søndag 19. januar 2020

Safe and sound? China launches propaganda blitz to discredit Uyghur #StillNoInfo campaign

In December, Xinjiang Governor Shohrat Zakir told reporters that people held in detention camps have "graduated" and are now free "to come and go", but he did not provide evidence. That announcement sparked the hashtag #StillNoInfo, with Uyghurs the world over demanding news about their missing relatives.

The testimony from Ms Kadeer's granddaughters is the latest instalment of what Uyghur activists have called a "propaganda blitz" launched by China's state media. Global Times and CGTN, the international arm of China Central Television (CCTV) news, have broadcast a slew of videos purporting to show the family members of Uyghurs abroad are safe and sound. The ramped-up coverage of Xinjiang is an overt attempt to counter narratives of widespread Uyghur oppression aired by Western media outlets like the New York Times, BBC and CNN.

Paired with the testimonials, in the past month CGTN has also aired "documentaries" about fighting terrorism in Xinjiang — which has long been China's justification for what it calls "vocational centres" and "boarding schools", not "camps". But some observers say the propaganda is backfiring and it reveals just how concerned the Chinese Communist Party is about international condemnation of Xinjiang.