Western misinformation and the so-called Xinjiang genocide

Apr 15, 2024
905px-Xinjiang_in_China_800-By TUBS - This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this file:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16493932

The UN Human Rights Report of August 31, 2022 says what’s happening in Xinjiang constitutes “crimes against humanity”. In plain English, this is saying it is not genocide under the UN Genocide Convention. It confirms an earlier Amnesty International report in 2021 to the same effect. Both are clear implicit rejections of unsubstantiated genocide claims.

However, the US, complicit in the ongoing Gaza genocide, has been helping to keep the Xinjiang genocide flame alive. For example, US President Biden and the US State Department Report in 2020 accepted that Xinjiang genocide occurred during the year. In November 2020, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), known for terrorist attacks in Xinjiang (the reason for China’s crackdown on terrorism) was removed from the US list of foreign terrorist organisations. Also, Western media, like an echo-chamber, continue to propagate the genocide claim on the well-known basis that, as Nazi Joseph Goebbels showed – if you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it people will eventually believe it.

That the claim is still very much alive today is largely based on cherry-picking evidence. In particular, there is a refusal to accept “inconvenient” considerations like:

  • China’s White Paper indicating most of the supposed 1 – 2 million Uyghur detainees have gone;
  • Xinjiang’s detention authorities training Uyghur detainees for useful work skills;
  • China’s de-radicalisation programs are consistent with the 2006 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy for fighting terrorism and similar to those in France, the UK, the US and Australia; and
  • some Middle East Islamic countries and Muslim-majority Southeast Asian countries now have similar de-radicalisation programs.

The massive network of Xinjiang misinformation has even won legislature support from six of 70 Western countries (US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Lithuania and the Czech Republic).

However, the rest of the world has refused to suck in the same juicy misinformation. To its credit, Australia’s Senate in mid-March 2021 voted (33-12) against a motion that China has committed genocide.

Indeed, most people in the world do not share the belief of those in Western countries that there is genocide in Xinjiang. This may be inferred from a clear division between those in Western countries (12% of the world’s population) and others in the Global South (88% of the world’s population) on whether China is violating human rights of Uyghur people. For example, in early July 2019, 21 of 70 Western countries (and Japan) gave a joint-statement to the UN Human Rights Council criticising China for alleged crackdown on Uyghur people in Xinjiang.

In response, just a day later, 37 countries in the Global South jumped to China’s defence with their own letter. Two observations may be made about this: Firstly, nearly half the signatories were Muslim-majority countries. Secondly, not a single Islamic country in the whole of the Middle East, Africa, Central or South East Asia has fallen for the false or exaggerated claims about Xinjiang’s detention of radical Islamists.

That the Muslim world does not share the Western world’s claim of a Xinjiang genocide is also reflected in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation expressing satisfaction with a visit to China by its 57 members to inspect rehabilitation facilities in Xinjiang. It even commended China’s efforts in providing care to its Muslim citizens.

Clearly, the Global South (including the entire Muslim world), is also aware there are three features in the bigger picture of misinformation about the so-called Xinjiang genocide.

    • Firstly, the persisting claim in the Western world is really about the US manufacturing anti-China sentiments to demonise China. That the “Uyghur card” is just part of a strategy to exert pressure on China is confirmed in a 2018 video clip where Lawrence Wilkerson, a US Colonel and former Chief of Staff to a US Secretary of State, admitted Uyghur ‘unrest’ in Xinjiang was a CIA narrative planned to destabilise China. This CIA approach was corroborated by whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds, a former CIA interpreter, who (in a video interview) talked about how the US had planned and acted to destabilise Xinjiang. As she put it, the US plan is to make an issue out of thin air and exploit it – “We hope Xinjiang to be the next Taiwan.”
    • Secondly, In the words of Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, claiming genocide in Xinjiang is just “part of a geopolitical tactical game, not really a burning desire of the US to solve all of the human rights issues in China”. It is why the US concentrate their efforts on Xinjiang and ignored the actual slaughter of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. Also, their focus is on Xinjiang Uyghurs because, unlike the 10 other ethnic groups in China, Uyghurs have a history of seeking to break away from China.
    • Thirdly, underwriting the CIA activities is a conspicuous anti-China program financed by US Congress. Through the America Competes Act 2022, Congress allocated $500 million a year for media outlets to produce journalism critical of China. For example, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has handed over US$8.76 million to insurgent Uyghur groups. Much funding goes to the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) to oversee anti-China propaganda outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia (RFA).

It is indeed very unfortunate that some leaders in the war-loving Western world regard demonising China as more important than condemning and halting actual genocide in the Gaza. Humanity would surely have been better served if they oppose the actual ongoing genocide in Ga

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