Twitter row reveals China’s ‘lies’ surrounding persecuted Uighurs
Social media giant locks the account of China’s Embassy in US after it calls ‘sterilization’ campaign ‘emancipation’
Beijing has branded Twitter’s decision to lock the account of China’s United States embassy as an assault on “the truth.”
The decision was made after @ChineseEmbinUS posted a tweet earlier this month that said Uighur women had been “emancipated.” It also pointed out that they were no longer “baby-making machines,” citing a report by state-backed newspaper China Daily.
Last year, a study by German researcher Adrian Zenz accused China of forcing Uighur Muslim women to be sterilized or fitted with contraceptive devices in Xinjiang Provence.
The report published by the Jamestown Foundation in Washington prompted international calls for the United Nations to investigate.
In response, President Xi Jinping’s ruling Communist Party administration labeled the findings “lies.”
“We hope they [Twitter and the US] won’t apply double standards on this issue. We hope they can discern what is correct and truthful from disinformation on this matter,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Thursday, referring to the social media ban.
- The UN has confirmed that 1.5 million Uighur Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang internment camps.
- China has claimed they are “re-education centers” after launching a massive crackdown nearly four years ago.
- Mike Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State, issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that the Communist Party was committing “genocide” against Muslim Uighurs.
- President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the State Department, Antony Blinken, endorsed that assessment during a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this week.
- Beijing called Pompeo a “doomed clown” and the “joke of the century.”
What was said: “We’ve taken action on the Tweet for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: ‘We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,’” a Twitter spokesperson said less than 24 hours after Pompeo’s “genocide” statement.
Reaction to the news: “There are numerous reports and information relating to Xinjiang that is against China. It’s a responsibility for our embassy in the US to clarify the truth,” Hua, of China’s Foreign Ministry, said.
China Factor comment: Beijing has continued to peddle a disingenuous narrative of the crimes committed in Xinjiang. The propaganda push has been spearheaded by the state-controlled and heavy-censored media, as well as government institutions. Independent journalism has been strangled by the Communist Party while social media posts are blocked by the Great Firewall if they do not reflect CCP policy. Free speech simply does not exist in the world’s second-largest economy. To illustrate the hypocrisy of the Party’s condemnation of Twitter is the fact that the online platform is banned in China.