Chinese embassy's Twitter blockade hides an even greater injustice
Keith Lamb

Editor's note: Keith Lamb is a University of Oxford graduate with an MSC degree in Contemporary Chinese Studies. His primary research interests are China's international relations and "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Recently, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. had their account locked for tweeting: "The minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines."

Twitter said: "We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity."

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying replied on January 21: "There are many conspiracy theories and disinformation on American social media relating to Xinjiang that are not true. It's a responsibility for our embassy in the U.S. to clarify them."

She might as well have spared her breath as these conspiracy theories didn't originally arise from social media. Twitter along with the rest of the West propagandized by "evidence" paid for by Washington and "independent" think-tanks, funded by the military-industrial complex, has already convinced many that concentration camps and genocide are standard fare in Xinjiang. As such, Twitter probably believes they are acting justly.

Indeed, Xinjiang has suffered from extreme terrorist acts in the past. Consequently, deradicalization centers have been the means China has chosen to combat this extremism. Undoubtedly, this is not an ideal state of affairs but neither is having a campaign of violent extremism launched upon Chinese citizens.   

The fact is, deradicalization centers have been used by France (unsuccessfully) and have also been used in Indonesia and lauded in the Western press. China's methods, for better or worse, are far more desirable than a never-ending Western war on terror that fills the pockets of the military-industrial-complex and has so far killed over 800,000 people.

Considering that the Uygur population among the fastest growing population in China, claims of genocide are ridiculous. The oft-reported 3 million in camps also makes little sense considering this is nearly one-fourth of the Uygur population. Take away old people and take away children, which make up a bigger proportion of the Uygur ethnicity than other Chinese ethnic groups, then the figure of 3 million sounds even more incredulous.

Now no doubt, many will not agree with the methods China uses. Often China's methods employed on a grand scale may clash with Western sensibilities. The locking down of Wuhan due to COVID-19 that led to cries of abuse by the West is enough to demonstrate this.

Local residents play music for tourists in the old town of Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 9, 2019. /Xinhua

Local residents play music for tourists in the old town of Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, July 9, 2019. /Xinhua

Certainly, some will say deradicalization centers go against human rights. If so, I would urge Western governments to raise their point with China. However, when doing so they should come to the table humbly.

They should be fully cognizant that their policies to combat terror have killed far more innocent lives than terrorism itself. They should be acquainted with the fact that their invasion of Iraq based on false claims of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Saddam Hussein's involvement with 9/11 were cleverly fabricated and propagated throughout their media apparatus.

Even the events of 9/11, as detailed by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, are questioned by scientific analysis. If their ignored evidence, backed by over 3,000 architects and engineers is true then the Western powers that be who were responsible for the invasion of Afghanistan, and whose consequences play out in Xinjiang today, are responsible for an even greater injustice.

The Twitter block on the Chinese Embassy reveals what has always been the case. There is a highly organized media apparatus, controlled by neoliberal capital, that distorts reality and controls the grand narrative when it comes to significant international affairs – especially ones that justify violent responses.

Hua claims there are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Xinjiang as such. She is merely, through Twitter, setting forth China's position. However, just like 9/11 Architects, and Engineers and just like those who rallied against the false claims of WMD, her words will be neglected because they go against the interests of a deep state whose only long-term strategic goal is belligerence.

Indeed, the Chinese Embassy's Twitter ban should raise further questions about other conspiracies. After all, if a narrative can be so easily controlled to turn deradicalization centers that grew up in response to terrorism, influenced by Afghanistan, into genocide and concentration camps then would it not be just as easy for the media to hide a stolen election from the public?

For all those who buy into the dream that the U.S. media is "free", the recent Twitter bans show that the U.S. media is in-fact controlled by neoliberal monopolists who are the gatekeepers to information and who have no responsibility to anyone except to their own class interests. Part of these class interests is to turn a profit. War, which leads to the looting of resources and weapons sales, is just another business venture that needs to be advertised to the public through atrocity propaganda, where competing voices will be silenced.

At the end of the day, with the revelations that internet media is easily controlled by the whims of a small monopolistic class-conscious elite, it becomes increasingly urgent in our emerging multi-polar world for other poles, who have undeveloped internet industries, to spur on development in this field so that they are not subject to a future monopolistic blockade.

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