June Terpstra, Ph.D., Justice Studies Faculty, NEIU
From December 27, 2019, till January 8, 2020, 20 people invited by former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney for a China Silk Road Friendship Tour gathered in Beijing, China and traveled from Beijing to Xian, Dunhuang, Xinxiang and then back to Beijing. On our first day together Dr. McKinney explained her agenda to bring a diverse group of people together, including diversity in political creeds to form Left/Center/Right power cells for systemic change. My summaryprovides an introduction for those who may know little to nothing about China to accentuate the point that China’s policies and the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) are the anti-thesis of imperialist colonialism.1 The U.S.-China relationship features prominently in daily US media and not in a good way. By telling the anti-imperialist side of the story using a reflexive analysis, expert testimony, media content analyses, and ethnography, I offer a distinctive voice among my right/center colleagues in the group against the ongoing efforts in the USA to promote the cold and hot war against China. As my friend and author, Carlos Martinez advises in his article entitled, “Is China the New Imperialist in Africa?”, “such slanders should be resolutely exposed.” 2
In late 2013, China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to promote development across Africa, Asia, and Europe with Chinese financing. The BRI is viewed as a threat to US global domination. Since the beginning of the initiative loans from China totaling over $120 billion have backed projects ranging from highways to railroads to power plants. China’s stated intentions are that these funds will spur growth and expand its exports and access to land-based and maritime transport facilities, boost its manufacturing and construction firms, and strengthen its economic, and political influence abroad. We visited some of the major cities on the ancient Silk Road and the new Belt Road to see for ourselves the Chinese initiatives in the four cities we visited.
It is important to note the complexity of ideological differences within our group in view of China’s values of harmony, cooperation, and successful efforts to overcome conflicts with diplomacy instead of aggression. These Chinese values were often repeated but unheeded themes. As a diverse group of people from the West representing a cross-section of races, classes, and creeds, our group mirrored the historical lack of skills and general conflictual programming of Westerners when it came to cooperation and relationship building with each other. In general, to be conflict-oriented may be a genetic and/or cognitive flaw of the West, particularly in the USA where aggression, arrogance and obsessive individualism are “bred in the bone”.
Being somewhat incapable of managing our relationships by delinking issues and striving for a bargain to resolve disputes we stumbled through the trip in “sectarian” groups of anti-imperialist socialists, liberals, capitalists, libertarians, and elders. Sadly, we were not skilled enough to even discuss much less move forward with subjects that might have been expanded upon, while defining issues among us that could not be resolved. In this, we mirrored Western relationship dysfunctions. The body of this paper identifies some of the common misperceptions expressed within our group and throughout the West in general about China and socialism.
It was apparent to me as I traveled through Beijing that China seeks what benefits both the individual and the society in the vast array of everyday life in China. As a Chinese saying notes, “Everybody is responsible for the rise or fall of the country” and the truth in this slogan was observable from the airport employees to the busy street cleaners to the state-managed taxi drivers, and efficient hotel staff in a system in which one can be assured of fair rates charged, along with informed responses to questions from workers and the experts and academics with whom we met along the way.
I begin with the coronavirus that hit Wuhan, China just two weeks after we returned from our trip. Our group dodged a viral bullet, and while I remain suspicious about the origins of the virus I will take the advice of my comrade and friend in Wuhan who joined us for the first few days of our trip and say that the cause and routes of transmission are still unclear. In time, the microbiologists, the epidemiologists, and public health experts will figure that all out and publish on it in the near future. That the reports will all be viewed under a political cloud of suspicion is also to be expected.
In general, the first response in the Western corporate and government media was to accuse China of engaging in a ‘cover-up’ to avoid openly confronting the crisis. In my informal content analysis of reports from the NY Times, Time Magazine and the BBC I have found the following repeated narratives:
This a Chinese plot to kill its citizens for population control.
The Chinese unleashed the virus to stop the Hong Kong protests
They engaged in a ‘cover-up’ to avoid openly confronting the crisis’ and ‘they played down dangers to the public.
All of the above are proof dispositive that the Chinese system is fatally flawed.
China deserves this because of its bat-eating communist dictatorship
China would rather control its citizens than save lives’.
It is only right that nations and peoples with true humanitarian values rally around China in its extraordinary example of using its health-care, technology, and organizational systems in fighting this virus. Not only mutual interests but plain human decency demands it. Yet US and UK politicians specifically and Western media generally have gone the opposite route using the crisis as an opportunity to further their cold war against China and to stop China’s ascendency as a world power in its
Is this meat Dog meat? Was the virus from Bat soup?
Many racist memes have targeted China’s eating habits over the decades and in the recent crisis of the coronavirus.
“As news of the Wuhan virus spread online, one video became emblematic of its claimed origin: It showed a young Chinese woman, supposedly in Wuhan, biting into a virtually whole bat as she held the creature up with chopsticks. Media outlets from the Daily Mail to RT promoted the video, as did a number of prominent extremist bloggers such as Paul Joseph Watson. Thousands of Twitter users blamed supposedly “dirty” Chinese eating habits—in particular the consumption of wildlife—for the outbreak, said to have begun at a so-called wet market that sold animals in Wuhan, China…There was just one problem. The video wasn’t set in Wuhan at all, where the bat isn’t a delicacy. It wasn’t even from China. Instead, it showed Wang Mengyun, the host of an online travel show, eating a dish in Palau, a Pacific island nation...At a time of heightened fear over a viral pandemic, the Palau video has been deployed in the United States and Europe to renew an old narrative about the supposedly disgusting eating habits of foreigners, especially Asians...This time, that was mixed with another old racist idea: that the “dirty” Chinese are carriers of disease...These prejudices can fuel fear and racism. As the Wuhan virus spreads, the Chinese as a group are more and more likely to be blamed for its incubation and spread...those sentiments could turn nasty. In the West, especially under the Trump administration, it could fuel both government and public prejudices. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/27/dont-blame-bat-soup-for-the-wuhan-virus/)
People who eat dog meat are often shamed or scorned for their dietary choices by Westerners. Because of this, it might seem surprising to learn that dog meat dishes are the norm in countries other than China, but that doesn't change the fact that different cultures have different norms and understanding and respecting those norms is just plain good traveling etiquette and may avoid promoting the often-repeated stereotype of the “ugly Americans.” The facts are that people, all over the world, eat the meats, intestines, brains and just about every organ of every animal. The Swiss actually eat dog jerky. In Poland, Dog Lard Is Considered Medicinal. In Ghana, dog meat is believed to have spiritual value. A look at a British or Scottish menu may make vegans out of many people. Chicken Feet in the US, tuna eyeballs, wasps and hornets in Japan, Herring in Scandinavian countries, Grasshoppers in the Congo. fried spider, and in my childhood memory, snails in marinara sauce that our Sicilian neighbors cooked regularly.
The Chinese people do eat dog meat, but in very few regions, the most famous one is Yulin, where they pride their 1000 years of dog cuisine culture with the annual Lychee and Dog Meat Festival https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lychee_and_Dog_Meat_Festival. This festival has become the focal point of animal right protests from Chinese right-wing liberals and international NGOs.
China is an Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regime led by a Dictator.
From both the left and right wings of the Western ideational continuum one can hear the often-repeated accusation that China is authoritarian and totalitarian in its governmental structure. The facts show that it is neither. It is true that the People's Republic of China is a socialist republic ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of China.
"Decision-making power in the People's Republic is divided between the National People's Congress (NPC), the President, and the State Council. The National People’s Congress are officials in the single legislative body, whose members are selected by the Communist Party. The State Council, headed by the Premier, is the administrative branch. The People's Liberation Army also wields considerable political power.
The current President of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party is Xi Jinping. The Premier is Li Keqiang. There is a seven-member standing committee of the 25 members of the Politburo. There are 8 leading groups in the government: military, security, defense, foreign affairs. finances, supervision commission/reform, internet, and the judiciary. However, an often-seen narrative in Western media has been of a power-hungry Xi Jinping who is called a Dictator and leader of a personality cult. Yet to the Chinese people that is a grotesque, insulting caricature. Xi Jinping is acknowledged as a popular and capable leader respected as were Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping." (6/13/2017American Herald Tribune)
In the words of one of our group members who lives and works in China, Steve McClure, “…Life in a Chinese megacity is the vibrant, dynamic, and raucous civil society of the sidewalks and parks where anything and everything gets done and talked about. When the city government implements plans like home demolitions or banning open BBQ fires, it must contend with the street, people will not hesitate to throw up a street blockade or resist what they feel are inappropriate actions by the state. These problems are resolved by negotiations and an application of mass line techniques; riot police would in many cases be outnumbered…The People’s Republic of China is a multi-national state with a unitary political system, unlike the US which is a federated republic with powers separated horizontally and vertically between municipalities, states, and the federal government and between three branches. The Communist Party of China (CPC) is constitutionally recognized as the leading party, but there are other legally recognized parties that participate in governance. Some of my closest friends are members of these alternative parties. In my opinion, they serve an essential watchdog role, checking the power of the CPC.” 4
In 1952 the USA was referred to as a Totalitarian democracy in J. L. Talmon's book, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy. Totalitarian Democracy is a system of government in which law is constructed to control the electoral process with voting restrictions and an electoral college that in turn “elects” representatives of an oligarchical-controlled one party duopoly government that will maintain the power of a nation-state whose citizens, while granting the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government. More recent studies from Princeton and Northwestern Universities have called the US an oligarchy. Oligarchs such as George H. Bush have called for a unipolar new world order led by the USA since 2001.
It is important to note that the United States today is the world’s greatest incarcerator of its own citizens. The people are governed by literally millions of laws, rules, and regulations that micro-manage even the smallest details of personal lives as more laws, rules, and regulations are constantly being added. Most Americans have become so accustomed to the matrix of control that has been constructed all around them that it barely notices when even more rules and regulations are put into place. The fundamental bottom line is that China is not the hegemonic power; the USA is, with military bases and aircraft carriers making the world safe for transnational capital mostly based in the West.
On the contrary, the ideal society according to traditional Chinese cultural values is a world for all. In order to realize this ideal, the value of harmony advocates mutual respect, peace, cooperation, coexistence, and win-win development, which are embodied in China’s diplomatic policies. Since the beginning of the new century, peaceful development, harmonious society, mutual benefit, and win-win development have become China’s diplomatic maxims. 5
THE FORMER “ONE CHILD” POLICY
Early in our trip, Cynthia McKinney told a story about questioning the “One Child” China policy in a diplomatic meeting she had with Chinese officials during her time as a congresswoman. When she asked about the one-child policy, she said they responded by asking her how she would feed over 1 billion people?
This often-posed question by Westerners is fueled by the media generally and Netflix propaganda film specifically, entitled, “One Child Nation”. The one-child policy was introduced in 1979 by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to curb China's rapidly growing population. The One Birth policy was initially meant to be a temporary measure that is estimated to have prevented up to 400 million births since it was instituted. In the wake of an aging population and shrinking labor force, the policy was first relaxed to allow a second child for many young couples and then ended formally in October 2015. Because China adopted a one-child policy for a time they’ll be able to feed, house and clothe, educate and provide health care not only for that one child but many more than before the policy existed or was lifted.
According to the World Bank, more than 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of extreme poverty; China's poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015, yet the moral imperialism of the West is expressed in attempts to impose standards from a capitalist hyper-individualistic culture onto other cultures, regions, and countries.
Moral Hubris, or as the old Biblical saying goes, “the pride that goeth before a fall”, is a product of ideology production. After decades of dominating world affairs with exceptionalist narratives backed by military might, the general population of the US has developed cognitive dysfunctions in moral reasoning especially when it comes to white supremacy and US superiority. The mind control is so well-honed that the people have an aversion to ideas or views or ways of doing things using the methods or approaches originating in non-Western nations. Threads on social media in discussions about China in which I have engaged since returning from China demonstrate that many people are pigheadedly intolerant, scared and angry by the progress China has been making. These feelings are fueled by hacks in the Western agitprop machinery who search frantically for new angles from which to demonize and discredit all designated enemies, in this case, China.
China has brainwashed all its people.
Some people in the US call themselves “thought coaches.” One of the most well-known “thought coaches” that influenced the thoughts of the US population specifically and the West generally was Edward Bernays, who literally wrote the book on propaganda. Bernays hated communism but at least he knew what it was and the real threat it poses to greedy imperialists and capitalists for whom he was a great and willing asset. Generally, without knowing anything about communism or socialism, people in the West will declare it to be “bad” without knowing the history, culture, theories or principles of the people choosing these foundational paradigms. That is mostly the extent of their knowledge or lack thereof. Perhaps this is what their thought coaches had in mind.
The often-heard refrain in the West when anyone voices support for their socialist governments is that they are “brainwashed” in their educational system. Yet, which system has the most “efficient” brainwashing program? In over thirty years of teaching, I have a majority of students who are taught that Columbus “discovered America” and that the US is a democracy (recent studies show it is an oligarchy-controlled republic). Both narratives are false.
In 1986, the Chinese government passed a compulsory education law, making nine years of education mandatory for all Chinese children. From the 1980s, China started to carry out The Reform and Open-up policy, which greatly modified traditional education concepts and heavily effected early childhood education. Many foreign theories, such as those of Dewey, Montessori, Bronfenbrenner, Bruner and especially Piaget and Vygotsky, began to spread widely in China, and the thoughts of recent modern Chinese educationists such as those of Xingzhi Tao, Heqing Chen and Xuemen Zhang were brought to the fore again. These ideas challenged the early childhood education rationale and practice that had existed for more than 30 years. The early childhood curriculum reform began with spontaneous experiments in different parts of the country, gradually expanding from a single subject to the whole curriculum, progressing from city to village, and actively propelling the early childhood curriculum reform on a large scale. The reform in China's education movement is still ongoing. Curriculum approaches are becoming more diverse and aligned with the increasingly open and diversified society. Different curricula such as the Project Approach, Reggio Emilia and Montessori have been widely adopted and localized (As a result, many new curricula have been developed. For example, the Integrated Theme-based Curriculum which is advocated by the local government in Shanghai represents a localized progressive early childhood education approach.5
In contrast, the US curriculum for public education once modeled on the assembly line approach, called Taylorism or Fordism, provided an educational curriculum for the working and middle-class populations to be obedient, on time and to tolerate repetitious tasks. Later, with technological advancements and less need for industrial workers, the model was replaced by a curriculum developed by conservatives to address the needs of oligarchs for service workers given the realities of automation. This educational reform effort was led by Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education, William Bennett. This Core curriculum is present today in most schools in the USA.
The stated goals of the Chinese do not include world domination, new world order, and total control as does the imperialist unipolar hegemonic USA. When socialist countries such as Cuba are asked to assist those countries who request help freeing themselves from imperialism, colonialism, invasions and manufactured uprisings they historically leave when the task is finished. They don’t set up military bases or occupations or steal the oil and other resources.
China concentrates on good trade deals which benefit all countries making trade agreements. Chinese communism is the most successful model of socialism and communism the world has seen thus far. The US and Europe understand that their white supremacist imperialist system that has ripped off the resources of almost every country in the world and committed genocide of countless indigenous populations may be at its end. There is a battle being fought for either a unipolar or multipolar future or a future of extinction and there are more than two sides in this battle. Which side are you on was a foundational but unasked question that was never called for those of us on the Silk Road Trip.
Chinese Communism is just another form of Imperialism.
In one of President Xi's speeches explaining China's concept of international relations, he said they envision "A community of a shared future for all humankind" http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/20/c_136142216.htm China, an ancient innovator of trade became the world’s largest trading nation by overtaking the US in 2014. Regarding China’s foreign investments, they are in their vast majority of socialist state investments, not capitalist investments. For many on the left and right, China’s investments bringing development to numerous underdeveloped countries are seen as a form of imperialism. This ignores a few basic facts. First of all, the vast majority of these investments are by the Chinese mainland state-run banks or other state-owned sectors. Instead of being short-term speculative investments based on the profit motive, as imperialist capitalist investments are, they are investments that seek needed commodities for China’s economy which is efficiently planned and ideologically socialist.
These trade deals are decidedly not for profit but to fit the stated goals of the Chinese State. China doesn’t need military bases to force countries to be partners. The US, on the other hand, needs military bases in order to make offers that countries cannot refuse. Sadly, anti-Chinese and anti-communist coverage of China’s trade deals in the West helps to fuel anti-Chinese prejudices that have been pushed by the U.S. government and Western media for decades.
China has a bad record of human rights.
In the CIA narrative, pre-Communist Tibet was an idyllic Buddhist land in which a beatific Dalai Lama smiled over a kingdom where no man raised a hand in violence as he spun his prayer wheel in search of nirvana. Then along came the big bad Communist Chinese (hated by the same elites from which the Dalai Lama comes) who mercilessly oppressed these peaceful people. With help from the CIA, as documented in numerous books and interviews by former agents and the Dalai Lama himself, fifty years after the Chinese takeover of Tibet, the myth still persists. The narrative has even grown, thanks to the media and the increased interest of Westerners in Buddhism and Yoga. An example comes immediately to mind on this question in my recent debates with a yoga teacher who “hates all things Chinese” because she believes this narrative.
The facts are that in 1928, Chiang Kai-shek’s regimented Kuomintang party took the reins of power within the republican government. The Kuomintang reemphasized the goal of a unified China – including Tibet. On 1 October 1949, a victorious Chairman Mao formally inaugurated the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from a new capital in Beijing. The PRC extended the Kuomintang claim over Tibet. Making no secret of its intentions, on 1 January 1950 communist state radio declared that the liberation of all three – Taiwan, Hainan, and Tibet – was the goal of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for the upcoming calendar year. The Khams (Tibetans from the Kham province of Tibet) launched a separatist movement in the mid-1950s after their homeland was annexed by the Chinese and added to Sichuan province and they were ordered to turn in their guns. For the Khams the Buddhist love of all living things did not extend to the Chinese. One guerilla in the film Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet said, “When we kill an animal, we say a prayer, but when we killed Chinese, no prayer came to our lips." The C.I.A. agreed to help the Khams by training them in guerilla warfare and helping them run operations in Tibet against the Chinese. The lord chamberlain for the Dalai Lama and other high officials were very enthusiastic about the operation. The operation, codenamed ST CIRCUS, was by all accounts a disaster. [Source: Melinda Lu, Newsweek, April 19, 1999]
Hong Kong too is a chess piece on the US hegemony chessboard. The protest events featured daily in the media prior to the Coronavirus crisis have been documented to be organized, funded and sponsored by CIA and Mi-6 sponsored comprador Hong Kong agents. Meetings between US “color revolutions” experts have been exposed in media reports but the biggest “tell” in the manufactured uprisings game has been the glorified reports of the Hong Kong protests in Western media. When uprisings are approved by the US media it is a clue to their sponsorship. On the other hand, when protests such as those in France that occurred weekly for over a year are ignored by Western media they are statistically shown to be genuine grassroots movements.
Another media topic for the cold war is Western accusations of alleged Muslim massacres in Xin Jiang. However, what our group saw there is a peaceful and prosperous city with thriving Mosques and markets in the Muslim quarters of the city where dancing traditional dances in the streets could be observed and even joined.
“While there is exactly zero evidence for 1 million Uyghurs in “concentration camps”, nor of any “cultural erasure”, “human rights violations”, “torture”, and even less the unbelievably brazen allegations of “genocide” there are 10 million Uyghurs in Xin Jiang. One million detained would mean almost half the adult male population. The UN never made this announcement. It was the “opinion” of One US representative, based on the admitted “guesses” of a “humanitarian watch group” called ”Chinese Human Rights Defenders” based in Washington. But it was publicized by all major news networks without question. That is the double standard that US global hegemony and “full-spectrum dominance” affords. What does exist, what China has never hidden, are vocational schools and education centers for common criminals and individuals exposed to extremist fundamentalism, with known connection to Turkic separatism and ISIS/DAESH.” (https://worldaffairs.blog/2019/07/05/xinjiang-and-uyghurs-what-youre-not-being-told/)
The concentration camps that people from the US should be concern about are the migrant concentration camps of the USA where allegations of sexual abuse, human trafficking, and mass deaths are made. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid more than $800 million in taxpayer money to 19 private detention centers to hold migrants and asylum seekers this year. (https://www.newsweek.com/ice-trump-migrants-800-million-private-prisons-asylum-seekers-1272804?fbclid=IwAR2a9McXhnMNXAjfADICd41ubb9QeIJdV44jfrlWITSgcYF13nnRlwQuHt4)
Projection is a common propaganda strategy of the corporate media in the USA. For example, the media take the USA/CIA documented actions in Guantanamo Bay and numerous US military sites around the world of forcing Muslims to drink alcohol and eat pork under torturous conditions and attribute them to the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs. In fact, the Communist Party’s effective and restorative solution to violent fundamentalist extremism allegedly supported by the USA focuses on education, inclusion, and poverty alleviation. China, like Syria, has a sovereign right to stop foreign supported terrorists being groomed in their country.
In his article, The China Wave, 2012, scholar Zhang Weiwei had this to say about human rights in China.
"China is the fastest-changing country in the world. What took Europe 300 years was condensed into 30-40 years, and this process inevitably has produced social tensions, including human rights issues, which call for an earnest solution, but most Chinese are satisfied with the direction in which their country is moving: according to a Pew survey conducted in 2008, 86% of the Chinese are satisfied as opposed to 23% in the US. So, I think on matters relating to China, including human rights in China, it’s necessary to first ask the Chinese, not Americans or Europeans…It’s mind-boggling for me that many in the West always believe that they know China better than the Chinese, Africa better than the Africans, Russia better than the Russians. This is wrong…China does not follow the Western preference and regards poverty eradication as a top-priority human right and hence has lifted over 400 million people out of poverty. Poverty eradication is not considered part of human rights in much of the West or the US, which even does not consider economic, social and cultural rights human rights, but we have no time to wait for the West to wake up. We have done it the Chinese way and achieved very positive results.”
When it comes to China like any place else, the important thing is to stand for peace, oppose the wars, and work to unite all who can be united to push for meaningful reforms at home in a revolutionary way through organized working-class action. Without an end to the dominance of the military economy in the USA, it is hard to see progress on things like reparations or dealing with climate change. 4 Steve McClure
The historic and present-day US war on China is a state-hate operation based on a combination of racism, imperialism, and greed for world domination. The Chinese government has been under attack by the US-led West and the attacks have included but are not limited to:
US-staged Hong Kong protests
S. tariffs against China
The threat of economic sanctions against nations working with Huawei
The CIA-inflamed Xinjiang conflict involving the Muslim Uyghurs,
Provocative sailing of US Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait
Transparent political prosecution of Huawei’s CFO
What does US culture teach its citizens from birth is the solution to all problems? The narrative themes taught in media and daily conversations typically advise aggression, revenge, torture, assassinations, and war. Generally, when Americans don't like what is happening they can be heard to respond saying “nuke it, invade it and destroy it, or as Hilary Clinton gleefully claimed when viewing the rape and murder of Libya’s Brother Leader, Muammar Gaddafi, “We came, we saw, we conquered”.
In media, the glorification of the hyper-masculine violent male or his female counterpart who takes what he wants when he wants it and gets away with it is the most prominent US cultural success story. People in the USA are saturated 24/7 with narratives of violence against all and sundry, with “might makes right” as the sanctified vehicle for regaining one's self-respect. It is ironic that these same people act surprised when men and boys walk into a school, church, theater, mall, and their homes and kill people.
The Chinese values of harmony, cooperation and community building for a multi-polar world are not the values of the majority of US citizens, the Trump regime nor are they the values of the US ruling class. There is a US war against China, both cold and hot, and there are capitalist, imperialist, neoliberal, and libertarian people supporting the war against China and there are socialist, indigenous, multi-polar, anti-imperialist people supporting solidarity with China embracing their right to self-determination and sovereignty in their efforts to be an example of an efficient high functioning socialist system for the benefit of its people.
Escobar, Pepe, Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration. 2020
After 25 hours in transit arriving at Beijing airport getting through customs was a breeze. No taking off shoes, being x-rayed or being molested by TSA like at Ohare in Chicago. Getting through customs consisted of passing through a gate after a young officer checked my passport and visa. The airport is colorful and clean and the State-operated taxi system meant I could take a cab from the airport to the hotel at a fixed rate with no tipping, as it is just not a part of Chinese culture.
My first impressions of Chinese socialism-communism consists of highly educated and technologically trained leaders in central planning who guide State control of the majority of the economy and businesses, education, culture, health care, and public space. While there are 9 political parties within the socialist system actually listening to public opinion when formulating public policy, socialism’s guiding belief of empowerment of the “average person” and not the “exceptional person based on class and color ” is apparent in its vast accomplishments from trade to architecture to culture through rejection of capitalist policies while still emphasizing markets and growth that benefit the people by reducing poverty and providing culturally rich public spaces and business opportunities. There are countless markets and malls with sparkling jewelry, stylish shoes, and coats, more colorful and ornate than in the USA and there are no homeless people here. The streets are very clean and everyone is safe outside at all hours with very little theft. Even the older neighborhoods such as the one in which our hotel is in are bustling and busy with funky local restaurants and a Chinese traditional medicine hospital across the street from our hotel.
I do not pretend to understand the housing system but from my discussions with Chinese people and those living and working here on visas, there is a government leasing system of deeds to homes and businesses. While there is still some free public housing from the early days of the revolution reforms brought more contractual relationships to buy and build homes and companies on State managed land. Our Chinese tour sponsor says that without a home one has no soul and will have no sex. By which I understand that whether male or female, marriages are attractive to mates with houses.
The people seem fascinated with our group and say hello and want to take pictures with us. The complex infrastructure of this system is highly organized, well planned and efficiently functional not for the elites and ruling class but for the benefit of the people. There was even recently a public toilet campaign so that unlike in the US one does not have to buy a coffee or a burger to use a bathroom.
The immigration policies are quite strict and it is an ancient country that built great walls to keep out invaders. This is a geographically vast country containing a huge population where foreigners are only allowed student and work visas with limited stays. There is an A level work visa status.
The complex mix of Confucian and Communist culture and language means that this first report is through my Western lens and a lack of understanding of the language.
The new Silk Road Initiative we are exploring on this trip is viewed as a major threat to US hegemony and dominance for all resources of this planet for the benefit of the 1% capitalist class. I believe China will ultimately win this battle not through military might or state-sponsored invasions and occupations and manufactured uprisings but by making trade and market deals globally that improve the lives of 99% of people with an emphasis on environmental protection of the planet.
2019 China Silk Road Delegation
Values and Praxis
June Terpstra, PhD
On December 27, 2019, 19 people invited by former Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney for a China Silk Road Friendship Tour met in Beijing, China. Because I have been impressed with Dr. McKinney’s work over the years and wanted to meet her and because this would make the third socialist country I would observe as a sociologist and as a socialist, I excitedly accepted my invitation. It is important to note from the beginning that while my writing is from a Western lens, it is both anti-imperialist in nature and in solidarity for the sovereignty and self-determination for Chinese socialism and communism as they see fit to shape their unique model that is clearly working to benefit the people of China. While I am a beginner in learning about China I do understand the historical importance that Confucianism, Buddhism, and Communism play in the cultural values of Chinese society. My first impressions of the unfamiliar fields of Chinese culture and landscape reflect my comparisons with the familiar field of US culture or lack thereof. For example, one can immediately see on arrival in Beijing the Chinese people’s prioritizing an emphasis on that which is moral, clean and efficient while the people of the US value only what is profitable. There are decorative signs about these values from the clean Beijing airports, respectful security agents and the lack of ads billboards on busy highways
As one travels through Beijing it becomes apparent that China seeks what benefits both the individual and the society in the vast array of each decade of architectural building styles and the preservation of the ancient traditional historical sites. In the individual modern fashions of Chinese men, women, and children in the more modern areas of Beijing to the colorful traditional clothing of the people of the historic district in which our hotel was located and the tourist sites we visited. As a Chinese saying notes, “Everybody is responsible for the rise or fall of the country, and this praxis is observable from the busy street cleaners, the state-managed taxi drivers in a system in which one can be assured of a fair rate charged to and from the airport, the staff of hotels and restaurants and the experts and academics with whom we meet to discuss China economics, culture, business, and history.
Early in Chinese communist history, the People’s Republic of China put forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence—mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual nonaggression; noninterference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence. These principles have clearly been practiced as noted recently by former President Jimmy Carter who in a speech at a church in the US said, "Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?" Carter asked. "None. And we have stayed at war." The U.S., he noted, has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country "the most warlike nation in the history of the world," Carter said. This is, he said, because of America's tendency to force other nations to "adopt our American principles."1
What are those US principles? In short, they are global dominance through profit and power by any means necessary. Or what some call gangster capitalism disguised as democracy. In that same speech referred to above, Carter went on to note that, “In China, meanwhile, the economic benefits of peace were clear to the eye. "How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?" he asked. While China has some 18,000 miles of high-speed rail, the U.S. has "wasted, I think, $3 trillion" on military spending. "It's more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that's why they're ahead of us. In almost every way."2
As was emphasized in our visit with the Chinese Friendship Association, it is clear that the concept of harmony has an impact on China’s modern-day diplomacy. In spite of an inappropriate outburst for tea by one member of our delegation during the meeting and some braggadocio by another member about being a multi-millionaire who initiated a technological revolution, one could see the value of harmony in action with grace and elegance on the part of our Chinese diplomatic hosts who show of humility led to gaining adherents for China on the part of many of us in the delegation. Our host discussed how through consultation, coordination, and balance China means to achieve social and economic equilibrium for its people.
In Part II of my writing on China, I will discuss how the foreign policy values I learned about reflect not only Sun Tzu’s The Art of War elaborations on using wisdom to fight against enemies but also Mao’s teachings on communism and warfare. Hence, Chinese values not only contain the Confucian virtues and the maintenance of ethics, but also the Art of War for military strategy and tactics against those who insult, oppress, and aggressively interfere with other countries. In these cases, historically and in the future, the Chinese people continue to practice bravery and succeed in their struggles by leveraging political wisdom through strength and when called upon to defend the integrity of state sovereignty. China will engage in the struggle when necessary.3
10 to 12 million Muslims have been killed by imperialist violence in the past 2 decades, and followers of the faith have faced systemic Islamophobia and racist discrimination in Europe and the USA for much longer. For these reasons the narrative of Muslims being oppressed in China is very easy to believe: it more than fits the historical pattern.
Believable, that is, until we consider the only source of this story: exactly the Western powers which have mass murdered Muslims under the flag of the “War on Terror”, reduced Muslim cities to rubble, created millions of Muslim refugees, spread Islamophobia, and shaped the social circumstances for the ill-treatment of Muslims to spread.
The emotional narrative fits perfectly with the sense of injury and outrage against injustice so prevalent today (most of it of course entirely justified). By mixing the totally fraudulent with the legitimate, the war-mongers are experts at positioning their well-crafted lies to best tug at the heart-strings of good people.
10 of the 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups in China are Muslim, the largest being the Hui people. There are thousands of mosques all over the country, and Islam is thriving. But Uyghurs are the only ones being allegedly “oppressed”?
There is exactly zero evidence for 1 million Uyghurs in “concentration camps”, nor of any “cultural erasure”, “human rights violations”, “torture”, and even less the unbelievably brazen allegations of “genocide”. There are 10 million Uyghurs in Xin Jiang. 1 million detained would mean almost half the adult male population. Hardly plausible.
The UN never made this announcement. It was the “opinion” of 1 US representative, based on the admitted “guesses” of a “humanitarian watch group” called ”Chinese Human Rights Defenders” based in Washington. But unlike if a similar accusation is made of England or Germany, in which case evidence would be demanded, it is publicized by all major news networks without question. That is the double standard that US global hegemony and “full-spectrum dominance” affords.
What does exist, what China has never hidden, are vocational schools and education centers for common criminals and individuals infected with extremist fundamentalism, with known connection to Turkic separatism and ISIS/DAESH. There is exactly zero evidence for the she-said he-said tales of detainees “forced to drink alcohol and eat pork” under “harsh conditions”. Unlike the routine human rights violations and torture which has been taking place in Guantanamo Bay and numerous US military sites around the world, for which very much evidence exists. In fact, the Communist Party’s peaceful, humane, effective and sustainable solution to violent fundamentalist extremism, the three-pronged approach of education, inclusion, and poverty alleviation, has been applauded by foreign Muslim leaders as a shining example for the entire world to learn from and follow.
Uyghurs, just like the other 9 Muslim ethnic groups in China, are entirely free to conduct their religion, with active state protection of their culture, and strong Affirmative Action measures which drastically benefit minorities. The vast majority of Uyghurs are perfectly happy to be part of China, especially with recent drastic rises in the standard of living, employment, and wages. It is only a tiny percentage of extremists in Xin Jiang with ties to Daesh, funded by the CIA like the Mujahideen, and indoctrinated by Wahhabi Jihadism, who are agitating for independence and the establishment of “East Turkistan”.
Beards and Burqas have never been part of Uyghur traditional dress and entirely come from foreign extremist elements from the Middle East. Banning these forms in the context of curing violent extremism that has killed many hundreds in the past decades is entirely justified because it is Islamic fundamentalism, backed by CIA as part of destabilization campaigns to create conflict which is the real threat to Uyghur culture.
“Veils and burqas are not the traditional garb of Uighur women and long beards are not the traditional style for young Uighur men. They are however de rigueur for those who have been indoctrinated by the likes of IS and Al-qaeda.”
–– Professor Dennis Etler
In Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, both of which have experienced religious extremism as a result of spread of Wahhabism, their Muslim extremists have gone to fight alongside IS against the Syrian government, they have repressed extremism by cutting off beards, closed down shops selling burqa, and ban Arabic sounding names.
Those are the countries, like China, which have suffered instability and insurgency caused and fanned and Wahhabism. They have every right and even duty to ensure law and order and protect the life and property of citizens to crack down on religions extremism. Not to do so would be a dereliction of duty owed to the public at large.
– Gerry Brown for Counterpunch
Before we continue to do the rather tedious work of deconstructing these elaborate lies, here is a great overview of XinJiang and Uyghur culture, providing a realistic and balanced picture and crucial context:
And here is one blatant example of how the most progressive, liberal, and even leftist media in the West is part of the anti-China, anti-socialist smear campaigns: Democracy Now!, a major liberal/leftist media channel in the USA, recently published 2 pieces condemning Chinese treatment of Uyghurs in Xin Jinang:
But their primary source is this woman, who works extensively with US government agencies, Department of Defence, Homeland Security, and is a consultant at Guantanamo Bay:
As usual, most of the stories of XinJiang horror come from Radio Free Asia:
“Radio Free Asia (RFA) is a private, nonprofit international broadcasting corporation that broadcasts and publishes online news, information, and commentary to listeners in East Asia while “advancing the goals of U.S. foreign policy.” Founded in the 1950s as an anti-communist propaganda operation, RFA is currently funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent agency of the United States government responsible for all non-military, international broadcasting sponsored by the U.S. government (such as Radio Free Europe), which appoints the board of RFA. RFA distributes content in nine Asian languages for audiences in six countries.” — wikipedia
This is how it works: RFA is one of the strong arms of the US in East Asia, which exaggerates, distorts, and fabricates inaccurate, partially true, and blatantly false stories against socialist nations, then Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, CBS, Buzzfeed, et al., republishes them, with RFA as source.
Even people who know that Western media is biased usually have very little inkling of the sheer SCALE of propaganda operations of the empire which controls near 100% of mainstream news sources, and its overwhelming, ubiquitous, and totalising influence on public opinion. Before XinJiang and HongKong it was Falung Gong, Tibetan separatists, Tian An Men, etc., etc., etc., all part of the ceaseless effort to take back what the colonial empires had lost.
Here is a piece detailing this false claim from the publication of award winning independent journalist Max Blumenthal:
No, the UN did not report China has 'massive internment camps' for Uighur Muslims
Media outlets falsely claimed the UN reported China is holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on…
About the many “first person testimonials” from Uyghur “escapees” about their “horrific experiences”:
Anecdotal evidence is not real evidence, and first person experience can not be always trusted. Only with a rigorous understanding of the global class interests at the root of geopolitics can we see the world clearly.
Most of the nations standing behind these baseless accusations are the NATO states, and all are friends of the US empire:
“In a joint statement to the High Commissioner of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, the nations criticized Beijing for what they described as “disturbing reports of large-scale arbitrary detentions” and “widespread surveillance and restrictions.”
A day later, 37 other countries jumped to Beijing’s defense, with their own letter praising China’s human rights record, and dismissing the reported detention of up to two million Muslims in western China’s Xinjiang region. Nearly half of the signatories were Muslim-majority nations, including Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, according to the Chinese government.
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers,” the letter said, according to Reuters, which saw a copy of the letter. The letter went on to say that there had been no terrorist attacks in the past three years in the region, and that the people there were happy, fulfilled and secure.”
The “Chinese persecution of Muslims in XinJiang” narrative is one in a long series of imperialist fabrications against states disobedient to the global hegemonic order that have recently included the Afghanistani perpetration of 9/11, the Iraq WMD’s, the Syrian use of chemical weapons, and the Libyan repression of dissent. It is a lie like all the other lies designed to demonise these countries, to provide justification for economic and military violence, toward the hopeful toppling of their governments and bending them to the will of the US empire.
Reality of the Vocational Schools
This piece from National Public Radio, a premiere US progressive platform, was written after their reporters visited XinJiang and conducted many interviews. It uses language to try very hard to spin the story against China, but none the less clearly illustrates that the so called “concentration camps” are nothing more than schools. The students are common criminals as well as those with known connections to fundamentalist extremism, and they go home on the weekends.
“…Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim mass organization, and the world’s Muslim governments have not condemned China’s actions: they know that the US stirs up trouble in every Muslim country. The West is engaged in full-scale irregular war to destabilize China. The US created the Uyghur problem in Xinjiang by sponsoring terrorists there–the same tactics it used in Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.”
“Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Palestine are among the countries that newly joined to support China’s policies in Xinjiang.
Some other countries also expressed support in their separate letters and press releases. Many of them have seen the real situation in Xinjiang on recent visits.
In the joint letter, the ambassadors gave credit to China’s counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts.
They commend China for its economic and social progress, effective counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, and strong guarantee of human rights; appreciate the opportunities provided by China for diplomatic envoys, officials of international organizations, and media professionals to visit Xinjiang. They point to the contrast in the views on Xinjiang between those who have visited it and the one portrayed in Western media, and urge the countries to stop using uncorroborated information to make unfounded accusations against China.
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers. Now safety and security has returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people there have enjoyed stronger senses of fulfillment, happiness and security,” they said.”
The members of the SCO are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations. They know and understand the challenges China faces in combatting terrorism and separatism. As a consequence they fully support her efforts to root out the false ideology that underlies it.”
“Diplomats from 12 countries with large Muslim populations visited Xinjiang, after months of silence by governments across the Islamic world in the face of China’s crackdown on minority Muslim Uighurs in its far western region.
Envoys from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Thailand, and Kuwait visited the region from Dec. 28 to 30, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Monday. The visit comes as increasing skepticism over Beijing’s human rights record — namely its campaign against the Uighurs — threatens its global ambitions.
Calls have grown in the West to pressure President Xi Jinping’s government to stop the alleged human-rights abuses against the Uighurs. U.S. politicians have proposed freezing the travel and assets of top Chinese officials including Xinjiang Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo. But it has so far escaped serious criticism from officials in the Islamic world, leading U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo to blast Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for not speaking out.”
In recent days, a similar visit was arranged for diplomats from 12 non-western countries, including Russia, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Kazakhstan, according to Xinjiang officials and foreign diplomats.
Senior officials, including Shohrat Zakir, Xinjiang’s governor and the region’s most senior Uighur, dismissed what they called “slanderous lies” about the facilities.
Speaking in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, Shohrat Zakir said the centres had been “extremely effective” in reducing extremism by teaching residents about the law and helping them learn Mandarin.
“As time goes by, the people in the education training mechanism will be fewer and fewer,” he said.
Shohrat Zakir said he could not say exactly how many people were in the facilities.
“One million people, this number is rather frightening. One million people in the education mechanism — that’s not realistic. That’s purely a rumour,” he said, stressing they were temporary educational facilities.
“I found that the training centers are completely unlike the reports of some Western media, which said they mistreated learners,” said Kamal Gaballa, who visited several training centers in places such as Hotan and Kashgar. Trainees study language and law, and learn how to treat others kindly. This great measure is an effective means to get rid of extremism. I will explain all of what I see here truthfully to the Egyptian people.”
Very recently the likes of Marco Rubio accused China of diverting funds from the World Bank to “persecute” Uyghurs and put them in “concentration camps”. World Bank just released this official statement:
““The World Bank’s work is driven by core principles of inclusion, with special consideration for the protection of minorities and other vulnerable peoples. When allegations are made, the World Bank takes them seriously and reviews them thoroughly. In line with standard practice, immediately after receiving a series of serious allegations in August 2019 in connection with the Xinjiang Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project, the Bank launched a fact-finding review, and World Bank senior managers traveled to Xinjiang to gather information directly. After receiving the allegations, no disbursements were made on the project.
The team conducted a thorough review of project documents, engaged in discussions with project staff, and visited schools directly financed by the project, as well as their partner schools that were the subject of allegations. The review did not substantiate the allegations.”
This piece, published by Time Magazine before the current wave of anti-China propaganda, still tries to spin the situation in Xin Jiang, but does make it clear that there is no Islamophobia on the part of the CPC.
“With the bloodshed in Xinjiang escalating — the most recent clash late last month, which the Chinese government labeled a “violent terrorist attack,” saw nearly 100 people killed, according to an official count — authorities have intensified a crackdown on spiritual expression by Uighurs (EDIT: disallowing non-Uyghur dress such as long beards and burqas imported from the Middle East). But this does not mean that Beijing is curtailing Islam nationwide. Indeed, members of the Muslim Hui community are enjoying a flowering of faith in what is, officially, still an atheist communist nation.”
The Reality of Jihadist Terror
Since 2000, there have been more than 200 violent terrorist incidents in Xinjiang and beyond, as part of a long term destabilisation campaign conducted by the US against China.
“Since 2013…Uyghur soldiers have gone from combat alongside Al Qaeda in Syria and returned to China’s Xinjiang where they have carried out various terrorist acts. This is the tip of a nasty NATO-linked project to plant the seeds of terror and unrest in China. Xinjiang is a lynchpin of China’s Belt Road Initiative, the crossroads of strategic oil and gas pipelines from Kazakhstan, Russia and a prime target of CIA intrigue since decades.
The West and especially Washington is engaged in full-scale irregular war against the stability of China.”
“with US-backed NGOs using Uyghur’s as proxies in what is basically a terror campaign by with the ultimate goal of seizing Chinese territory, it is not Beijing that poses the greatest threat to the culture and traditions of the Uyghur people, but rather the NGOs “protecting Uyghur rights” while hiding a proxy war serving foreign interests behind them.”
“What is known is the fact that NATO intelligence agencies, including that of Turkey and of the US, along with Saudi Arabia, have been involved in recruiting and deploying thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslims to join Al Qaeda and other terror groups in Syria in recent years.”
“The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website admits to meddling all across China and does so so extensively that it felt the necessity to break down its targeting of China into several regions including mainland, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang/East Turkistan.
NED — by recognizing the term “East Turkistan” — is implicitly admitting that it supports separatism in western China, even as the US decries separatists and alleged annexations in places like Donbass, Ukraine and Russian Crimea.
“How Wahhabism was promoted and supported by western imperialists to serve the western interests. A must read for understanding how the Muslim world has been divided and ruled.”
Who Should be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism?
A hundred years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have a pair of Muslim men enter a cafe or a public…
“It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British-inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam. Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Wahhabism is violent, right wing, ultra-conservative, rigid, extremist, reactionary, sexist, and intolerant…”
The West gave full support to the Wahhabis in the 1980s. They were employed, financed and armed, after the Soviet Union was dragged into Afghanistan and into a bitter war that lasted from 1979 to 1989. As a result of this war, the Soviet Union collapsed, exhausted both economically and psychologically.
The Mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviets as well as the left-leaning government in Kabul, were encouraged and financed by the West and its allies. They came from all corners of the Muslim world, to fight a ‘Holy War’ against Communist infidels.
According to the US Department of State archives:
“Contingents of so-called Afghan Arabs and foreign fighters who wished to wage jihad against the atheist communists. Notable among them was a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden, whose Arab group eventually evolved into al-Qaeda.”
Muslim radical groups created and injected into various Muslim countries by the West included al-Qaeda, but also, more recently, ISIS (also known as ISIL). ISIS is an extremist army that was born in the ‘refugee camps’ on the Syrian/Turkish and Syrian/Jordanian borders, and which was financed by NATO and the West to fight the Syrian (secular) government of Bashar al-Assad.
Such radical implants have been serving several purposes. The West uses them as proxies in the wars it is fighting against its enemies — the countries that are still standing in the way to the Empire’s complete domination of the world. Then, somewhere down the road, after these extremist armies ‘get totally out of control’ (and they always will), they could serve as scarecrows and as justification for the ‘The War On Terror’, or, like after ISIS took Mosul, as an excuse for the re-engagement of Western troops in Iraq.
Stories about the radical Muslim groups have constantly been paraded on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, or shown on television monitors, reminding readers ‘how dangerous the world really is’, ‘how important Western engagement in it is’, and consequently, how important surveillance is, how indispensable security measures are, as well as tremendous ‘defense’ budgets and wars against countless rogue states.
From a peaceful and creative civilization, that used to lean towards socialism, the Muslim nations and Islam itself, found itself to be suddenly derailed, tricked, outmaneuvered, infiltrated by foreign religious and ideological implants, and transformed by the Western ideologues and propagandists into one ‘tremendous threat’; into the pinnacle and symbol of terrorism and intolerance.”
Here is a good article on Wikipedia on the true status of Muslims in today’s China: Islam in China
“Information about the status of Muslims in today’s China. As can be seen Muslims in China have great latitude in the practice of their religion. The problem is not Islam or the freedom to practice it, but as elsewhere the perversion of Islam by forces with ulterior non-religious motives.
In Xinjiang this is the promotion of separatism among the Uighur minority. Separatist Uighurs, who are a minority within a minority, use Salafi jihadism as a cover for their attempt to dismember China and set up a US sponsored East Turkistan. Jihadist-Salafism is a transnational religious-political ideology based on a belief in “physical” jihadism and the Salafi movement of returning to what adherents believe to be true Sunni Islam. Salafism is used as a cover for Uighur separatism and as a tool to recruit young Uighurs to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and IS.
It has been reported in the Western media that there is a settlement of upwards of 16,000 Uighurs in the Idlib Governorate of Syria, that last stronghold of the Syrian “opposition.” These overseas Uighurs and their supporters in Xinjiang represent a clear and present danger to all Chinese people regardless of their ethnic identity or religious affiliation. In many countries Salafist oriented madrasas serve as proving grounds and recruiting centers for terrorism. It would be suicidal to allow such institutions to operate freely in Xinjiang, although traditional Muslim madrasas are allowed elsewhere.”
– Dr. Dennis Etler
China’s Peaceful Solution to the Problem of Violent Extremism
Besides education, Beijing understands that underdevelopment and poverty forms the material basis for the breeding of violent extremism, and has implemented many large scale projects to foster prosperity and integration of this remote region.
“The influx of Han migrants from other provinces further complicates ethnic relationships in Xinjiang. Because migrants and ethnic minorities are both disadvantaged compared to local Han Chinese, they tend to compete against each other, escalating inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts. While the Chinese government has never been sympathetic towards migrants (Solinger 1999), for a long time the authorities were quite sensitive to the problems of local minorities in Xinjiang caused by the inflow of Han.
A series of socioeconomic policies have been implemented to favour minorities with respect to family planning, college admission, job recruitment and promotions, and representation in legislative and other government bodies (Sautman 1998). A policy known as the Xinjiang Six Principles set a 60 percent quota for Uyghur in college admission, job recruitment and army enlistment (valued in China as an important avenue for social mobility). Law enforcement for many crimes is also more lenient towards Uyghur in Xinjiang (He 2009). “
Dealing with “real diversity” is exactly what China has done. There are 21 universities scattered around China built specifically for ethnic minorities. Ethnic minorities were exempt from the one child policy. Like the Soviet Union before it, the PRC is an alternate action empire. They just don’t want backwards feudal practices like families forcing their kids to reject modern medicine, jihadism, or slavery to take root again in China.
By: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China
This paper details efforts in the following areas:
— Protection of cultural heritage yields results.
— Archeological findings attract wide attention.
— Protection of ancient books has been strengthened.
— Intangible cultural heritage is effectively protected.
— Folk cultures are respected and preserved.
The protection of Uyghur culture and identity is a small part of the larger and historic affirmative action policies implemented ever since the beginning of communist modern China, they are so comprehensive and far-reaching that America’s similar policies appear trifling by comparison:
— Ethnic minorities have always been exempt from the “1-Child” policy.
— Free elementary, middle and high-school-level boarding schools and special college-preparatory classes for minority children.
— Minority children can get into a university with exam scores 20 to 30 points below the minimum score for Han children.
— A separate network of universities exists only for minority students. Similar to HBCUs in the US, but better.
— No-interest loans are offered for small minority businesses.
— Businesses are officially encouraged to hire minorities.
— A comprehensive, bilingual-education program aims at helping minorities learn Chinese. Meanwhile, scholars are creating alphabets for minority languages that had no writing systems to help ensure that these languages do not die.
It is important to remember that the majority of anti-China propaganda on Xinjiang comes from 3 sources. radio free Asia, Chinese "human rights defenders", and Adrian Zens. All three are unreliable. RFA is CIA propaganda. they're not secretive about this at all. CHRD is funded by the USA front organization the National Endowment for Democracy which is an NGO. NED openly states on its website that it has evolved from the CIA's covert operations to install regimes round the world. When CHRD did their study, they openly stated that they got their 1 million - 3 million number by interviewing 8 people. not by investigating the camps. not by asking councils for numbers, but by asking 8 people. https://nchrd.org/2018/08/china-
Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the far-right Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which was established by the US government in 1983.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is an outgrowth of the National Captive Nations Committee, a group founded by Ukrainian nationalist Lev Dobriansky to lobby against any effort for detente with the Soviet Union. Its co-chairman, Yaroslav Stetsko, was a top leader of the fascist OUN-B militia that fought alongside Nazi Germany during its occupation of Ukraine in World War Two. Together, the two helped found the World Anti-Communist League
The Imperial Propaganda Machine: Notes From the Edge of Narrative Matrix
It’s important to avoid fake news, Russian media or conspiracy theorists. We must only trust those reputable news outlets who tell us that neoliberalism is working fine, that US foreign policy is perfectly sane, and that protests are only happening in Hong Kong and nowhere else. The difference between state media and western media is that in state media the government controls what information the public is given about what’s going on in the world in order to prevent political dissent, whereas in western media this is instead done by billionaires. Any attempt to understand the world which fails to take into account the fact that extremely powerful people are pouring massive amounts of money and resources into manipulating your understanding of the world will necessarily result in a distorted worldview.
Whenever news media reports unsubstantiated assertions from anonymous sources in government agencies, just mentally insert “Here is something the government told us to tell you:” into the beginning of the report, because that’s all they’re doing.
Russia and China haven’t become any more of a threat to you than they were three years ago, yet you think about them many times more often than you did back then. That’s propaganda at work, FYI. All the establishment loyalists you argue with are ever really saying is, “No! The TV would NEVER lie to me!”
Sometimes all I can do is stare in awe at the power and efficiency of the imperial propaganda machine. When I first started this gig in 2016 Assange had way more support, from Berners, Greens, Trumpers, all across the spectrum.
Now a large amount of that support has been eroded. For Trumpers Assange is being extradited for his own good to bring down the Deep State. For liberals he’s a Russian asset. For leftists he’s a rapist and fascist enabler.
There’s a narrative for everyone, no matter where you are on the political spectrum. It’s really impressive.
I love alternative media, but we’re fucking idiots sometimes. You never see MSM doing our job for us, but we do their job for them all the time by attacking other alternative media figures, circulating CIA/CNN narratives about targeted nations and targeted individuals, etc.
The only reason to ever do mainstream media’s work for them is if you’re looking for a job in MSM. If you actually want to participate in alternative media it’s your job to make things harder for establishment narrative managers, not easier. They get paid enough to do their own work.
Dominant power structures are corrupt beyond the possibility of salvation and humanity is driving itself toward miriad cataclysmic disasters all at once, yet many are more worried about those who share their basic ideology but have slightly different opinions. This is stupid.
There’s no separation between the personal struggle to free yourself from untruth and the collective struggle to free the world from untruth, in the same way there’s no separation between an antibody attacking an individual pathogen and the entire body recovering from a sickness.
Anyone who wants Silicon Valley oligarchs to censor the flow of information in any way is a drooling idiot.
MSM’s official position appears to be that there is no ideological difference whatsoever between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, other than the fact that you have permission to elect Warren but not Sanders. Apart from that, though, they’re exactly the same.
There’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the sense that there’s a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to set up the more damaging cross, but they’re both wielded by the same boxer, and they’re both punching you in the face.
The “feud” between mainstream Republican pundits and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fits perfectly within the Overton window of establishment-approved debate, and can therefore be safely ignored.
Remember when voters in 2016 were like “can we please have even one major candidate who doesn’t have something seriously wrong with them?”, and the entire US political system was all “LOL nope,” and then nobody burned that system to the ground and flushed it down the toilet? Good times.
War is the worst thing in the world. It’s worse than economic injustice. It’s worse than the war on drugs. It’s worse than racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. Those things are bad. War is worse. The priorities of leftists and progressives should reflect this, as should the priorities of anyone who claims to care about their fellow humans.
Trump: I am ending wars! Neocons/liberal hawks: Oh no it sure is bad and horrible that this isolationist president is ending all the wars! Wars: [continue completely unabated]
Imagine someone coming up to you with a money jar saying “Excuse me, we’re raising funds to build another military base in Somalia, would you care to make a donation?” No one would ever knowingly put money toward such an endeavor. Yet taxpayers do this unwittingly all the time.
Nobody comes out of the womb demanding to go to war. Left unmolested it would never occur to a normal human brain that strangers on the other side of the planet need to have explosives dropped on them by overpriced airplanes. The problem isn’t democracy, it’s propaganda.
Back when the wealthy had less wealth and ordinary citizens could support a family on a single income, the rich had a concept called “noblesse oblige” meaning their status came with obligations to society. Now the wealth gap is much greater, and the rich feel no obligation to anyone.
Less contempt for imaginary “Putin apologists”, more contempt for actual billionaire apologists.
The narrative that Gabbard is preparing a third party run is revealing, in that there’s zero evidence for it whatsoever yet they keep bringing it up. It’s literally just something pundits started saying in an authoritative tone of voice, and it was magically transformed into accepted orthodoxy.
It’s a great illustration of how effective the establishment narrative managers are; they can create the illusion of a fact out of thin air just by saying something over and over again in an assertive tone.
It sure is cute how we’ve known for years that the US and its allies armed actual, literal terrorists in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, yet the only Syria controversy we’re ever allowed to acknowledge is whether there are an adequate number of US troops there.
I’m still tripping on how we’ve been fed all these wildly different narratives about why the US needs a military presence in Syria, from humanitarianism to Kurds to ISIS to Iran to Russia to chemical weapons to oil, yet this isn’t immediately extremely suspicious to everyone.
I mean, if some guy was constantly calling me up and giving me a whole range of wildly different reasons why he needs my bank account number, I’d immediately assume that what he actually wants is my bank account number, you know?
So many of spiritual-type people’s highest values would work fine in a world without sociopaths. Forgiveness, humility, trust, seeing people’s basic innocence, etc, they work fine until you run into a manipulator with no empathy. In this world they require much more nuanced use.
Things are getting stranger and stranger. Things getting stranger and stranger is what it looks like when long-fixed patterns begin to dissolve. For a species that has been on a trajectory toward self-destruction, patterns dissolving can only be a good thing. We’ll win this.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) awards the highest Palestinian medal to Chinese President Xi Jinping after their talks in Beijing, capital of China, July 18, 2017. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
Palestinians hold a symposium to highlight China's positive role in Middle East, and both sides expect more support and cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative.
RAMALLAH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Palestine Institute for National Security Research (PINSR) on Sunday organized a symposium on the role of China in the Middle East.
The symposium, in Palestine's West Bank city of Ramallah, highlighted the growing role of China in the Middle East in light of its policy for the region and China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), organizers said.
Addressing the audience, Guo Wei, director of the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine, said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has a vision for the region and his four-point proposal to help solve the Palestinian-Israeli issue was met with great enthusiasm by leaders in the region.
The proposal was put forward by the Chinese leader in a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the latter's visit to Beijing in July 2017.
In the proposal, Xi reiterated China's firm support to a political settlement of the Palestinian issue on the basis of the two-state solution, and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Chinese leader also highlighted the importance of enhancing international coordination to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine, while calling for supporting Palestine's economic development within the framework of the BRI.
"Our goal is ... to create harmony in the world, where we seek just and lasting peace in the region as a whole and in Palestine, in particular," he explained.
On the relations between Palestine and China, Abbas Zaki, head of Fatah party's Commissioner General of the Arab and Chinese Affairs, said the historic relationship between Fatah party and China is unwavering, particularly under the development of the BRI.
"We trust that China will never put interests over principles," he said. "We believe the BRI will connect the world with collective and lasting development and allow a win-win situation and peace to prevail."
The symposium explored China's political and economic roles in the region, allowing the audience, who were mostly students of Chinese language and executive personnel in the Palestinian Authority who have received various trainings in China, to understand the Chinese perspective toward the region.
Islam Ayadi, a political science assistant professor at the Arab American University in Palestine and also researcher on the Chinese affairs, said that the role China is playing in the region is crucial and strategic for the long term.
The BRI was proposed by China in 2013. It refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aims at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.
The PINSR is considered a young think tank that conducts policy researches and provides advice to Palestinian decision makers. ■ http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-11/11/c_138544676.htm?fbclid=IwAR2ao3EjwIiQemmR8JSBZ6eUZo_5BCPuiVpaot_O2fc_GXwI6nWJyUpyC4w