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Propaganda about Xinjiang re-education camps

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On Monday, China said there were “no such thing as re-education centers” in Xinjiang, denying all the abuses alleged at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) last Friday and in written reports submitted by civil society organizations.

Now, the propaganda machine is creaking into gear:

  • “Some anti-China forces have made false accusations against China for political purposes…The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang cherish their happy and peaceful life… All rumors and slander will be futile.” That’s what one foreign ministry spokesperson’s response to allegations heard at CERD, according to Xinhua.
  • “Why deradicalization education is ineffective in Europe” is the title of a piece in nationalist rag Global Times. Like last week’s op-ed — titled “Protecting peace, stability is top of human rights agenda for Xinjiang” — the new piece justifies rather than denies the existence of the camps:

“The impact of extreme religious thought cannot be underestimated… The ways China has adopted for deradicalization are more stringent, yet they worked. Europe’s methods are less effective, but that does not necessarily mean that Beijing is simply doing better in this regard. It is a common challenge faced by all and it is time to set aside conflicts over different values to prevent radicalism from globalizing. Otherwise, this double standard will jeopardize Europe’s own stability.”

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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