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Editorial: The world needs peace and co-operation, not a new cold war

US PRESIDENT Joe Biden has come under fierce fire from right-wing and liberal media commentators for his recent remarks about China.

In an extensive interview on CNN television, he failed to echo former president Donald Trump and ex-secretary of state Mike Pompeo in their condemnation of alleged Chinese “genocide” against the Uighur people of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. 

Instead, while insisting he would continue to speak out for human rights in Xinjiang and elsewhere, Biden pointed to China’s previous history of victimisation by outside powers. 

This, he explained, has produced today’s centralised “One China” policy as an example of that country’s culturally “different norms.” 

Howls of outrage have since greeted Biden’s “bigotry masquerading as cultural sensitivity” (Washington Post) and his “horrific excuses for Beijing’s Uighur genocide” (New York Post).

Such denunciations reflect the determination in ruling circles, from the US and Australia to France and Britain, to stoke up a second “cold war” against China as well as Russia.

Branding the policies of the Chinese state and ruling communist party towards the Uighur population of Xinjiang as “genocide” has assumed a central part in the West’s new propaganda offensive.

It is a damning claim parroted with gusto by politicians and media mouthpieces — not least the BBC and the Guardian — here in Britain. 

Yet the evidence for such a reprehensible policy is incredibly thin. It is unsupported by any serious evidence and analysis, relies upon almost total ignorance of Xinjiang and its population, and rests upon anti-Chinese and anti-communist stereotyping of the crudest kind.

Much of the anti-Beijing ammunition is manufactured by a largely US-funded network of pressure groups and propagandist outfits such as the World Uighur Congress (based in Germany), the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and the neoconservative Jamestown Foundation.

Their reports ignore, misrepresent or downplay the activities of separatist and Islamist terrorist groups seeking to separate Xinjiang from the rest of China in a renamed republic of “East Turkestan.” 

Official efforts to combat subversion and fundamentalism — while open to criticism for their severity — are grossly misrepresented as wholesale slavery and extermination. 

The spread of family planning provision — as elsewhere in other poorer and less developed interior regions — is falsely portrayed as mass sterilisation.

While it is undeniable that exempting the Uighurs and other ethnic minorities from China’s one-child policy has enabled their share of China’s population to increase, the recent slowdown has been seized upon as “proof” of genocidal intent.

Any Western visitor to Xinjiang will confirm that the Uighur language — related to the Turkic linguistic family — can be heard and seen everywhere, including on the lips of most provincial and party officials. 

This flatly contradicts World Uighur Congress claims and stands in sharp contrast to the fate of native languages in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, the US and other capitalist and imperialist countries. 

Yet none of these realities are likely to deflect Western hawks from their aim of damaging China’s economic and political influence. 

They are especially keen to recruit Biden and his secretary of state Antony Blinken to the public charge of “genocide” against the Chinese government and communist party.

Blinken already holds this view in private. Its adoption as official US policy under President Biden would aggravate the second cold war on every front, when the world’s peoples need co-operation, peace and progress as never before. 

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