Thursday 27 January 2022
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China fails to stop world from condemning Uyghur rights abuses

The propaganda machinery of the Communist Party of China seems to be losing its say in the international discourse, as nations, as well as media, take on Beijing

After years of going scot-free despite the repression and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the communist regime of China is now facing the heat for its actions as the West blacklists companies sourcing goods from Xinjiang to the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. According to a Canada-based think-tank, China had tried to control the narrative on Xinjiang by terming the reportage in Europe and the US as “conspiracies” using the CCP’s official propaganda machinery for a long time.

On 10 December, Uyghur Tribunal, a London-based independent tribunal, ruled that China was guilty of genocide of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang province. The International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) carried the report.

The non-governmental body was founded in 2020 by Geoffrey Nice, a British barrister and international human rights lawyer, at the request of Uyghur activists.

China restricted the access of foreigners and journalists to the troubled Xinjiang province, the epicentre of human rights abuses by the CCP. However, new evidence from a source has heightened the Western reportage of China, according to IFFRAS.

On 16 December, the Biden administration of the US imposed new sanctions on China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes for actions in Xinjiang province.

US sources said that China had set up a high-tech surveillance system recently across the region, which uses biometric facial recognition and has collected DNA samples from all residents in Xinjiang.

The sanctions come amid another move from the US designed to send a strong signal to China. On 14 December, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill in what was a rare bipartisan compromise, “Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act,” which would ban all imports from Xinjiang unless the US government determines with “clear and convincing evidence” that they were not made with forced labour, as per the think-tank.

The US administration’s actions follow a growing campaign to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. Five other countries have already announced a diplomatic boycott of the games to protest against China’s human rights abuses. More countries are likely to join the campaign.

Curiously, India, constantly troubled by incursions and an ongoing military standoff, is not boycotting the Winter Olympics in China.

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