April 5, 2021 Updated: April 5, 2021
Recently, the Chinese communist regime has arranged a series propaganda productions to refute the international community’s accusation of genocide against the Uyghur ethnic minority in Xinjiang. But an overseas Uyghur advocate has since pointed out that the Uyghur spokespeople used in the regime’s campaign are fake.
On March 29, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a “6th Press conference by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing.”
A few Uyghurs were arranged to give a speech at the press conference to rebut allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang’s concentration camps by Europe and the United States. However, Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that the speakers were paid actors and the conference was a political show.
One speaker Tahiljan Tohti claimed to have completed education and training in a “training center” in Hotan, Xinjiang.
He said that the vocational education and training center was a school and he was there “learning the national language, legal knowledge, vocational skills, and de-radicalization knowledge and so on.”
“The religious trainees could participate in normal religious activities at a mosque or at home,” Tohti told the media. “After I finished my education and training, I opened a restaurant and a property company.
Raxit pointed out that the so-called Uyghur representatives at the press conference all spoke fluent Chinese. He questioned, “Can you teach someone from scratch to speak Chinese on this level in six months or a year?”
He said that Tohti had appeared in another CCP’s propaganda video with a totally different backstory last year.
On July 14, 2020, Tohti was featured in a video released by state-run media Xinhua called “I’m in Southern Xinjiang-Music Restaurant Owner Tahiljan Tohti.” In the video, Tohti talked about returning to his hometown to start a business. He did not mention anything about having been in Xinjiang’s education and training centers but emphasized that he graduated from the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai and attributed his success to it.
Raxit challenged the CCP’s recent narrative presented through Tohti. “After graduating from Fudan University, someone still didn’t understand Chinese and had to be sent to an education and training center to learn Chinese?” he asked. Raxit said he believes that the person is simply a makeshift actor, and his speech is a scam put on for international reporters.
Raxit said that the Chinese regime is using the same Uyghur actors repeatedly as “China has been under diplomatic pressure and has to improvise quickly to respond to the international community’s accusations by using the non-professional actors. It has exposed the lies and deceit in its own press conference. ”
He also said that the Uyghurs chosen by the regime to appear in its foreign propaganda don’t have any right to refuse. They have no choice but to act in this political show, to deceive the outside world for their own safety and the safety of their families.
Raxit said that when the Chinese government first responded to international criticism about alleged concentration camps, the regime claimed they were “vocational training centers.” It then changed its tune to call them “education and training centers.” The regime has tried to mislead the international community with a series of lies to cover up the concentration camps that it has used to systematically destroy the Uyghur people and carry out its genocide.
Last week, another fake propaganda story by the CCP on Xinjiang was exposed.
The Chinese regime’s overseas mouthpiece CGTN put out an article on its website written by “French journalist” Laurène Beaumond who lives in Urumqi to counter the intentional community’s accusations of genocide of Uyghurs in concentration camps.
French media outlet Le Monde investigated the report and revealed that the “French journalist” Laurène Beaumond in Urumqi, who supposedly writes for CGTN, doesn’t exist. Le Monde said the journalist was invented by CGTV.
CGTN’s broadcasting license was revoked in February by UK regulators. However in March, France renewed its license for CGTN to continue airing programs in Europe.
International relations analysts Jake Wallis and Albert Zhang from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre pointed out that, “The Chinese Communist Party is launching increasingly bold and sophisticated information operations in an attempt to shape international perceptions of its treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.”
They said the regime has been putting out false narratives to deny the accusations of human rights violation and genocide through diplomats, state-media, and international social media platforms.
The analysts warned, “Democratic states must understand that when the party-state’s officials, state media, and covert propaganda operate in coordination with economic coercion and sanctions to suppress and pre-emptively censor international criticism, they are not dealing with diplomacy but are facing a salvo in the political warfare being waged by the CCP.”