August 15, 2009

Piercing through Rebiya's veil

Once again, Rebiya Kadeer is attempting to paint the Chinese government as a cruel repressor of the Uygurs, who she says suffered "decades of economic, social and religious discrimination, together with the widespread execution, torture and imprisonment."
In an article published by the British newspaper Guardian, Rebiya compared the Uygurs experience in China in the past 60 years and the experience of African-Americans in the United States before 1955.
But these two are, in Rebiya's own words, "half a world" apart and incomparable.
In the case of the pre-1955 US, African-Americans had to sit in the back of the bus, something Rebiya mentioned as an example of the discrimination suffered by the group.
However, in no way have the Uygurs experienced these kinds of things, or any similar discrimination. Anyone who does not believe this can just go around China and will see the Hans and the Uygurs rubbing shoulders with each other, especially in Xinjiang.
Rebiya also claimed that decades of economic discrimination has resulted in "anger and despair" among the Uygurs. But if that is the case, how did she herself manage to become a millionaire?
The truth is that the Chinese government has offered a wide range of preferential treatment to the Uygurs, as well as other ethnic minorities, especially in employment opportunities. The government has instituted rules that require all institutions in Xinjiang to recruit at least a fixed percent of Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in their staff. Preferential treatment is also granted when it comes to starting their own businesses and in tax policies.
Moreover, to better prepare the Uygurs and other non-Han ethnic groups for work, the State has made it easier for them to be educated. For example, they get 20 guaranteed extra points when taking part in the national college entrance examination.
In fact, this policy arrangement has roused some resentment among the Han. Some go so far as to try to change their ethnic status to get the extra points themselves. That situation is best illustrated by what happened this summer in Chongqing, where a high school graduate, among 31 other Han students, lied about his ethnic status. He was discovered, however, and deprived of the opportunity to enter the college this year in spite of his actual top rank in the whole region.
Therefore, Rebiya's finger-pointing is unfair, and the Chinese government should get some credit for what has been done for the non-Hans.

In her Guardian article, the exiled Uygur woman also accused Beijing of misrepresenting the Shaoguan incident and the Urumqi riots by covering up the deaths of many Uygurs. But all that she could point to were so-called "witness accounts," which, of course, were unverified.
Rebiya blamed the Chinese government for her inability to verify these eyewitness accounts in Xinjiang, because she said "communications have been virtually cut off." But if that was really the case, then how could "numerous residents" have told her about the "deaths of hundreds of Uighurs?"
It is also known that after what happened in Urumqi on July 5, hundreds of overseas journalists have gone to Xinjiang. Does this constitute "a lack of transparency?"
An examination of her "witness accounts" in the Shaoguan incident is also needed. Why hasn't she checked the "witness accounts" since there should be no cut-off in communications? Does she know the names of the alleged victims? Getting those names would not be very difficult if what she claimed really happened, as the Uygur workers are relatively small in number.
Even Rebiya and her World Uygur Congress (WUC) admitted the details of the incident were unsubstantiated and filled with allegations and dubious reports, according to American-German freelance journalist F. William Engdahl's article, the hidden agenda behind Xinjiang violence (click for the article).
But that did not prevent the Munich arm of the WUC from issuing a worldwide call for protest demonstrations against Chinese embassies.
Another accusation that Rebiya made against the Chinese government is that they are "using anti-Uighur anger to shore up its own legitimacy". But that can't be true. What the Chinese government is worried about most is continuing or escalating violence which is sure to ensue if the officials are really taking advantage of the anti-Uygur anger.
Actually, what many people have seen is the government working to promote ethnic unity by broadcasting videos and pictures of the Hans and the Uygurs living harmoniously together. Ubiquitous in Urumqi or other parts of Xinjiang are huge red banners calling for ethnic harmony.
What also exposed Rebiya's hypocrisy was the fact that while her article was full of alleged atrocities committed by the Chinese government on the Uygurs, the so-called human rights fighter did not mention a word about the victims in the Urumqi riots, except the hollow words of "I in no way endorse any of the violent acts" and "I am absolutely opposed to all violence."
Does she really care about human rights? If she does, why not call on her followers to stop violence? Maybe she is just using human rights as an excuse to achieve her hidden agenda.

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