The Associated Press (AP) published an article on May 20 alleging that "Chinese authorities order video denials by Uyghurs of abuses". It purports to have evidence proving that this year's spree of Uyghurs condemning former secretary of state Mike Pompeo's separatist incitement was staged by the Chinese government. In actuality, however, the AP is denying Uyghurs the agency to independently defend their interests when they're attacked by powerful foreign forces such as the top US diplomat. This isn't just condescending, but it also carries ethnically prejudiced undertones implying that the Uyghurs are unable to do anything on their own.
As regularly implied by the Western mainstream media, every Uyghur by virtue of their ethnicity is supposedly yearning for separatism. According to this false narrative, it's only the Communist Party of China (CPC) that's preventing this scenario, and resorting to an alleged "genocide". None of that is true, however. The Uyghurs aren't victims of a 21st-century "genocide", but have actually recorded one of the highest population growth rates of any minority group anywhere in the world over the past decade. On top of that, their living standards have greatly improved, as has their security.
With these facts in mind, it's unsurprising that practically all Uyghurs in China very passionately support their country's unity. Any minority anywhere else in the world would be eager to sing their country's praises upon experiencing such unprecedented developmental blessings. The CPC didn't stage those videos of Uyghurs condemning Pompeo's separatist incitement since they were organically made as a natural show of support by these people for their government in the face of the foreign threat that he was trying to spread throughout their society.
All minorities should have the right to condemn fake news about them that's spread by foreign forces regardless of whether they're the top US diplomat or just some random blogger. The very fact that this can so freely happen in Chinese society, and in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region where the West falsely alleges that a so-called "genocide" is presently being carried out there by the CPC, powerfully debunks the narratives that have been manufactured against the country. Western perception managers fear their people's response to these observations, hence the need to manufacture more fake news.
After all, those videos prove that the situation isn't anything like how they were indoctrinated to think that it is. The average Western media consumer wouldn't have ever expected anything of the sort to happen. It defies their completely false understanding of the situation there and might eventually inspire them to question the truthfulness of what they've been told by their mainstream media. This explains why that those same media forces have since desperately concocted a conspiracy theory alleging that the CPC staged those videos. They're hoping to play on people's prejudices of China in order to cover up their lies about Xinjiang.
The unexpected challenge that those Western perception managers face, however, is that their audience has recently become very passionate about minority rights as evidenced by recent events in the US over the past year. The average Westerner is very sensitive toward anything that can even remotely be interpreted as disrespectful of minorities, let alone ethnically prejudiced. With these concerns in mind, they might question why their mainstream media is denying the Uyghurs' agency to defend their interests from a foreign attack, especially from no less than former US president Trump's top diplomat who many of these Westerners despise.
The fact of the matter is that the Uyghurs are proud citizens of a cosmopolitan China where their rights aren't only respected, but even prioritized by the CPC for the simple fact that they're a minority. The reality is the exact opposite of whatever most Westerners have been indoctrinated into believing. Separatism isn't supported among that community. To the contrary, they despise this foreign threat and rightly acknowledge it as the greatest danger to their unprecedented development over the past decade. Those who support separatism aren't friends of the Uyghur people, but their enemies, and they deserve to be condemned.
Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.