How fake news has become the norm for the U.S.
Updated 10:27, 29-Dec-2019
Seymur Mammadov

Editor's Note: Seymur Mammadov is the director of the international expert club EurAsiaAz and editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's news agency The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The U.S. is expanding its opposition to China not only in the commercial and technological arenas, but also in regards to information with its propaganda materials, especially concerning the situation of Uygurs in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In early December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Uygur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, which is devoted to "human rights violations" in Xinjiang and provides sanctions against Chinese officials allegedly involved in the oppression of local Muslims. Prior to this, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on 28 Chinese government agencies and private firms for involvement in violating the rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and other regions of China.

As is typical for the United States, it does not want to be alone in this war against Beijing and therefore has put pressure on countries in Europe and other regions to draw them into the process. To a certain extent, Washington has succeeded.

In July this year, the permanent representatives of 22 countries to the UN turned to the High Commissioner of the Human Rights Organization with a petition in which they complained about China in connection with the situation in Xinjiang. Analysts called this petition a provocation. There is a certain amount of truth, considering that a similar crazy bill, the 2019 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was passed earlier by the U.S.

These charges against China bring us back to the time of the Cold War, when Western propaganda was sophisticated in portraying hellish life in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Today, China has become a prime target for Western propaganda. For what? It's very simple.

China is now a successful developing country, which is increasingly crowding out the U.S. on the world's stage. Through the efforts of its incredibly hardworking and talented people, China rose out of poverty.

This is clearly seen in the example of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As part of a nationwide campaign to combat poverty in remote and rural areas, the region has accelerated its development.

The per capita income in Xinjiang jumped last year by 7.5 percent to 21,500 yuan (3,073 U.S. dollars) per year. To fight against poverty, the Chinese Central Government is pursuing a policy of industrialization in this region, building transport and communication infrastructure, while developing e-commerce and tourist attractions. As a result, from January to October this year, Xinjiang received nearly 200 million domestic and foreign tourists.

However, the West has been blind to these facts. On the contrary, the United States and its allies in their anti-Chinese campaign are tightening their stance. The main topic of criticism and international censure of Beijing is the so-called "re-education camps," where, according to the American report, Xinjiang Muslims are forcibly driven away, turned into the Chinese communists, forced to change their faith and so on.

A group of reporters from 24 countries visit a vocational educational center in Moyu County, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, northwest China, July 22, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

A group of reporters from 24 countries visit a vocational educational center in Moyu County, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, northwest China, July 22, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

At the same time, there is an abundance of "fake news" in the Western media, operating with data of unknown origin, information from some informed sources and mythical leaks. Relevant information is also scattered through social networks.

The spread of lies at times finds its refutation. Take for example, the story of a 67-year-old woman named Henimhan Tudi, who allegedly was for a long time in a "re-education center" and was subjected to all kinds of humiliations there. But in the end it turned out that Tudi was not held in any "camp."

Here is another glaring fact. Photographs apparently of Uygur Muslims in a so called "re-education camp" in Xinjiang turned out to be taken in a refuge for migrants in Thailand and during a protest in Turkey.

A photo in which Chinese police allegedly beat a Muslim for reading the Koran in his house made even more noise. It scattered across social networks, gaining millions of retweets and likes. But independent studies have shown that these emotions were wasted in vain - in fact, it was Indonesian police beating the thief. 

Such allegations outrage Beijing because there are no "re-education camps". There are simply vocational education and training centers where the population of a rapidly developing region learns the title language of the country and gets professional skills that allow them to get a job.

Over the past two years, nearly one and a half million new jobs have been created in Xinjiang, and more than eight million peasants have received training in such schools and found jobs in other areas. That is, millions of people thanks to the above schools have become active participants in economic processes, and have been divorced from negative trends, in particular, being drawn into extremist activities.

We can talk about the creative role of China for hours. The creation and the pursuit of peace lie in the very philosophy of the Chinese civilization. This country is always ready for cooperation, and will lend a helping hand to friends, but will not allow other countries to speak on its behalf. Fake news harms the international reputation of the West more than China. It is appropriate to recall the saying "Everything secret, sooner or later becomes apparent."

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