Things to know about all the lies on Xinjiang: How have they come about?

China Watch Institute, China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-28 12:45
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Emin (2nd L), a resident of Uygur ethnic group, chats with his neighbors in Tacheng city, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, April 2, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

VII. The "First Independent Report" on Xinjiang which was widely reported in Western media actually came from an institution funded by a sham university.

◆In March 2021, the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, a self-styled think tank, published the so-called "first independent report" on Xinjiang. The report claims that China has breached "each and every act" of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjinag. The report and the Institute received extensive coverage by mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The Guardian and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

◆Founded in 2019 and based in Washington D.C., the Newlines Institute purportedly aims to "enhance US foreign policy based on a deep understanding of the geopolitics of the different regions of the world and their value systems". Its founder and president once served as a member of the advisory board for the US military's Africa Command. Anti-China scholar Adrian Zenz is also on its team.

◆Tom Fowdy, an Oxford graduate and East Asia specialist, revealed in Chollima Report, a website he runs, that the Newlines Institute is actually a front for the Institute of Islamic Thought, an Islamist neo-conservative organization in the US linked to Egypt's Muslim brotherhood, whose members have pleaded guilty to sponsoring terrorism.

◆In April 2021, Thore Vestby, former mayor of Norway’s Frogn municipality, worked with Dutch and Danish scholars and published a special paper titled “The Xinjiang Genocide Determination As Agenda” through the Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research. The special paper points out that the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy is highly consistent with the official position of the United States. The institute’s members who drafted the Xinjiang-related report are anti-communists and anti-China elements who have long been influenced by Christian fundamentalism and extreme conservatism, and the institute’s independence is suspicious. The timing of formulating and releasing of the report highly coincides with the time when the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of "genocide" in Xinjiang. The report blindly backs up Pompeo, but does not give any valuable evidence; there is an obvious bias in the selection of original materials, and it quotes a large number of falsified data and misinterpreted information; a large number of valuable, real information is deliberately ignored by the writers. The report clearly supports the US adopting a hardline foreign policy toward China as well as the use of human rights issues to contain and suppress China, which is seriously inconsistent with the position of the “Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy” as a neutral academic institution to seek mutual understanding and peace. The mainstream media in the West have collectively ignored the serious loopholes in the report and rushed to cite it without verification, reflecting that the military industry-media-think tank interest consortium in the United States enjoys a great power, and that the relevant institutions have been completely reduced to accomplices of interest groups.

◆The Newlines Institute is funded by Fairfax University of America (FXUA), an unaccredited sham university formerly known as Virginia International University. In 2019, state regulators of Virginia found the academic quality and rigor of FXUA's online education "patently deficient" and the university's certificate to operate was almost revoked. Data from the US Department of Education show that between 2020 and 2021, the university has 153 registered students, and its official Twitter account has only 13 followers.

◆The advisory board of the FXUA is composed of heads of military contractors. The Consolidated Analysis Centers Incorporated (CACI), which was involved in the Abu Ghraib prison incident in Iraq, is one of them.

◆According to a report carried by Xinhuanet in 2007, lawyers from the US Center for Constitutional Rights note that a group of more than 250 former Iraqi prisoners filed a lawsuit against CACI for torture during interrogation in Iraq.

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