'Farce': China reacts to stunning 'mass-execution' report

·News Reporter
·5-min read

China has lashed out at an "obsessed" researcher who features heavily in a damning new report that concludes China is guilty of genocide in Xinjiang, violating all provisions of the United Nation's Genocide Convention.

The independent report was released on Tuesday by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy think tank in Washington DC and claimed China's policy in the province displayed "an intent to destroy the Uyghurs as a group, in whole or in part".

The report's release, which features more than 50 global experts in human rights, comes just days after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rubbished Western claims its highly-controversial internment camps and their operations constituted genocide.

"The claim that there is 'genocide' in Xinjiang could not be more preposterous," he said.

"It is just a rumour fabricated with ulterior motives and a thorough lie."

One of the internment camps in Hotan, Xinjiang. Source: Maxar via Getty
One of the internment camps in Hotan, Xinjiang. Source: Maxar via Getty

The governments in the UK, the US and Canada have all officially recognised China's actions in Xinjiang as genocide, while pressure is mounting for Australia do the same.

Among the contributing experts in the new report is Dr Adrian Zenz whose work is referenced heavily throughout.

Dr Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Foundation and advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China has been the target of Chinese state media in recent weeks for his research into Xinjiang, with publications condemning him for spreading "lies" about Beijing's treatment of Uyghurs.

On Tuesday, local Xinjiang media reported several businesses in the province were suing Dr Zenz for loss of income due to his "false academic research".

The Global Times reports exports of cotton and cotton products has significantly reduced following reports of human rights abuses linked to the industry, causing significant economic losses.

When pressed on such legal action on Tuesday evening, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian unleashed on Dr Zenz.

"Hiding behind the banner of academic research, he has been busy cooking up anti-China rumours, with Xinjiang as his particular obsession," Mr Zhao said.

"His so-called reports, with zero credibility and academic integrity, have long been proven to be disinformation."

"The whole thing reeks of political manipulation by forces with ulterior motives who aim to attack and malign China by hyping up issues relating to Xinjiang."

Zhao Lijian displayed his characteristic robust side on Tuesday. Source: FMPRC
Zhao Lijian displayed his characteristic robust side on Tuesday. Source: FMPRC

Report clarifies Uyghur genocide claims

The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy was founded in 2019 and says it is a "nonpartisan think tank working to enhance U.S. foreign policy based on a deep understanding of the geopolitics of the different regions of the world and their value systems".

Its report concludes China has breached all of the Genocide Convention's five definitions of genocide.

It references reports of mass death and deaths of "prominent Uyghur leaders" who have been selected for death by execution and the long term imprisonment of elderly Uyghurs.

"Under the mass internment drive, there are reports of mass death and deaths of prominent Uyghur leaders who have been selectively sentenced to death by execution.

It states Uyghurs are suffering "systematic torture and cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, including rape, sexual abuse, and public humiliation, both inside and outside the camps".

Internment camps in Xinjiang, China. Source: Getty
There are allegations of widespread physical and sexual abuse in the camps. Source: Getty

The re-education and forced labour schemes are said to “wash clean” brains, "driving Uyghurs to commit or attempt suicide from the threat of internment or the daily extreme forms of physical and psychological torture within the camps, including mock executions, public “self-criticisms,” and solitary confinement."

The report states authorities have imposed birth prevention measures while detaining Uyghur men during childbearing years.

"In sum, China is deliberately “inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” as per Article II [of the Genocide Convention]," it states.

It says mass sterilisation and abortions is part of Beijing's strategy. It claims at least 80 per cent of women of childbearing age in 2019 were targeted with sterilisation or IUD placement.

"As a result of these interconnected policies, Government statistics demonstrate that growth rates in Uyghur-concentrated areas are increasingly approaching zero. China is therefore clearly responsible for “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” as per Article II" it explains.

It also claims children are being separated from their parents and being sent to state-run orphanages where they are taught Mandarin and raised with a pro-China education.

China brandishes claims 'sensational lies'

Mr Zhao responded to Dr Zenz's claims of sterilisation and the eradication of Uyghurs, brandishing them "sensational lies".

"Some politicians and legislators in western countries, in total disregard of facts and common sense, choose to rely on the one-sided story woven by Zenz to wantonly criticise China, even pushing so-called motions on Xinjiang in parliament.

"Such frivolous and preposterous farces aimed to discredit and smear China will only end up undercutting their own reputation as a laughing stock.

"The day will surely come when Adrian Zenz and the evil forces behind him have to face the condemnation of conscience and the reckoning of justice."

More than one million Uyghurs have been placed in the detention camps as China looks to eradicate extremism and terrorism by what it calls "re-education".

The program gained momentum in 2014 after a series of deadly attacks in the province and other parts of China Beijing determined as terrorism.

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