half-truths and misinterpretations of the facts to fit his message: Uyghurs are going through a genocide.

The Grayzone, an independent news agency, after digging into Zenz paper summarises it as “his assertion of genocide is contradicted by flagrant data abuse, fraudulent claims, cherry-picking of source material, and propagandistic misrepresentations.

In a custom amendment for Bill 2020(Banning Goods Produced By Uyghur Forced Labour) by the Australian Parliament, a submission titled “WHEN FACTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY FACTS. THE UIGHURS AND CHINA” states that:

Zenz’s figures of supposed detained Uyghurs, which keep rising, come from reports by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media organization based in Turkey, with links to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a body declared a terrorist organisation by the U.N. Security Council. Zenz also cites reports from Radio Free Asia, a U.S. funded news agency created by the C.I.A

Adrian Zenz has a habit of lying and sourcing his info from questionable organisations. Which makes him a beloved source for the US and its allies in their propaganda war against China.

What about the World Uyghur Congress

Founded in Munich, Germany, this umbrella international organisation has a network of 33 affiliates in 18 countries, globally. Western media often cites the WUC.

You may have seen multiple news articles about Uyghur activists fighting for human rights.

Interestingly, the WUC is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy(NED). The same NED, which spends US taxpayer money to fund opposition parties, directly or through intermediaries, in other countries for regime change.

Bersih movement in Malaysia, funded by NED’s intermediaries and allies. 

It’s not surprising that the WUC promotes itself as an “opposition movement against Chinese occupation of East Turkistan”. East Turkistan here refers to Xinjiang.

Behind its human rights facade, WUC has roots as an Uyghur separatist organisation created by Isa Yusuf Alptekin. He is a son of a local government official in Xinjiang. During the China civil war, Alptekin sided with the nationalists against the communist. He declared that China’s socialism is “the enemy of Islam”. His son, Erkin Alptekin then branded the organisation as the World Uyghur Congress.

The WUC under Erkin Alptekin, has a long history of appealing to the US for aid and support. Erkin Alptekin supported Nixon and the US war on Vietnam. His successor, Rebiya Kadeer supported Bush’s dubious “war on terror” in Iraq. She also expressed gratitude for Bush’s commitment to promoting freedom and democracy in China.

Closing thoughts

The Uyghur genocide is just another tactic for the US to put pressure and destabilise China, who they deem a threat to their interests. It’s made believable by exiled Uyghurs with history and links to terrorists organisations. And they will do and say anything to achieve their goals.

Thanks to whistleblowers, independent reporters and researchers, this American fantasy is being uprooted.

In reality, where most of the communities in the world live, Xinjiang was diseased by rampant terrorist attacks. China in collaboration with the Uyghurs, took necessary steps to exterminate terrorism at the root. Resulting in a peaceful and thriving region for Uyghurs and all of its minorities.

Images within Xinjiang are obtained via “Fight against Terrorism and Extremism in Xinjiang: Truth and Facts” a paper published by the Information Office of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Access the paper here

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