China Using the American Wartime Newspeak Playbook

Posted: 7 July 2009 by Little Alex in International Affairs, Political Science
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In China’s far western region of Xinjiang, Uighurs have continued to protest the gov’t land grabbing, violent segregation, mass kidnapping, and exile. Yesterday, at least 156 people were killed, over 1,000 injured, and at least 1,434 arrested.

Michael Wines reports for The New York Times – 7 July 09:

In the wake of Sunday’s deadly riots in its western region of Xinjiang, China’s central government took all the usual steps to enshrine its version of events as received wisdom: it crippled Internet service, blocked Twitter’s micro-blogs, purged search engines of unapproved references to the violence, saturated the Chinese media with the state-sanctioned story.

It also took one most unusual step: Hours after troops quelled the protests, in which 156 people were reported killed, the state invited foreign journalists on an official trip to Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital and the site of the unrest, “to know better about the riots.” Indeed, it set up a media center at a downtown hotel — with a hefty discount on rooms — to keep arriving reporters abreast of events….

[I]t reflects lessons learned from the military crackdown in Tibet 17 months ago. Foreign reporters were banned from Tibet, then and now.

It should be noted that Mr. Wines is reporting from Beijing, not Urumqui. He continues:

As the Internet and other media raise new challenges to China’s version of the truth, China is finding new ways not just to suppress bad news at the source, but also to spin whatever unflattering tidbits escape its control….

Chinese experts clearly have studied the so-called color revolutions — in Georgia and Ukraine, and last month’s protests in Iran — for the ways that the Internet and mobile communication devices helped protesters organize and reach the outside world, and for ways that governments sought to counter them.

The “color revolutions” in Georgia and Ukraine — uncontroversially backed by the U.S. — granted the press full access and mainstream guerilla journalism told the story. Iran recently exiled and kidnapped journalists and guerilla journalism was only practiced by citizens.

What China is doing here is what the American Empire does when it goes overseas: don’t expel the media, confine them where you want them, so you know where they are and block every source outside of that bubble from contacting the outside world.

In Iran, the Western media struck back at the Iran gov’t for banning them by reporting citizen journalism as verified Truth. With the media in confined zones, it goes back to reporting citizen journalism as “unconfirmed” and its own filtered statements as, “facts on the ground.” Mr. Wines even tosses a little doublethink in his article saying, ‘Hey, it’s not as bad as when China blocked us from covering its Tibetan Massacre last year!’

Andreas Lorenz reported for Der Spiegel that police were “powerless”, as the gov’t has kidnapped an eight-year-old boy after “arbitrarily beating up men and women and Han Chinese shout, “Death to Uighurs!”

“Powerless” police regain their power with media control before the excessive use of force is used best when unseen. It’s clever.

The vocal-within-the-confines-to-still-serve-their-master, U.S.-Israel-collaborators in the Muslim World — who’ve routinely deported Uighurs, exiled from China after the gov’t steals their land (most notably the 17 picked up by the U.S. in Afghanistan, renditioned to Gitmo, and recently released seven years later) — have remained silent to China’s atrocities in the last couple of days.

The state of Xinjiang is known as: “The Other Tibet.” World Uighur Congress pressure group spokesperson, Alim Seytoff, told al Jazeera, “The root cause of the problem is really the Chinese government’s long-standing repressive policies.”

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