By Ikenna Emewu
In October 2019 when the rave heightened, I wrote a piece that got wide publicity to enlighten on the very true facts that underpin the propaganda US and some other countries raise against China over Xinjiang.
That western tip outpost of China has lately been placed at the front burner of calumny against China once again.
When the trade war between US and China raged and started spreading wider, I had argued the agenda that drove President Donald Trump’s war were beyond just trade. I saw a bigger picture that was actually about plans and policies to rein in China and bring them to subjection as state policy.
Because it’s state policy rather than Trump’s, I guessed right that Biden, his successor would continue with the skirmishes, maybe, just maybe, at a different tempo.
The entry of President Joe Biden has sustained Trump’s anti-China war and taking it from the Xinjiang flank for now. Because of the renewed alliance of the US and EU frayed by Trump, the European allies have joined in the China bashing for known reasons.
Doubts about the veracity of the myriad human rights abuses claims came clearer few days ago when I watched a video clip of a former chief of staff to the former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. The former diplomat and soldier, Lawrence Wilkerson, was speaking at the Ron Paul Institute in August 2018 on the threefold purposes of the US presence in Afghanistan, one of which is to contain China. He admitted pointedly that “the third reason we were there in Afghanistan is because there are 20 million Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The CIA would want to destabilize China and that would be the best way to do it, to foment unrest and to join with those Uyghurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external.”
I later found the video also featured recently at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing briefing where the spokeswoman of the ministry, Hua Chunying brought it up to the attention of the world press that had gathered at the Blue Hall of the ministry where I used to also attend briefings involving the entire world media during my days in Beijing.
No matter the extent of cover-up, the truth once in a while escapes out of the sealed bag.
From the outset, it’s been well orchestrated rehearsal played by the US. They also tie it to Hong Kong for their reasons of ensuring China is down like the rest of the world and every country strictly under her control.
As US, world capital of rabid racism and with reputation of intolerance for the Blacks, Asians, Hispanics etc messes with their rights everyday without reprieve or redress, she shouts loudest about human rights abuses outside her domain. Badly, US human rights trampling including the economic and sovereign rights of African countries didn’t start now and is without an end in sight.
It was this same disposition that nudged US to invade Vietnam in March 1965, Iraq in August 1990 and 2003, Afghanistan in October 2001 and Libya in March 2011. The Libya assault is what President Barack Obama in April 2016 admitted was the greatest regret of his presidency. All these attacks drew blank as history later proved. Yet US appetite to take on China remains fervent everyday – from one president to another.
Champions of this propaganda who actually target to manacle China know Xinjiang shares borders with seven countries, most of whom are terrorism flash points, threats that have spilled over into China through radical movements such as the Turkestan group.
Some of volatile states around Xinjiang include Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India and Tajikistan, with less intensity in India. In most of these countries, terrorism boils over to the extent that the UN declared Turkestan a terror group.
The predominant religion in Xinjiang is Islam which is also common in the nearby countries and therefore, skirmishes many times spill across borders into the region, thereby making Xinjiang a hotbed of terror incidents.
On January 5, 2009, the East Turkestan movement, in and outside Xinjiang launched violent riots in Xinjiang that led to the death of 197 people and injury to 1,700. Over 331 stores and 1,325 vehicles were razed.
Prior to that incident, the sparks of terrorism that kindled to a flame had been smouldering.
Six incidents of terror attacks in Xinjiang between 1992 and 2014 were enough signs to alert the world and US that crises were in the offing in the vast north western tip of China.
Bombing first happened in 1992 in Urumqi, repeated in the same Xinjiang capital city in 1997 in a bus bombing incident.
In 2010, another bombing wrecked the peace in Aksu. Twice in 2011, the bombers struck in Hotan and Kashgar and they returned to Ürümqi in 2014.
Surprisingly, US that moved her camp to nearby Afghanistan to fight Al-Qaeda terrorism, turned around to accuse China safeguarding herself in the same terror domain of stifling the rights of the ethnic Uyghurs. An irony indeed.
About March 22, 2021, I watched a documentary on CNN on the Xinjiang issues. Good enough, CNN team of journalists visited Xinjiang and did its report. That means China willingly accepted that the US medium visits. I was just wondering if US government would allow a Chinese media into the country and be permitted to visit those racism and rights abuses flash points in down south US to report to the world. Doesn’t this show China is more open that her accusers?
Some Western countries, especially US in 2019 raised doubts about China’s anti-terrorism approach in Xinjiang, a position the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi vehemently countered.
As they argued that China’s de-radicalization was abuse of rights of some Uyghurs, Wang said a vehement no and corrected that the method has instead yielded huge dividends.
When the Xinjiang issue was raised at the UN Security Council, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang had fired back, insisting that China was just working on “preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in west Xinjiang.”
Wang assured such practices represent useful explorations in preventive counter-terrorism and concrete steps in implementing the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.”
The Chinese FM also told the UNSC that “China has curbed the rampant and frequent terrorist activities in the region and safeguarded the basic rights of more than 25 million Xinjiang residents, including the right to subsistence and development.
Significant economic growth has been achieved in the region with people’s religious freedoms respected, Wang added.
The local economy has grown 80-fold since the establishment of the region around six decades ago, and more assured religious freedom.
I will not be one to support human rights abuse, no matter who is involved. But whenever I hear of rights abuses accusation against China in this region, what comes to my mind is the allegations of the Human Rights Watch against Nigerian troops fighting against Boko Haram terrorists.
America has since 2009 Boko Haram started tearing Nigeria to shreds been more interested in accusing Nigeria of abusing the rights of terrorists with scant attention to the victims, who possibly aren’t humans and have no rights.
If the US, EU and any country or group is quite interested in curtailing terrorism, then, let them own up to their real intention in Xinjiang.
It is just about politics of destroying China by some interests that brandish their superiority by stopping the growth of others at all costs.
Xinjiang rights abuses attacks on China live a world away from any love for the rights of some people.
The American in this video that leaked at very auspicious time cleared our doubts and confirmed the suspicion.
So, can we rest this wrong fight please?
Emewu, journalist, wrote from Afri-China Media Centre email@example.com