The Urumqi Massacre of 10 Years Ago and the Olympic Calm of Repressive China
Bitter Winter, 4 July 2019
By Marco Respinti – Ten years ago, on July 6, 2009, the Chinese Communist regime perpetrated a massacre in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that Uyghurs prefer to call East Turkestan.
All began with protests by Uyghurs against the repressive policy of the CCP and ended in blood. “Campaign for Uyghurs” (CFU), the operation founded and chaired by Ms. Rushan Abbas in Herndon, Virginia, commemorates the sad event explaining that “[t]he protests began peacefully as demonstrators called for a full investigation into an incident in Shaoguan, Southern China several days earlier, in which several Uyghurs had been killed by Han Chinese factory workers.”
Communist China, a CFU press release continues, “[…] rampaged its military forces and shot at Uyghur protestors and arbitrarily arrested thousands of Uyghurs. Subsequently, the government used the incident as an excuse to unlawfully abduct Uyghurs for several months after the July 5th massacre, and hundreds of Uyghur men disappeared as wide-scale police sweeps heightened. The Financial Times estimated that some 4,000 arrests had already taken place by mid-July 2009 and that Urumchi’s [Urumqi] prisons were so full that newly arrested people were being held in People’s Liberation Army warehouses. Some accounts say the actual numbers are even higher. Following the incidents, internet access, mobile phone service, and outbound international calls throughout the region were blocked to prevent the flow of information in and out of the area. Internet access, mobile phone service and outbound international calls throughout the region were blocked and the internet was not restored until May 2010.”
Ten years have passed, and the situation in Xinjiang is even worse since Mr. Xi Jinping accessed to power. Uyghurs, also Kazakhs, Tatars, Kyrgyzs, Uzbeks, and other ethnic Turkic people, are harshly persecuted just because they belong to ethnic minorities and are believers (Muslim). Today, according to some sources, there are up to 3 million people unlawfully detained in Xinjiang’s ill-famed transformation through education camps.
“What’s happening on our watch today,” says CFU, “is the continuation of the Communist government undermining the rule of law, human dignity, and western values.” In fact, “[…] massive systematic human rights abuses perpetrated by communist China has escalated to genocide.” Children of detained parents “[…] are sent to orphanages, where they are raised to forsake Uyghur identity and be loyal to the Chinese Communist Party. Inside of the camps, prisoners are indoctrinated with Communist Party propaganda, forced to renounce Islam and subject to torture and brutal deaths.”
Now, “[d]espite this blatant human rights abuse and vicious crimes against humanity, Beijing is set for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. On May 10th, 2019, China launched its 1,000-day countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with a happy song and dance celebration. The 2008 Beijing Olympic was the period that China gained economic and social attention in the world and was able to create the mass surveillance structure they are now using to suppress Uyghur, Kazakh and other Turkic and other millions of innocent people. The Orwellian state was built with a prestige traditional game of unity, equality, and peacefulness. Should Communist China be rewarded with Olympic games while committing genocide against an ethnicity with racial motivations?”
China already hosted the Olympics from August 8 to 24, 2008.
These Olympics was one of the ways through which the Chinese regime was able to re-fund itself. Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe crumbled for a combination of many reasons at the end of the 1980s. One of them was the historical failure of Marxism-Leninism, which set out as the economic panacea to the ills of the world and instead impoverished people and transformed poverty into misery. Communist economic failures always ended up in famines, deaths by millions, and social disasters. When the situation became unbearable, the Soviet bloc started a process of transformation which was not aimed to abandon communism, but to re-finance it. After all, it had already happened between 1921 and 1929 in Soviet Russia, when Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov known as Lenin (1870-1924) launched the New Economic Policy (NEP) to cope with the early economic and social failures of communism by including some elements of state-controlled capitalism within the socialist framework.
The new transformation at the end of the 1980s went under the name of perestrojka, but Soviet ruler Mikhail S. Gorbachev also failed with perestrojka, and so the Soviet bloc disappeared rapidly. Once again, though, Chinese rulers learned from Soviet failures, and their “transformation” of red China into a neo-post-communist regime was done through a massive sell of a “new China” myth to the West, which bought it and kept silent. The 2008 Olympics has been a big part in that on-going sell: will the 2022 Olympics be another?
CFU’s activists “[…] strongly believe that China is the last country in the world to qualify with the principle of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC must acknowledge that moving forward with the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is being complicit with genocide. To award a country that has three million innocent people in concentration camps with the honor of hosting the Olympics is more than being a bystander to the crime, it’s supporting it.”
Thus, “[t]he IOC must safeguard the principals that the Olympics have been built upon. The Olympics is a unique international event. It is not about trade or politics. It’s not about which country has the most power, or the most money. The Olympics are about people coming together to celebrate their differences. A country that has banned cultural identity and language, banned Islam, enforced policies that sexually repress it’s women with forced abortion and erects more than 44 concentration camps to jail an ethnic group does not respect these values.”
For this reason, “CFU calls on the international community to take concrete action to address the current atrocity that the entire Uyghur nation is facing and hold China accountable for it is actions. China must close the concentration camps and release all innocent people arbitrary being detained.”