Things to know about all the lies on Xinjiang: How have they come about?

2021-04-30 Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download
Special: Xinjiang

A Uygur family in Yuli county, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, April 15, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

In recent years, manipulated and encouraged by the anti-China forces in the United States, some truth-bending "academic institutions", rumor-mongering "experts and scholars" and "amateur actors" with no moral scruples have created a chain of lies to defame Xinjiang and mislead international public discourse, often through dirty funding, fact-twisting stories and massive smear campaigns.

Truth shall not be tainted, the world should not be deceived and narrative about Xinjiang mustn't be distorted. The recent reports by independent US news website and Australian publication Australian Alert Service, and a series of press conferences held by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have revealed the truth about the fraudulent Xinjiang-related "databases" and the so-called "witness testimonies" and, with abundant facts and figures, exposed the real mastermind behind them. Let us get to the bottom of what's going on and reveal the ins and outs of the lies about Xinjiang.

I. As early as in the last century, the United States and other Western countries started to support separatist and terrorist activities in Xinjiang out of geopolitical purposes in order to destabilize China and contain its development.

◆During the Cold War, British scholar Bernard Lewis concocted the theory of "arc of crisis" aiming to fracture countries from the Middle East to India based on ethnic lines to divide the Soviet Union. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Adviser to President Carter, argued that the United States must prevent the realization of "the age-long dream of Moscow to have direct access to the Indian Ocean". The United States then launched Operation Cyclone, which lasted from 1979 to 1989 and cost up to US$630 million each year. Together with Saudi Arabia and Britain, the United States provided funding, equipment and training for Muslim guerrillas fighting against the Soviet Union.

◆Right after the Cold War ended, the United States and Britain started to use Xinjiang as a leverage to contain China, by supporting separatist and terrorist forces. The neoconservative forces in the US pivoted from the Soviet Union to containing China's influence in Central Asia. US and British intelligence agencies supported Pan-Turkism in order to weaken Russia and China and serve their agenda of maintaining a unipolar world. Over the years, there emerged a number of anti-China institutions and extremist groups seeking a state of "East Turkistan" or "independence" of Xinjiang, including the World Uyghur Congress and the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile. Since 2004, the National Endowment for Democracy has funneled US$8.76 million to Uyghur diaspora groups campaigning against China's policies in Xinjiang. The above-mentioned factors have caused the rapid spread of radical ideas in Xinjiang. Terrorists entered Xinjiang from the battlefields in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. Some violent terrorist organizations overtly clamored for targeting and attacking Chinese nationals. Between 1997 and 2014, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) frequently plotted and carried out terrorist attacks, which claimed more than 1,000 civilian lives.

◆The CIA suggested in 2003 that should the US find itself in a crisis or confrontation with China in the future, the option of using the "Uyghur card" as a means of exerting pressure should not be taken off the table. Under this strategy, the United States, Britain and their allies, latching on to the Cold War mentality, have directed their intelligence establishments and anti-China scholars to mobilize Uyghur diaspora groups in spinning out misinformation about the so-called severe oppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang,which was spread by mainstream Western media in a coordinated manner. Here are what they seek to achieve:

First, a false impression that Muslims in Xinjiang support "independence". This is often done by instigating certain groups to carry out separatist activities to make the public believe people in Xinjiang all want an independent state.

Second, the illusion that the ETIM is for peace. Nothing has been said about relevant groups' close ties with Al-Qaeda and their violent and terrorit rhetoric. In November 2020, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even removed the ETIM from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Third, the false claim of human rights violations in Xinjiang. Some organizations including Human Rights Watch have fabricated reports on Xinjiang, but their sources are just a small group of extremely anti-China overseas Uyghurs. The baseless accounts in those reports were further hyped up and spread by institutions such as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

◆In January 2017, then US Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard noted that under US law, it is illegal for anyone to provide funding or support for the Al-Qaida, ISIS or other terrorist organizations. However, the US government has long been, directly or indirectly, providing funds, weapons and intelligence support to these organizations through certain countries in the Middle East.

◆Lawrence Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired US Army Colonel, when speaking at the Ron Paul Institute in August 2018 on the threefold purposes of the US presence in Afghanistan, stated unabashedly 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".

◆In a video interview in 2015, Sibel Edmonds, a former interpreter with the FBI, talked about how the US had planned and acted to destabilize Xinjiang. She said that "Xinjiang is the entry artery of energy. We want to, gradually and internally, play the gender card and the race card. For that part of the world, we want to play the minority without land. We say we are going to help them and they are being oppressed, Chinese are gunning them down and torturing them." The plan of the US is to copy the tactics used in Afghanistan, Ukraine and Iraq to Xinjiang, making an issue out of thin air and exploit it. "We hope Xinjiang to be the next Taiwan. As Western nations, we never cared about people. That is not within our interest area, unless it can be utilized, capitalized upon to get our objective."

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