Australian Citizens Party formerly Citizens Electoral Council

Why is the West suddenly concerned about Uyghur Muslim ‘genocide’?

- Citizens Party Media Release

Click here to read an original eight-article Australian Alert Service series “Xinjiang: China’s Western frontier in the heart of Eurasia”.

A motion by Senator Rex Patrick to label China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority as genocide failed to pass Australia’s Senate on 17 March. Unusually, this leaves Australia slightly out of step with its main ally, the United States, and fellow “Five Eyes” country Canada, which have both labelled China’s policy in the Xinjiang region as genocide, starting with a declaration by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and reiterated by his successor Anthony Blinken.

The drumbeat in Australia against China’s policy continues, however, as seen in the discussion on the ABC’s 15 April QandA program, when a questioner demanded Australia cut off trade with China over the issue, and a panellist compared China’s policy to Nazi Germany.

So why the sudden prominence of this issue? The Citizens Party has had more than 30 years of experience in analysing foreign policy and geopolitical issues. We have opposed the dangerous lurch towards confrontation with Russia and China, including through proxy regime-change interventions, by the USA and UK and their allies, including Australia. Elements of the Xinjiang allegations immediately raised suspicions, including the sudden concern being expressed for Uyghur Muslims by extreme right-wing US and UK neoconservatives who have spent decades demonising Muslims in their countries, and championing wars that have killed millions of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa. Another cause for suspicion was the overlap between the “human rights” narrative about Xinjiang, and the similar human rights narratives against Syria and Libya starting in 2011, both of which were accused of atrocities against their own people, omitting that the “rebel” groups opposed to those “regimes” were extremist jihadists either aligned with al-Qaeda or actual members of al-Qaeda—the very terrorist organisation blamed for 9/11 that our soldiers are supposedly fighting in Afghanistan. The Office of the Legal Advisor at the US State Department has recently fuelled more suspicion, contradicting the current and former Secretaries of State by finding there’s insufficient evidence to call China’s Xinjiang policy genocide after all.

Original research

The Citizens Party has therefore conducted its own research into the Xinjiang issue, to situate the claims in their fullest historical and geopolitical context. This research led to an eight-article series in the Citizens Party’s weekly magazine the Australian Alert Service in November 2020–March 2021, “Xinjiang: China’s western frontier in the heart of Eurasia”, which is now assembled as a 40-page Special Report. The Citizens Party urges everyone who is concerned about this issue to download and read the whole package.

As the USA, UK and European Union—with applause from the Australian government—slap sanctions on China for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and the weighty term “genocide” is thrown around without evidence, our series demystifies what is going on in and around Xinjiang, and why. We expose the Anglo-American sponsorship of “East Turkistan” separatism and fostering of radical Islamist terrorism, which hit China hard from the 1990s up to 2014 and prompted tough anti-terror programs.

We detail how al-Qaeda and its successors grew out of US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s program to strike at the Soviet Union’s “soft underbelly” in Central Asia—even at the risk of nuclear war—by backing the Afghanistan mujaheddin against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in 1979. Young ethnic Uyghurs from Xinjiang fought in Afghanistan and received US- and Saudi-funded training in Pakistan; some went back home to “destabilise China”, in the words of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), chief of staff to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. We also recount the history of “Pan-Turkism” and its activation against Russia and then China after the breakup of the USSR.

The final two articles deal with the decades-long manipulation of the Uyghur diaspora by Anglo-American intelligence agencies, including those operating under the banner of “human rights”, like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). As with the so-called Captive Nations groups during the Cold War, the diaspora is exploited as a propaganda base, not only to destabilise or even fragment the targeted country, but also to set “thought rules” for public opinion and political circles elsewhere—for example, in the USA or Australia. Uyghur émigré groups uniformly oppose China’s Belt and Road Initiative, even as it raises living standards in Xinjiang, all China and abroad. Since China has recently been practically the sole engine of world economic growth, while cultivating scientific optimism in its education policies and a commitment to promoting classical culture, a strategic posture that exploits the Uyghurs of Xinjiang to attack China is insane.

Here are the chapter titles from our report. The first two pages of the Special Report PDF are a full, annotated table of contents.

Part 1. East-West gateway on the Silk Road
Part 2. The Arc of Crisis
Part 3. Xinjiang becomes a target
Part 4. Pan-Turkism
Part 5. The Anglo-American-Saudi promotion of violent jihad
Part 6. ‘Afghan’ jihadist terrorism come to Xinjiang
Parts 7 and 8. The ‘East Turkistan’ narrative