The United States-Led Propaganda Attack on China Will Prove to Have a Limited Shelf Life

A story much favoured in western media has been about China’s alleged genocide of its Uyghur population. The origins of the story are unclear, although it has often been attributed to the work of the Newton Institute for Strategic Policy and to a German propagandist who works for a markedly anti-Chinese organisation based in the United States.

The Uyghurs are based in the Xinjiang autonomous region, a large and strategically located region of China’s Northwest. The statistics provide absolutely no support for the propaganda. The Uyghurs constitute approximately 90% of the region’s population. [Xinjiang’s 2020 population was 25.85 million — 11.62 million were members of the Uygur ethnic minority and 10.92 million were Han. — DV Ed]

The report claimed that President Xi has launched a campaign against the Muslim Uyghurs. Apart from allegations that the men were to be rounded up, the women were alleged to be forcibly sterilised. The intent of the alleged policy was to eliminate the viability of the Muslim Uyghur population.

The official statistics, however, provide absolutely no support for the lurid claims. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, was quoted as saying that over the past 40 years the population of the Uyghurs had increased from 5,500,000 to 12,800,000 and the average life expectancy had increased from 30 to 72 years.

In the period from 2010-2018, the Uyghur population of Xinjiang increased from 10,170,000 to 12,720,000, which is an increase of 25.04%. This was the highest growth rate of any region of China. The Han population, which represents China’s dominant Group, rose by only 2% over the same period.

Neither is the area disadvantaged. From 2014 to 2019 average economic growth rose at a rate of 7.2% per annum. The Chinese government has invested approximately 2.35 trillion yuan into Xinjiang over the past 70 years since the Communist government came to power. Primary school enrollment stands at 99.91% which makes it equal to the highest anywhere else in the world and in particular on a par with the most highly developed western nations.

Recently, a group of 40 western nations lead by Canada (whose own history is less than admirable as recent revelations indicate) issued a statement condemning China’s alleged ill-treatment of its Uyghur population. This fact was widely publicised in the western media. Given almost no coverage was the fact that 90 nations released a statement in response to the Canadian missive, supporting China, in condemning both the fabrication of statistics of alleged genocide and the western attempts to blatantly interfere in China’s internal affairs.

This is a pattern repeated time after time, with adverse comments about China given wide coverage and almost no coverage at all to reporting the facts.

The question to be asked is: why the adverse concentration on Xinjiang? The answer to that question lies in Xinjiang’s extraordinary wealth and natural resources. Oil, natural gas and non-ferrous metals, including copper and gold, are the most important resources. Oil is estimated to exceed 30 billion tons, and those of natural gas exceed 10,000 billion cubic metres.

The rapaciousness of western conglomerates is well known and they would dearly love to get their hands on these resources. That is unlikely to ever happen.

The second major reason for western interest in the region is geography. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is therefore uniquely well placed to be in a position to influence precisely those countries which the Americans have long sought an influence.

The United States is currently in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan after 20 long years of attempting to change that country to more accurately reflect United States interests. In that they have failed miserably. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that they have lost interest in Afghanistan or the region. The great unasked question, for example, is what will happen to the enormously lucrative heroin crop, With Afghanistan representing more than 80% of the world’s supply, as well as providing billions of dollars in additional revenue for the CIA, the chief organiser and distributor of the heroin on the world market.

It is a topic which most western commentators have been assiduous in avoiding. Attempting to safeguard that crop will be one of the main tasks of the approximately 10,000 United States mercenaries whose withdrawal from Afghanistan has been conspicuously absent from discussions to date.

Of Xinjiang’s other neighbours, India has been a particular interest for the Americans. It has recently resurrected the four-nation grouping involving itself, India, Japan and Australia to form part of its confronting China policy. The Indians are frankly ambivalent, with a long- established relationship to Russia competing with their distrust of China for their attention.

The Australians for their part seem determined to pursue policies designed to maximise conflict with China, their largest trading partner by a significant margin. For the Australians, it seems that maintaining their slavish adherence to the Americans overwhelms what by most objective standards is their own self-interest in the Asian region.

The United States propaganda war against China, and especially over Xinjiang will not die soon. The support shown by China’s non-western friends indicates yet again that the American ability to carry the rest of the world in its anti-China crusade has a limited shelf- life. China and Russia will continue the relationship building through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and similar vehicles, proving yet again that the United States’ days as a vehicle of influence are progressively waining.

James O'Neill is a retired Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He can be contacted at Read other articles by James.