When former US president Donald Trump introduced his ‘strategic competition’ policy, describing China as a threat to the US and the west, Britain followed suit, along with other western allies, so alarmed were they by China’s rising global influence. Now under President Joe Biden, coordinated campaigns against China are escalating, one of them being the accusation of genocide perpetrated against the Uyghur muslims, an ethnic and religious minority in the huge and strategically significant Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China.
Formerly known as Sinkiang, the Xinjiang region is essentially a central Asian province, in the west of China, and northwest of Tibet, which abuts the oil-rich southern states of the former USSR (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and the Hindu Kush including India, Pakistan (particularly its eastern cities of Islamabad and Lahore) and Afghanistan (Xinjiang is close to Kabul) – all key theatres of US economic and military activity, and all increasingly being drawn towards China.
This article looks at how the British political and liberal classes are helping to coordinate the false narrative of ‘genocide’ in order to justify aggression towards China and its ruling party, the Communist Party of China (CPC).
How evidence is obtained
Narratives around genocide rely heavily on evidence produced by organisations funded by the western imperial powers. This includes the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which receives funding from the Australian department of defence and other governments, including Britain’s. It also receives funds from the arms industry for researching ‘defence capabilities’.
ASPI reports make several claims. Using very small amounts of data based on satellite imagery they extrapolate huge figures to claim the destruction of mosques and religious persecution of the Uyghurs. There is no attempt in these reports’ commissioned studies or sources to speak directly to local communities or to investigate newly constructed mosques.
The allegations of forced labour they contain rely heavily on US corporate media articles on the one hand, and Chinese media articles on the other, which begs the question: why would the Chinese government plaster its plan of genocide on the front pages of its own papers? There is no evidence of any attempt by the authors of the ASPI report to visit the Xinjiang region; rather the ASPI cherry-picks ‘facts’, speculates, ‘extrapolates’ and interprets.
What’s more, the evidence that ASPI uses to substantiate its allegations of ‘labour camps’ from satellite imagery has been discredited by local residents in Xinjiang. The structures that the ASPI alleged were labour camps turned out on investigation to be apartment blocks, swimming pools and other civil buildings.
The ASPI method of collecting ‘evidence’ throughout its reports is a carefully selected patchwork quilt of misinformation, chosen to fit a preordained narrative.
Another widely quoted source of ‘evidence’ has been provided by the Jamestown Foundation, a thinktank that drives conservative US foreign policy and includes on its board Robert Spalding, in large part responsible for Donald Trump’s policy towards China. The political motivation, content and credibility of these reports, commissioned and funded by parties with overtly hostile positions towards China, have been dismantled in detail (here, here, here and here).
The Xinjiang province, which has a large population of Uyghur muslims, is of strategic interest to western imperialists. It is an area rich in natural resources and energy and is a vital node in China’s Belt and Road initiative, forming part of the China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC). The region has many borders, including with US-occupied Afghanistan.
Regarding its problems of salafist terrorism, China has published evidence showing the carnage wreaked by jihadist attacks inside Xinjiang over recent years. China’s stated goal is to end the influence of western terrorist imports over sections of the domestic population, and this is the reason behind its education centres, which are but one component part of its counterterrorism and development strategy.
It has been the desire of British, European, American and Japanese imperialists to balkanise and colonise China for the last 200 years. In the context of the proxy war that Anglo-American imperialism has been waging for the control of the middle east, the 2020 global capitalist economic depression, and the imperialists’ accelerating strategic rivalry with the rising economic power of China, the Nato alliance, wishing to destabilise China, clearly sees Xinjiang as a soft target.
The British imperialist toolkit: sanctions, inquiries, legislation, ethics
On 22 March 2021, using the pretext of these manufactured allegations of forced labour and persecution), the British government issued “global human rights” sanctions against Chinese individuals and entities it claims are ‘responsible’. China however, has resonded in kind, sanctioning in turn individuals and entities in Britain who “maliciously spread lies and disinformation”.
This involves a group of right-wing Tory MPs, including Tom Tugendhat of the China Research Group (CRG). The CRG pushes a ‘western values’ ideology, justifying and promoting both defensive and aggressive actions against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party of China. Last year, it published proposals on how to manage the CPC so as to defend ‘western democracy’, including by forming a western political alliance, a proposal the Foreign Office is effectively employing.
“The measures laid out in this report provide the UK and other nations with a policy toolkit of potential responses to counter violations of international universal human rights, in particular in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. These policy tools cover the range of resources needed to address China’s growing economic and political power, and look right across financial services, international law, trade, supply chains, infrastructure investment, information systems and more.”
The above-quoted paragraph makes it abundantly clear that it is not the phony genuflection to ‘human rights’ but the real economic interest of Anglo-American financial and economic domination that concerns the CRG.
Tom Tugendhat is also chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), whose inquiries are used to form government policy. It was the FAC that conceived and framed the fraudulently named and politically motivated ‘global human rights’ sanctions. These have now been issued – not against Tony Blair, George Bush, Barack Obama or David Cameron for their numerous and well-known genocidal wars, but against Chinese officials.
The FAC has held an inquiry based on the Xinjiang ‘forced labour’ and ‘work camp’ narratives. This has run alongside another inquiry by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) led by Tory MP Nusrat Ghani, who has also been sanctioned by China. Jointly, they wrote to British companies to identify which of them are “exploiting the forced labour of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China” (ie, employing Chinese workers in Xinjiang).
This shows the coercive measures now being employed to bring companies into line with Britain’s foreign policy towards China. What we are seeing is essentially the weaponising of ‘ethics’ around sourcing and supply chains. Companies responded with pledges not to employ companies based in Xinjiang, citing the western-funded Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) ethical policy, to which they have signed up, and which pushes the narrative of forced labour in Xinjiang.
Many of the responses from companies mirror the statements made by Nike and H&M that caused such an outcry in China recently:
“As a responsible retailer, we have decided not to source any type of production and sourcing of any raw material linked to the exploitation and forced labour of Uyghur workers.” – New Look, which has also published a longer statement.
“As members of the Better Cotton Initiative, we have strong due diligence in the supply chain to eliminate cotton from areas like Xinjiang.” – Asda
Significantly, the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ has not provided evidence of forced labour in the Xinjiang region. This does not appear to matter. The BEIS now wants to create a list of companies that refuse to fall in line with government policy towards China, and to fine them, following the precedent set by the US’s Helms-Burton sanctions on companies that do business with Cuba.
This plan resembles the behaviour of the USA, which prohibits American companies from trading with countries such as Venezuela, Syria and Iran, effectively ending commercial relationships. The rhetoric is no surprise, given that the committee’s findings were coordinated with allies, as shown here and here, using the same commissioned evidence to drive narratives of gross human rights abuses, making the process of a so-called ‘inquiry’ a purely academic, PR-driven vehicle aimed at whitewashing and legitimising Britain and the US’s aggressive and hostile foreign policy towards China.
US Customs and Border Protection, for example, states (re China mind you!) that: “Imports made on the cheap by using forced labour hurt American businesses that respect human rights and also expose unsuspecting consumers to unethical purchases.”
The flagrant hypocrisy of this statement is breathtaking. Every time a US citizen puts gas in the tank of their SUV, buys a bunch of bananas, plays a game of Fortnite on their X-box 360, or charges their electric car, they are supporting unethical purchases based on poverty pay wage-labour, genocidal wars and the impoverishment of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America!
That no abuses commissioned by British imperialist ‘allies’ and proxies against populations or individuals are likely to be punished under this legislation was made clear when western liberal democracies refused to sanction Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman or take legal action against Saudi Arabia for the state-sponsored murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite the United Nations’ invitation for them to do so.
Trade bills, lawfare and Parliament as an echo chamber of US foreign policy
An attempt by Nusrat Ghani and Lord David Alton, now also sanctioned by China, to pass a ‘genocide amendment’ to the Trade Bill was narrowly defeated in March. Lord Alton is campaigning to effectively stop Britain trading with China under the genocide narrative.
There can be no illusion that Palestinians or Yemenis would have benefited from such legislation, while the Israeli and Saudi regimes enjoy lucrative trading terms and multibillion-dollar arms deals with Britain. Neither would Venezuelans, Syrians or Iranians enjoy any respite from the many deaths inflicted upon them by crippling and vindictive US sanctions. Such an amendment would be reserved as a weapon against ‘non-compliant’ nations.
Following similar determinations of genocide by the US and Canada, the British parliament will debate whether China is responsible for the genocide of Uyghurs on Thursday 22 April. In addition, a specially contrived ‘Uyghur tribunal’, falsely named a ‘people’s tribunal’, has been called by the ‘all-party parliamentary group, Uyghurs’, chaired by Labour MP for Bolton Yasmin Qureshi, and to make the same determination, lending the imperialist attack on China a statesman-like ‘above petty politicking’ air.
At the head of this kangaroo ‘tribunal’ is the ‘eminent’ legal expert Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was also recently sanctioned by China.
Victims of British imperialism never have the luxury of being so well represented: the inquiry into Britain’s role in destroying Libya was undertaken mainly by the MPs who had voted to invade it, for example. And no such tribunal was set up to investigate Tony Blair’s illegal war on Iraq or the war crimes perpetrated against Iraqi people by the British and US occupation, despite the abundant evidence published by Wikileaks and others.
Sir Geoffrey Nice’s pact with the devil increasingly casts him as a servitor of US and Nato interventionism and aggressive foreign policy. He took part in the politically motivated trial of Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in an illegal tribunal alongside other British ‘experts’ whose remit appears to have been to distract from and lend political cover to Nato’s murderous bombing campaign against and dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
During that show trial, President Milosevic himself pointed out: “And look at this ‘court’: the indictment is based on allegations provided by the English intelligence service; the judge is English; the prosecutor is English; the amicus curiae is English; and I … (microphone turned off).”
Milosevich died in the custody of his Nato captors, and that Clinton-Blair, Democrat-Labour imperialist war, as well as Mr Milosevic’s trial, was covered extensively in our newspapers at the time. [1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
Sir Geoffrey Nice played an instrumental part in writing the Caesar report, which formed the background to Donald Trump’s Caesar Act that was used to impose what can only be described as genocidal sanctions on the Syrian population – something that even Lord Alton recognises. Nice’s previous tribunal, ‘the China Tribunal’ on organ harvesting, which relied heavily on ‘evidence’ produced by the CIA-backed Falun Gong cult, is now being used to frame further US sanctions against China.
The British parliament, on this matter as on so many others, is effectively an echo chamber of US foreign policy (ie, a mouthpiece for Anglo-American imperialism). The British technique of appointing high-end lawyers to front tribunals appears to be the fomenting of an additional layer of legitimacy to justify imperialist warfare and to sweep away embarrassment after enough blood has spilled.
Britain’s slide into lawlessness is escalating in the panic of imperialist decay, its increasing desperation fuelled by crisis and decline.
Imperialism seeks domination – not democracy!
We must understand the false ‘human rights’ rhetoric used by very western ‘democratic’ governments that are repeatedly exposed as being the principal exploiting powers, the really global violators of human rights, instigators of genocidal wars, funders and backers of proxy terrorist jihadists, and architects of genocidal sanctions – the Anglo-American, EU and Nato imperialist powers.
Only then can we can understand the true content, meaning and purpose of the ‘Uyghur genocide’ myth.
1. Oppose the neo-Nazi NATO war against Yugoslavia, Lalkar, May/June 1999
2. Aftermath of the Yugoslav War, Lalkar, May/June 1999
3. Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague – By adding three lies, one does not get the truth, only a bigger lie, Lalkar, March/April 2002
4. US imperialism – violation of legality abroad and suppression of civil liberties at home, Lalkar, january/February 2003
5. BBC series The Fall of Milosevic – a mockery of history, Lalkar, March/April 2003
6. ‘The Aggressors Shall Not Write Our History’, Lalkar, January/February 2004
7. Milosevic murdered at the Hague by Iris Cremer, Proletarian, 1 April 2006