The Morning Star has a problem. How does a newspaper claiming to stand for “Peace and Socialism” defend a regime that denies basic democratic rights and has incarcerated an estimated million Muslims in what look very much like concentration camps?
An article by one Carlos Martinez (MS July 14) denounced “increasingly hysterical and absurd” criticisms of China, citing “four main lines of attack being pushed on a daily basis by the US and British ruling classes”:
That the newly introduced National Security Law is an attack on the basic freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and violates China’s legal obligations under the Sino-British joint declaration of 1984.
That the Uyghur population of Xinjiang is being repressed in any number of indescribably brutal ways, including through mass incarceration in “re-education camps” and forced sterilisation.
That China — as a result of its secrecy, incompetence, vindictiveness, or some combination thereof — didn’t give the world sufficient warning of the Covid-19 outbreak and must therefore bear responsibility for the havoc being wreaked by the pandemic.
And that China’s technology companies are providing, or seek to provide, secret information to the Chinese state, and therefore their involvement in Western economies should be actively restricted.
Readers might then have expected Martinez to proceed to expose and debunk these “hysterical and absurd” claims… but he didn’t, merely stating that “it’s the US government leading the charge” and that the Tories agree with them.
In a later piece in the Morning Star of Aug 15-16 Martinez revealed that his sole source of information was the Grayzone website run by conspiracy theorist and Putin apologist Max Blumenthal. An examination of Blumenthal’s claims that there is no evidence of persecution of Uyghurs, reveals that he has no counter-evidence at all, apart from ad hominem attacks upon Adrian Zenz, the German researcher who has provided much of the most recent evidence of persecution and, in particular, of the forced sterilisation of Uyghur women.
Martinez was particularly upset that Labour MPs are “enthusiastically climbing aboard the new cold war bandwagon”, and that John McDonnell has “recorded a histrionic (and hopelessly one-sided) denunciation of the Chinese state’s alleged mistreatment of the Uyghur Muslims.” Again, no explanation is offered as to how McDonnell’s statement was “one-sided” and what, exactly the “other side” might be: presumably, the Chinese ruling class claim that what appear to be concentration camps are, in fact benign “re-education” facilities.
The overwhelming evidence (accepted by everyone who is not am dupe, stooge or apologist for the Chinese ruling class) is that women in Xinjiang have been involuntarily fitted with intrauterine contraceptives or coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries, even when they have had fewer than the permitted two children. Government documents show that women in some rural minority communities in the region have received frequent mandatory gynaecological exams and bi-monthly pregnancy tests from local health officials. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, with the parents of three or more families incarcerated unless they can pay huge fines. Of the 484 camp detainees listed in Karakax county in Xinjiang, 149 were there for having too many children — the most common reason for holding them.
The fact that the daily paper that claims to be representative of the British labour and trade union movement (in reality, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Britain and its useful idiots), denies the overwhelming evidence of concentration camps, demographic genocide and systematic large-scale abuse and persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, is simply a disgrace. The Morning Star doesn’t even attempt to justify its stance or produce a shred of evidence beyond evidence-free propaganda from self-appointed Beijing cheer-leader Martinez and conspiracy theorists like Max Blumenthal: it simply bangs on about Donald Trump’s crude and sometimes racist anti-China campaign and invokes that crudest dictum of political bankrupts and ignoramuses: “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”.