Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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FTR #1143 The Uyghurs and the Destabilization of China, Part 1

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FTR #1143 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment. 

Intro­duc­tion: Pro­vid­ing polit­i­cal con­text for the Covid-19 out­break, the next three pro­grams explore the pro­pa­gan­diz­ing of the Uighur (also spelled “Uyghur”) pop­u­la­tion of Xin­jiang province. The alleged deten­tion of “mil­lions” of Uighurs in Xin­jiang province has been the foun­da­tion for U.S. eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Chi­na. It has been a major pro­pa­gan­da vehi­cle as well.

(We have fol­lowed the Uighurs and the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na for years, begin­ning with FTR #348.)

One should not fail to note that the efforts of “Team Uighur” are part of the full court press against Chi­na

Like the so-called “pro-democ­ra­cy” move­ment in Hong Kong, the orga­ni­za­tions that make­up “Team Uighur” are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with U.S. intel­li­gence. (We dis­cussed the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy’s fund­ing of the “pro-Democ­ra­cy move­ment” in Hong Kong in FTR #‘s 1091, 1092 and 1093. NED was found­ed by William Casey, who was deeply involved with the cre­ation of many of the oth­er U.S. intel­li­gence fronts and affil­i­ates that have gen­er­at­ed the Uighur pro­pa­gan­da.)

At a deep­er his­tor­i­cal lev­el, “Team Uighur” is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the gen­er­at­ing forces of inter­na­tion­al fas­cism.

The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers receives financ­ing from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy. The Jamestown Foundation–another ele­ment in “Team Uighur” also has its gen­e­sis with William Casey and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion. The wide­ly repeat­ed “study” gen­er­at­ed by the NCHRD is based on inter­views of eight individuals–this in an are with a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion. ” . . . . In a 2018 report sub­mit­ted to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion – often mis­rep­re­sent­ed in West­ern media as a UN-authored report – CHRD ‘estimate[d] that rough­ly one mil­lion mem­bers of eth­nic Uyghurs have been sent to ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ deten­tion camps and rough­ly two mil­lion have been forced to attend ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ pro­grams in Xin­jiang.’ Accord­ing to CHRD, this fig­ure was ‘[b]ased on inter­views and lim­it­ed data.’ While CHRD states that it inter­viewed dozens of eth­nic Uyghurs in the course of its study, their enor­mous esti­mate was ulti­mate­ly based on inter­views with exact­ly eight Uyghur indi­vid­u­als. . . .”

One of the lead­ing pro­pa­gan­dists con­cern­ing “mass incar­cer­a­tion of the Uighurs” is Adri­an Zenz, a dog­mat­ic End Times Chris­t­ian, Ger­man nation­al and senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1983.”

The Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion is an off­shoot of the milieu of the OUN/B. ” . . . . an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. . . .” A key fig­ure in the Azov Bat­tal­ion (ele­ments of which were present in Hong Kong) is Roman Zvarych, the per­son­al sec­re­tary for Stet­sko in the ear­ly 1980’s.

” . . . . for­mer­ly Yaroslav Stetsko’s pri­vate sec­re­tary, the U.S.-born Roman Zvarych (1953), rep­re­sents a younger gen­er­a­tion of the Ukrain­ian émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty active dur­ing the Cold War and a direct link from the ABN to the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . . Zvarych par­tic­i­pat­ed in the activ­i­ties of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations in the 1980s. . . . In Feb­ru­ary 2005, after Vik­tor Yushchenko’s elec­tion, Zvarych was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Jus­tice. . . . Accord­ing to Andriy Bilet­sky, the first com­man­der of the Azov bat­tal­ion, a civ­il para­mil­i­tary unit cre­at­ed in the wake of the Euro­maid­an, Zvarych was head of the head­quar­ters of the Azov Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in 2015 and sup­port­ed the Azov bat­tal­ion with ‘vol­un­teers’ and polit­i­cal advice through his Zvarych Foun­da­tion. . . .”

Zenz has also gen­er­at­ed his fig­ures from high­ly ques­tion­able sources: ” . . . . Like the CHRD, Zenz arrived at his esti­mate ‘over 1 mil­lion’ in a dubi­ous man­ner. He based it on a sin­gle report by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion based in Turkey . . . . Far from an impar­tial jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion, Istiqlal TV advances the sep­a­ratist cause while play­ing host to an assort­ment of extrem­ist fig­ures. One such char­ac­ter who often appears on Istiqlal TV is Abdulka­dir Yapuquan, a report­ed leader of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that aims to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent home­land in Xin­jiang called East Turkestan. . . .”

The “pro-Democ­ra­cy” move­ment in Hong Kong also fea­tures Ukrain­ian Nazi elements–part of what we have called the “Earth Island Boo­gie.”

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have not­ed inter­na­tion­al net­work­ing between the Ukrain­ian Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion and ele­ments around the world:

  1. Azov is part of the “Inter­mar­i­um Revival” that is seen as using Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of the Ukraine “piv­ot point” as a spring­board for a glob­al Nazi takeover.
  2. Amer­i­can Nazis and white suprema­cists are among the ele­ments net­work­ing with Azov and then “bring­ing it all back home” to their native lands.
  3. Azov Bat­tal­ion and Pravy Sek­tor (“Right Sec­tor”) ele­ments have decamped to Hong Kong, net­work­ing with the so-called “Pro-Democ­ra­cy” forces and work­ing on behalf of EU NGOs. This was dis­cussed in FTR #1103.

Azov’s Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots have adopt­ed the OUN/B slo­gan, now the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian police and mil­i­tary. ” . . . . The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s ‘democ­rats’ draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an ‘rev­o­lu­tion’ that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan ‘Glo­ry to Hong Kong’, adapt­ed from ‘Sla­va Ukrayi­ni’ or ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine’, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment. . . . ”

Joshua Wong–“boy won­der” and dar­ling of the Amer­i­can MSM–has dou­bled down on affin­i­ty with Ukraine: ” . . . . ‘No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,’ Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. ‘[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.’ . . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with atten­u­at­ed dis­cus­sion of Third Reich vet­er­an and CIA offi­cer Ruzi (also “Ruzy”) Nazar. A vet­er­an of the SS Dirlewanger Brigade, Nazar was liais­ing with the fas­cist Nation­al Action Par­ty (also “Nation­al Move­ment Par­ty”) of Alparslan Turkes at the time its Grey Wolves cadre was involved with shoot­ing the Pope, an act that appears to have been a provo­ca­tion.

In AFA #‘s 14 and 21, we not­ed that Nazar rep­re­sent­ed the Anti Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations at the 1984 WACL con­fer­ence in Dal­las, Texas.

1a. The alleged deten­tion of “mil­lions” of Uighurs in Xin­jiang province has been the foun­da­tion for U.S. eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Chi­na. It has been a major pro­pa­gan­da vehi­cle as well.

“U.S. Impos­es More Sanc­tions for Human Rights Abus­es in Chi­na” by Ana Swan­son; The New York Times; 7/21/2020; p. B3.

The Trump admin­is­tra­tion on Mon­day barred 11 New Chi­nese com­pa­nies from pur­chas­ing Amer­i­can tech­nol­o­gy and prod­ucts with­out a spe­cial license, say­ing the firms were comp[licit in human rights vio­la­tions in Chi­na’s cam­paign tar­get­ing Mus­lim minori­ties in the Xin­jiang region.

The list of sanc­tioned com­pa­nies includes cur­rent and for­mer sup­pli­ers to major inter­na­tion­al brands such as Apple, Ralph Lau­ren, Google, HP, Tom­my Hil­figer, Hugo Boss and Muji, accord­ing a report by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, a think tank estab­lished by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment. The group cit­ed the web­sites of the sanc­tioned Chi­nese com­pa­nies, which men­tioned their finan­cial rela­tion­ships with major Amer­i­can brands.

The admin­is­tra­tion’s announce­ment could pre­cip­i­tate more efforts by promi­nent  cloth­ing and tech­nol­o­gy brands to sev­er ties with opaque sup­ply chains that touch on Xin­jiang, a major source of cot­ton, tex­tiles, petro­chem­i­cals and oth­er goods that feed into Chi­nese fac­to­ries.

Human rights groups and jour­nal­ists have doc­u­ment­ed a cam­paign of mass deten­tions car­ried out by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in Xin­jiang, in which one mil­lion or more mem­bers of Mus­lim and oth­er minor­i­ty groups have been placed into large intern­ment camps intend­ed to increase their loy­al­ty to the Com­mu­nist Par­ty. . . .

1b. Turn­ing to the major focal point of the broad­casts, we note that the orga­ni­za­tions involved with dis­sem­i­nat­ing the Uighur pro­pa­gan­da have deep con­nec­tions to U.S. intel­li­gence fronts.

The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers receives financ­ing from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy. The Jamestown Foundation–another ele­ment in “Team Uighur” also has its gen­e­sis with William Casey and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

The wide­ly repeat­ed “study” gen­er­at­ed by the NCHRD is based on inter­views of eight individuals–this in an are with a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion. ” . . . . In a 2018 report sub­mit­ted to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion – often mis­rep­re­sent­ed in West­ern media as a UN-authored report – CHRD ‘estimate[d] that rough­ly one mil­lion mem­bers of eth­nic Uyghurs have been sent to ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ deten­tion camps and rough­ly two mil­lion have been forced to attend ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ pro­grams in Xin­jiang.’ Accord­ing to CHRD, this fig­ure was ‘[b]ased on inter­views and lim­it­ed data.’ While CHRD states that it inter­viewed dozens of eth­nic Uyghurs in the course of its study, their enor­mous esti­mate was ulti­mate­ly based on inter­views with exact­ly eight Uyghur indi­vid­u­als. . . .”

One of the lead­ing pro­pa­gan­dists con­cern­ing “mass incar­cer­a­tion of the Uighurs” is Adri­an Zenz, a dog­mat­ic End Times Chris­t­ian, Ger­man nation­al and “senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1983.”

The Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion is an off­shoot of the milieu of the OUN/B. ” . . . . an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. . . .” A key fig­ure in the Azov Bat­tal­ion (ele­ments of which were present in Hong Kong) is Roman Zvarych, the per­son­al sec­re­tary for Stet­sko in the ear­ly 1980’s.

” . . . . for­mer­ly Yaroslav Stetsko’s pri­vate sec­re­tary, the U.S.-born Roman Zvarych (1953), rep­re­sents a younger gen­er­a­tion of the Ukrain­ian émi­gré com­mu­ni­ty active dur­ing the Cold War and a direct link from the ABN to the Azov Bat­tal­ion. . . . Zvarych par­tic­i­pat­ed in the activ­i­ties of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations in the 1980s. . . . In Feb­ru­ary 2005, after Vik­tor Yushchenko’s elec­tion, Zvarych was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Jus­tice. . . . Accord­ing to Andriy Bilet­sky, the first com­man­der of the Azov bat­tal­ion, a civ­il para­mil­i­tary unit cre­at­ed in the wake of the Euro­maid­an, Zvarych was head of the head­quar­ters of the Azov Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in 2015 and sup­port­ed the Azov bat­tal­ion with ‘vol­un­teers’ and polit­i­cal advice through his Zvarych Foun­da­tion. . . .”

Zenz has also gen­er­at­ed his fig­ures from high­ly ques­tion­able sources: ” . . . . Like the CHRD, Zenz arrived at his esti­mate “over 1 mil­lion” in a dubi­ous man­ner. He based it on a sin­gle report by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion based in Turkey . . . . Far from an impar­tial jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion, Istiqlal TV advances the sep­a­ratist cause while play­ing host to an assort­ment of extrem­ist fig­ures. One such char­ac­ter who often appears on Istiqlal TV is Abdulka­dir Yapuquan, a report­ed leader of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that aims to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent home­land in Xin­jiang called East Turkestan. . . .”

“Chi­na Detain­ing Mil­lions of Uyghurs? Seri­ous Prob­lems with Claims by US-backed NGO and Far-Right Researcher ‘Led by God’ Against Bei­jing” by Ajit Singh and Max Blu­men­thal; The Gray­zone; 12/21/2019.

The US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed the Uyghur Human Rights Pol­i­cy Act on Decem­ber 3, leg­is­la­tion which calls for the Don­ald Trump admin­is­tra­tion to impose sanc­tions against Chi­na over alle­ga­tions that Bei­jing has detained mil­lions of Mus­lim-major­i­ty Uyghurs in the west­ern region of Xin­jiang.

To drum up sup­port for the sanc­tions bill, West­ern gov­ern­ments and media out­lets have por­trayed the People’s Repub­lic as a human rights vio­la­tor on par with Nazi Ger­many. Repub­li­can Rep. Chris Smith, for instance, denounced the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for what he called the “mass intern­ment of mil­lions on a scale not seen since the Holo­caust,” in “mod­ern-day con­cen­tra­tion camps.”

The claim that Chi­na has detained mil­lions of eth­nic Uyghurs in its Xin­jiang region is repeat­ed with increas­ing fre­quen­cy, but lit­tle scruti­ny is ever applied. Yet a clos­er look at the fig­ure and how it was obtained reveals a seri­ous defi­cien­cy in data.

While this extra­or­di­nary claim is treat­ed as unas­sail­able in the West, it is, in fact, based on two high­ly dubi­ous “stud­ies.”

The first, by the US gov­ern­ment-backed Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers, formed its esti­mate by inter­view­ing a grand total of eight peo­ple.

The sec­ond study relied on flim­sy media reports and spec­u­la­tion. It was authored by Adri­an Zenz, a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian who oppos­es homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty, sup­ports “scrip­tur­al spank­ing” of chil­dren, and believes he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na.

As Wash­ing­ton ratch­ets up pres­sure on Chi­na, Zenz has been lift­ed out of obscu­ri­ty and trans­formed almost overnight into a go-to pun­dit on Xin­jiang. He has tes­ti­fied before Con­gress, pro­vid­ing com­men­tary in out­lets from the Wall Street Jour­nal to Democ­ra­cy Now!, and deliv­er­ing expert quotes in the Inter­na­tion­al Con­sor­tium of Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ists’ recent “Chi­na Cables” report. His Twit­ter bio notes that he is “mov­ing across the Atlantic” from his native Ger­many.

Before Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal ques­tioned Zenz about his reli­gious “mis­sion,” at a recent event about Xin­jiang inside the US Capi­tol, he had received almost entire­ly uncrit­i­cal pro­mo­tion from West­ern media.

The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers, which first pop­u­lar­ized the “mil­lions detained” fig­ure, has also been able to oper­ate with­out a hint of media scruti­ny.

Wash­ing­ton-backed NGO claims mil­lions detained after inter­view­ing eight peo­ple

The “mil­lions detained” fig­ure was first pop­u­lar­ized by a Wash­ing­ton, DC-based NGO that is backed by the US gov­ern­ment, the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers (CHRD).

In a 2018 report sub­mit­ted to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion – often mis­rep­re­sent­ed in West­ern media as a UN-authored report – CHRD “estimate[d] that rough­ly one mil­lion mem­bers of eth­nic Uyghurs have been sent to ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ deten­tion camps and rough­ly two mil­lion have been forced to attend ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ pro­grams in Xin­jiang.” Accord­ing to CHRD, this fig­ure was “[b]ased on inter­views and lim­it­ed data.”

While CHRD states that it inter­viewed dozens of eth­nic Uyghurs in the course of its study, their enor­mous esti­mate was ulti­mate­ly based on inter­views with exact­ly eight Uyghur indi­vid­u­als.

Based on this absurd­ly small sam­ple of research sub­jects in an area whose total pop­u­la­tion is 20 mil­lion, CHRD “extrap­o­lat­ed esti­mates” that “at least 10% of vil­lagers […] are being detained in re-edu­ca­tion deten­tion camps, and 20% are being forced to attend day/evening re-edu­ca­tion camps in the vil­lages or town­ships, total­ing 30% in both types of camps.”

Apply­ing these esti­mat­ed rates to the entire­ty of Xin­jiang, CHRD arrived at the fig­ures sub­mit­ted to the UN claim­ing that one mil­lion eth­nic Uyghurs have been detained in “re-edu­ca­tion deten­tion camps” and two mil­lion more have been “forced to attend day/evening re-edu­ca­tion ses­sions”.

Thanks to ques­tion­able sources like the CHRD, the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment has accused Chi­na of “arbi­trar­i­ly detain[ing] 800,000 to pos­si­bly more than two mil­lion Uighurs, eth­nic Kaza­khs, and oth­er Mus­lims in intern­ment camps designed to erase reli­gious and eth­nic iden­ti­ties.”

Tes­ti­fy­ing before the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee in 2018, State Depart­ment offi­cial Scott Bus­by stat­ed this this “is the U.S. gov­ern­ment assess­ment, backed by our intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and open source report­ing.”

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has reject­ed US alle­ga­tions, and claims that it has in fact estab­lished “voca­tion­al edu­ca­tion and train­ing cen­ters […] to pre­vent the breed­ing and spread of ter­ror­ism and reli­gious extrem­ism.” The Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry has stat­ed that “there [are] no so-called ‘re-edu­ca­tion camps’ in Xin­jiang at all. The voca­tion­al edu­ca­tion and train­ing cen­ters legal­ly oper­at­ed in Xin­jiang aim to help a small num­ber of peo­ple affect­ed by ter­ror­ist and extrem­ist ide­olo­gies and equip them with skills, so that they can be self-reliant and re-inte­grate into soci­ety.”

In its mount­ing pres­sure cam­paign against Chi­na, the US is not only rely­ing on CHRD for data; it is direct­ly fund­ing its oper­a­tions. As Ben Nor­ton and Ajit Singh pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed for The Gray­zone, CHRD receives sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial sup­port from Washington’s regime-change arm, the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED).

The NGO has spent years cam­paign­ing on behalf of extreme right-wing oppo­si­tion fig­ures who cel­e­brate colo­nial­ism and call for the “West­ern­iza­tion” of Chi­na. . . . .

‘Lead­ing expert’ on Xin­jiang relies on spec­u­la­tion and one ques­tion­able media report

The sec­ond key source for claims that Chi­na has detained mil­lions of Uyghur Mus­lims is Adri­an Zenz. He is a senior fel­low in Chi­na stud­ies at the far-right Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which was estab­lished by the US gov­ern­ment in 1983.

The Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion is an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. Togeth­er, the two helped found the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League that was described by jour­nal­ist Joe Cona­son as “the orga­ni­za­tion­al haven for neo-Nazis, fas­cists, and anti-Semit­ic extrem­ists from two dozen coun­tries.”

Today, Dobriansky’s daugh­ter, Paula, sits on the board of the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion. A for­mer Rea­gan and George HW Bush offi­cial and sig­na­to­ry of the orig­i­nal Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry doc­u­ment, Paula Dobri­an­sky has become a fix­ture in neo­con­ser­v­a­tive cir­cles on Capi­tol Hill.

From its office in Wash­ing­ton, the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion agi­tates for regime change from Venezuela to the periph­ery of Chi­na, advanc­ing the “dou­ble geno­cide” the­o­ry that rewrites the his­to­ry of the Holo­caust and posits com­mu­nism as a dead­ly evil on par with Hit­ler­ian fas­cism.

Zenz’s politi­cized research on Xin­jiang and Tibet has proven one of this right-wing group’s most effec­tive weapons.

In Sep­tem­ber of 2018, Zenz wrote an arti­cle pub­lished in the Cen­tral Asian Sur­vey jour­nal con­clud­ing that “Xinjiang’s total re-edu­ca­tion intern­ment fig­ure may be esti­mat­ed at just over one mil­lion.” (A con­densed ver­sion of the arti­cle was ini­tial­ly pub­lished by the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a neo­con­ser­v­a­tive think tank found­ed dur­ing the height of the Cold War by Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion per­son­nel with the sup­port of then-CIA Direc­tor William J. Casey).

Like the CHRD, Zenz arrived at his esti­mate “over 1 mil­lion” in a dubi­ous man­ner. He based it on a sin­gle report by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion based in Turkey, which was repub­lished by Newsweek Japan. Far from an impar­tial jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion, Istiqlal TV advances the sep­a­ratist cause while play­ing host to an assort­ment of extrem­ist fig­ures.

One such char­ac­ter who often appears on Istiqlal TV is Abdulka­dir Yapuquan, a report­ed leader of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that aims to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent home­land in Xin­jiang called East Turkestan.

ETIM has been des­ig­nat­ed as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion with ties to al-Qae­da by the USEuro­pean Union, and UN Secu­ri­ty Council’s Al-Qai­da Sanc­tions Com­mit­teeThe Asso­ci­at­ed Press has report­ed that since “2013, thou­sands of Uighurs… have trav­eled to Syr­ia to train with the Uighur mil­i­tant group Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty and fight along­side al-Qai­da,” with “sev­er­al hun­dred join[ing] the Islam­ic State.”

The Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP) has been among the most recal­ci­trant forces oper­at­ing in the Al Qae­da-con­trolled Idlib province, reject­ing all cease­fire efforts while indoc­tri­nat­ing chil­dren into mil­i­tan­cy. TIP lead­er­ship has called on for­eign Mus­lims to wage jihad in Syr­ia, pub­lish­ing an online recruit­ment video in 2018 that cel­e­brat­ed the 9/11 attacks as holy retal­i­a­tion against a deca­dent Unit­ed States awash in homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and sin.

Accord­ing to the Los Ange­les Times, Yapuquan is “a reg­u­lar guest on Istiqlal TV… where his inter­views often extend­ed into hours-long emo­tion­al tirades against Chi­na.”

Turk­ish jour­nal­ist Abdul­lah Bozkurt report­ed that Istiqlal TV has also host­ed fanat­i­cal anti-Semi­tes like Nured­din Yıldız, who in an inter­view on the net­work, “called for armed jihad not only in China’s autonomous Xin­jiang region but all over the world and described Chi­na as a nation of sav­ages, worse than the Jews.”

The Istiqlal TV report relied on by Zenz pub­lished an unver­i­fied table of “re-edu­ca­tion detainee fig­ures” alleged­ly “leaked” by Chi­nese author­i­ties, total­ing 892,000 indi­vid­u­als in 68 Xin­jiang coun­ties as of Spring 2018.

Zenz pads this data by cit­ing reports from Radio Free Asia, a US-fund­ed news agency cre­at­ed by the CIA dur­ing the Cold War to pro­pa­gan­dize against Chi­na. (The Uyghur Human Rights Act recent­ly passed by Con­gress man­dates the US Agency for Glob­al Media – the gov­ern­men­tal par­ent of Radio Free Asia – to report on Xin­jiang, includ­ing “assess­ments of Chi­nese pro­pa­gan­da strate­gies.”)

With his cob­bling of ques­tion­able sources, Zenz extrap­o­lates an extreme­ly broad esti­mate “at any­where between sev­er­al hun­dred thou­sand and just over one mil­lion.”

While admit­ting that “there is no cer­tain­ty” to his esti­mate, he has con­clud­ed that it is nev­er­the­less “rea­son­able to spec­u­late.” He attempt­ed to evade per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty for the figure’s ques­tion­able reli­a­bil­i­ty, how­ev­er, by stat­ing “[t]he accu­ra­cy of this esti­mate is of course pred­i­cat­ed on the sup­posed valid­i­ty of the stat­ed sources.”

As time goes on, Zenz con­tin­ues to inflate his spec­u­la­tive esti­mate of Uyghur detainees. Speak­ing at an event orga­nized by the US mis­sion in Gene­va in March 2019, Zenz stat­ed, “Although it is spec­u­la­tive it seems appro­pri­ate to esti­mate that up to 1.5 mil­lion eth­nic minori­ties [have been detained by Chi­na in Xin­jiang].” Zenz bumped up his esti­mate again in a Novem­ber 2019 inter­view with Radio Free Asia, claim­ing Chi­na was detain­ing 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple.

In an inter­view with Der Spiegel, Zenz claimed that Chi­na has effec­tive­ly out­lawed the prac­tice of Islam in Xin­jiang. “Any­one in Xin­jiang who engages in any type of reli­gious prac­tice, any­one who even has a sin­gle Koran verse saved on their mobile phone, will be sub­ject­ed to a bru­tal process of reed­u­ca­tion with­out tri­al,” he main­tained.

These incen­di­ary claims have vault­ed Zenz to the sta­tus of inter­na­tion­al “expert” on Xin­jiang, earned him invites to tes­ti­fy before US Con­gress and Cana­di­an Par­lia­ment, and to deliv­er com­men­tary in major US media out­lets includ­ing The New York TimesThe Wash­ing­ton PostCNN, and Democ­ra­cy Now!

Zenz has also been fea­tured by the Inter­na­tion­al Con­sor­tium of Inves­tiga­tive Jour­nal­ists (ICIJ) as the lead­ing author­i­ty legit­imiz­ing their recent “Chi­na Cables” inves­ti­ga­tion. The ICIJ report asserts that “[l]inguists, doc­u­ment and Xin­jiang experts, includ­ing Zenz, who reviewed the doc­u­ments have expressed con­fi­dence in their authen­tic­i­ty.”

Giv­en Zenz’s habit of spec­u­la­tion and the ques­tion­able reli­a­bil­i­ty of the lone Istiqlal TV media report he relies on for his esti­mates, it is trou­bling that West­ern gov­ern­ments and media have accept­ed and pro­mot­ed his claims with­out a trace of skep­ti­cism.

A clos­er look at Zenz’s own bias­es should mag­ni­fy these con­cerns, as he is a full-blown evan­gel­i­cal End Timer who appears to be believe that God has sent him on a holy cru­sade against the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na.

Fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian ‘led by God’ in mis­sion against Chi­na, homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, and gen­der equal­i­ty

A born-again Chris­t­ian who claims to preach at his local church, Adri­an Zenz is a lec­tur­er at the Euro­pean School of Cul­ture and The­ol­o­gy. This ano­dyne-sound­ing cam­pus is actu­al­ly the Ger­man base of Colum­bia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty, a US-based evan­gel­i­cal Chris­t­ian sem­i­nary which con­sid­ers the “Bible [to be] the ulti­mate foun­da­tion and the final truth in every aspect of our lives,” and whose mis­sion is to “edu­cate peo­ple from a bib­li­cal world­view to impact the nations with the mes­sage of Christ.”

Zenz’s work on Chi­na is inspired by this bib­li­cal world­view, as he recent­ly explained in an inter­view with the Wall Street Jour­nal. “I feel very clear­ly led by God to do this,” he said. “I can put it that way. I’m not afraid to say that. With Xin­jiang, things real­ly changed. It became like a mis­sion, or a min­istry.”

Along with his “mis­sion” against Chi­na, heav­en­ly guid­ance has appar­ent­ly prompt­ed Zenz to denounce homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, gen­der equal­i­ty, and the ban­ning of phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment against chil­dren as threats to Chris­tian­i­ty.

Zenz out­lined these views in a book he co-authored in 2012, titled Wor­thy to Escape: Why All Believ­ers Will Not Be Rap­tured Before the Tribu­la­tion. In the tome, Zenz dis­cussed the return of Jesus Christ, the com­ing wrath of God, and the rise of the Antichrist.

Zenz pre­dict­ed that the future fall of cap­i­tal­ism will bring to pow­er the Antichrist with­in a “few decades.” He iden­ti­fied the force that “will ush­er the Antichrist into pow­er” as “the eco­nom­ic and finan­cial fall of ‘Baby­lon,’ with ‘Baby­lon’ sym­bol­i­cal­ly rep­re­sent­ing the world’s glob­al eco­nom­ic sys­tem (cap­i­tal­ism).”

Along with the fall of cap­i­tal­ism, Zenz also views “post­mod­ern rel­a­tivism and tol­er­ance think­ing” and their appar­ent pro­mo­tion of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, gen­der equal­i­ty, and non-vio­lent par­ent­ing to be threats to Chris­tian­i­ty and “[t]he decep­tive, leop­ard-like pow­er behind the Antichrist.”

“It is very like­ly that the glob­al per­se­cu­tion of true believ­ers will cen­ter on the charge that they pro­mote ‘intol­er­ant views,’” Zenz wrote, “espe­cial­ly relat­ed to preach­ing against homo­sex­u­al­i­ty.”

Zenz argued that “[h]ate crime and anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws will like­ly play a major role in the sup­pres­sion of bib­li­cal Chris­tian­i­ty” and formed part of an “anti-Chris­t­ian ‘tol­er­ance’ cam­paign” because they “for­bid employ­ers to dis­crim­i­nate based on gen­der or sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tions.”

“The out­come of this process is open rebel­lion against both God and God-giv­en human author­i­ty struc­tures”, Zenz stat­ed, decry­ing that “[r]ising num­bers of coun­tries are ban­ning all forms of phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment of chil­dren, the pri­ma­ry scrip­tur­al method for instill­ing respect for author­i­ty in the young gen­er­a­tion and pro­tect­ing them from rebel­lious ten­den­cies.” Zenz assures read­ers that “true scrip­tur­al spank­ing is lov­ing dis­ci­pline and not vio­lence.”

“Anoth­er impor­tant God-giv­en author­i­ty struc­ture that Satan is attack­ing through the post­mod­ern spir­it is that of gen­der author­i­ty struc­tures”, Zenz con­tin­ued. “Through notions of gen­der equal­i­ty […] the ene­my is under­min­ing God’s unique but dif­fer­ent role assign­ments for men and women.”

Giv­en these obscu­ran­tist right-wing views, it is not sur­pris­ing that Zenz’s pro­claimed con­cern for the con­di­tion of Mus­lims in Chi­na does not seem to extend to Mus­lims else­where.

A search of Zenz’s Twit­ter pro­file returns no tweets con­cern­ing the rise of Islam­o­pho­bia in the West, nor US wars and drone strikes against Mus­lim-major­i­ty coun­tries. The only Tweet by Zenz con­cern­ing Mus­lims that is unre­lat­ed to Chi­na is a denial that there is a dou­ble stan­dard in how vio­lence is judged when com­mit­ted by white peo­ple com­pared to Mus­lims.

‘The End Times is a very fascinating topic’

In his Decem­ber 10, 2019 tes­ti­mo­ny to the House For­eign Affairs Com­mit­tee, Adri­an Zenz took a vic­to­ry lap of sorts for Con­gress’ pas­sage of the Uyghur Human Rights Act the week before, which placed new sanc­tions on the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. Cit­ing the bill’s suc­cess, he called for open­ing a new front against Chi­na with a US inves­ti­ga­tion into “invol­un­tary labor in rela­tion to Xin­jiang.”

That same day, Zenz also appeared on a pan­el ded­i­cat­ed to Xin­jiang that was host­ed by the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion in the US Capi­tol Vis­i­tor Cen­ter.

On hand were Repub­li­can heavy­weights like Sam Brown­back, the fero­cious­ly anti-LGBT, anti-abor­tion for­mer gov­er­nor of Kansas and cur­rent US ambas­sador-at-large for reli­gious free­dom, as well as top staffers of Sen. Mar­co Rubio, the spon­sor of vir­tu­al­ly every Chi­na sanc­tions bill to be rub­ber-stamped by Con­gress in recent weeks.

Dur­ing a ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion, The Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal asked Zenz about his fun­da­men­tal­ist reli­gious views and far-right pol­i­tics.

Zenz did not dis­tance him­self from his past state­ments denounc­ing gen­der equal­i­ty and “tol­er­ance think­ing,” or his advo­ca­cy for the “scrip­tur­al spank­ing” of chil­dren. Instead, he assert­ed that there was no incon­sis­ten­cy between those views and the qual­i­ty of his research on China’s Xin­jiang region.

“I do have a diverse back­ground and I have per­son­al con­nec­tions which I do not believe are incon­sis­tent with my research,” Zenz respond­ed to Blu­men­thal. “I do not sup­port China’s author­i­tar­i­an meth­ods in any way, and I do believe there’s a God who is bring­ing judg­ment in dif­fer­ent forms. The End Times is a very fas­ci­nat­ing top­ic, a very com­plex top­ic, and I think, very rel­e­vant. And I think it’s good to live aware of that.”

Moments lat­er, a vis­i­bly upset young man rose from his seat to “con­demn the tankie Max Blu­men­thal.” Unleash­ing a tor­rent of insults at Blu­men­thal, he made no attempt to refute the journalist’s line of ques­tion­ing.

The rig­or­ous­ly enforced con­vic­tion on dis­play in the polit­i­cal­ly her­met­ic cham­bers of the US Capi­tol also encom­pass­es the whole of West­ern media, where even pur­port­ed­ly pro­gres­sive out­lets have pro­vid­ed Zenz with an uncrit­i­cal plat­form.

From Washington’s halls of pow­er to major news­rooms, few are will­ing to let incon­ve­nient facts get in the way of a new, unde­ni­ably faith-based Cold War cru­sade.

2. In numer­ous pro­grams, we have not­ed inter­na­tion­al net­work­ing between the Ukrain­ian Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion and ele­ments around the world:

  1. Azov is part of the “Inter­mar­i­um Revival” that is seen as using Naz­i­fi­ca­tion of the Ukraine “piv­ot point” as a spring­board for a glob­al Nazi takeover.
  2. Amer­i­can Nazis and white suprema­cists are among the ele­ments net­work­ing with Azov and then “bring­ing it all back home” to their native lands.
  3. Azov Bat­tal­ion and Pravy Sek­tor (“Right Sec­tor”) ele­ments have decamped to Hong Kong, net­work­ing with the so-called “Pro-Democ­ra­cy” forces and work­ing on behalf of EU NGOs. This was dis­cussed in FTR #1103.

Emblem of the Ukrain­ian Azov Bat­tal­ion

Azov’s Hong Kong com­pa­tri­ots have adopt­ed the OUN/B slo­gan, now the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian police and mil­i­tary. ” . . . . The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s ‘democ­rats’ draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an ‘rev­o­lu­tion’ that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan ‘Glo­ry to Hong Kong’, adapt­ed from ‘Sla­va Ukrayi­ni’ or ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine’, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment. . . . ”

Joshua Wong–“boy won­der” and dar­ling of the Amer­i­can MSM–has dou­bled down on affin­i­ty with Ukraine: ” . . . . ‘No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,’ Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. ‘[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.’ . . . .”

“Hong Kong’s ‘Pro Democ­ra­cy’ Move­ment Allies with US Politi­cians Who Seek to Crush Black Lives Mat­ter” by Ajit Singh [The Gray­zone]; Con­sor­tium News; 6/10/2020.

. . . . In recent days, the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment has been ter­ror­ized by white vig­i­lante groups. Mean­while, Hong Kong’s “pro-democ­ra­cy” protests have served as a mag­net for the U.S.  and Euro­pean far-right sup­port­ers. The ultra-right pil­grim­ages to Hong Kong have includ­ed numer­ous Amer­i­can white nation­al­ists and Ukrain­ian neo-Nazis who pre­vi­ous­ly fought in the fas­cist para­mil­i­tary group, Azov Bat­tal­ion.

The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s “democ­rats” draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an “rev­o­lu­tion” that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan “Glo­ry to Hong Kong”, adapt­ed from “Sla­va Ukrayi­ni” or “Glo­ry to Ukraine”, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment.

“No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,” Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. “[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.” . . . .

3. The Hong Kong iter­a­tion of the OUN/UPA salute has become an anthem. In its cov­er­age of the ban­ning of that song by the Chi­nese author­i­ties, The New York Times [pre­dictably] fails to dis­cuss the her­itage of the slogan/song, nor the nature of the Ukrain­ian Nazi “trou­ba­dours” who brought it to Hong Kong.

In this con­text, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democracy–a U.S. intel­li­gence “cut-out” found­ed by for­mer CIA direc­tor William Casey–has helped finance the “pro-Democ­ra­cy” forces in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong Bans Protest Song and Oth­er Polit­i­cal Expres­sion at Schools” by Ger­ry Mul­lany; The New York Times; 7/8/2020.

Hong Kong’s edu­ca­tion sec­re­tary on Wednes­day banned stu­dents from singing the protest anthem “Glo­ry to Hong Kong,” post­ing slo­gans with polit­i­cal mes­sages or form­ing human chains, say­ing “the schools are oblig­ed to stop” such activ­i­ties.

The state­ment by the sec­re­tary, Kevin Yeung, ratch­eted up the pres­sure on the pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment as Hong Kong res­i­dents strug­gle to deter­mine what is accept­able behav­ior under a strict new nation­al secu­ri­ty law that Chi­na imposed on the semi­au­tonomous ter­ri­to­ry last week.

Stu­dents, includ­ing mid­dle school­ers, have been a dri­ving force in Hong Kong’s protest move­ment. Beijing’s impo­si­tion of the nation­al secu­ri­ty law last Wednes­day — and the sub­se­quent arrests of teenagers at protests — has led some fam­i­lies to express con­cerns that their chil­dren could be in jeop­ardy for singing pro-democ­ra­cy songs or even for express­ing such sen­ti­ments in their homes. . . .

4a. Net­work­ing with Isa Yusuf Alptekin at the Ban­dung (Indone­sia) con­fer­ence was Ruzi (or “Ruzy”) Nazar, an Uzbek nation­al who fought in var­i­ous Third Reich mil­i­tary for­ma­tions, includ­ing the SS Dirlewanger Brigade. After the war, Nazar was a CIA oper­a­tive net­work­ing with the Nation­al Action Par­ty (or Nation­al Move­ment Par­ty) of Alparslan Turkes.

Nazar rep­re­sent­ed the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations at the 1984 WACL con­fer­ence in Dal­las.

A Dark Path to Free­dom: Ruzi Nazar from the Red Army to the CIA by Enver Altayli; Trans­lat­ed by David Bar­chard; Trans­la­tion copy­right 2017 by David Bar­chard; Hurst and Com­pa­ny [Lon­don] HC; ISBN 978 1849 0429 78; pp. 188–189.

. . . . He did not have the right to speak at the con­fer­ence, but he was able to orga­nize a press con­fer­ence for the jour­nal­ists who had come from the four cor­ners of the world to cov­er the event, includ­ing around thir­ty from the USSR. Ruzi told the press office of his plans, and they informed  jour­nal­ists and del­e­gates of the press con­fer­ence to be giv­en by Ruzi Nazar, observ­er del­e­gate from Turkestan and a for­mer offi­cer in the Turkestan Legion. Mean­while, the chair­man of the Ban­dung branch of the Masyu­mi Par­ty told Ruzi just half an hour before the press con­fer­ee was due to begin that a North Cau­casian guest called Sey­it Shamil had arrived from Turkey. He had been unable to take part in the con­fer­ence, as he had not been invit­ed. Ruzi told the chair­man that he should bring this guest straight in and seat him beside him­self at the press con­fer­ence. Sey­it Shamil was the grand­son of Sheikh Shamil, the nation­al hero of the North Cau­ca­sus, who had fought for its inde­pen­dence against the armies of the tsars. Sey­it Shamil had want­ed to come to Ban­dung along with the Uyghur leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the for­mer prime min­is­ter of the Repub­lic of East Turkestan, which had been bro­ken up by Chi­nese armies in 1949. But Shamil was the only one to obtain a visa, as the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment had put pres­sure on the Indone­sian gov­ern­ment to stop Alptekin being giv­en one. They had gone togeth­er from Istan­bul to Karachi, where Alptekin had again applied for a visa and been turned down. The Uyghur leader decid­ed to wait in Pak­istan for Shamil to return. . . .

 

 

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #1143 The Uyghurs and the Destabilization of China, Part 1”

  1. A recent arti­cle in the Guardian UK, Sep­tem­ber 22, 2020 titled “Report charts Chi­na’s expan­sion of mass labour pro­gramme in Tibet” by “Helen David­son and agen­cies” is evi­dence that is based on infor­ma­tion from a “Ger­man anthro­pol­o­gist”. The arti­cle states”

    “Chi­nese author­i­ties are dra­mat­i­cal­ly expand­ing a mass labour pro­gramme in Tibet, which ana­lysts have com­pared to alleged forced labour oper­a­tions in Xin­jiang, accord­ing to evi­dence com­piled by a Ger­man anthro­pol­o­gist and cor­rob­o­rat­ed by Reuters.” It lat­er states:

    “Chi­na has set quo­tas to move hun­dreds of thou­sands of Tibetan rur­al labour­ers off their land and into “mil­i­tary-style” facil­i­ties to train them as fac­to­ry work­ers, accord­ing to doc­u­ments analysed by researcher Adri­an Zenz for the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a US research insti­tute.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/22/report-charts-chinas-expansion-of-mass-labour-programme-in-tibet?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    The cor­rob­o­rat­ing arti­cle from Reuters uses the same source of infor­ma­tion to cor­rob­o­rate the report which makes it sub­ject to scruti­ny. The arti­cle https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-rights-tibet-exclusive/exclusive-china-sharply-expands-mass-labor-program-in-tibet-idUSKCN26D0GT states:

    “Adri­an Zenz, an inde­pen­dent Tibet and Xin­jiang researcher, who com­piled the core find­ings about the pro­gram. These are detailed in a report released this week by the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based insti­tute that focus­es on pol­i­cy issues of strate­gic impor­tance to the U.S. “It’s a coer­cive lifestyle change from nomadism and farm­ing to wage labor.”

    Chi­na denies this in the arti­cle which reports:
    “In a state­ment to Reuters, China’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs strong­ly denied the involve­ment of forced labor, and said Chi­na is a coun­try with rule of law and that work­ers are vol­un­tary and prop­er­ly com­pen­sat­ed.”
    ““What these peo­ple with ulte­ri­or motives are call­ing ‘forced labor’ sim­ply does not exist. We hope the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty will dis­tin­guish right from wrong, respect facts, and not be fooled by lies,” it said.”
    “Crit­ics, spear­head­ed by Tibetan spir­i­tu­al leader the
    “Dalai Lama, accuse the Chi­nese author­i­ties of car­ry­ing out “cul­tur­al geno­cide” in the region. The 85-year-old Nobel Lau­re­ate has been based in Dharam­sala, India, since he fled Chi­na in 1959 fol­low­ing a failed upris­ing against Chi­nese author­i­ties.” {Remem­ber that the Dalai Lama was tutored in 1948 by SS Sar­gent Hein­rich Har­rer (who orig­i­nal­ly start­ed with the SA in 1933) and they became life­long friends}.

    Posted by Mary Benton | September 26, 2020, 2:59 pm
  2. Here’s a pair of arti­cles that raise an increas­ing­ly inter­est­ing the ques­tion: are we poised to see the far right’s ‘stolen elec­tion’ insur­rec­tionary move­ment effec­tive­ly merge with the par­al­lel far right efforts to over­throw the gov­ern­ment of Chi­na? It’s a ques­tions that’s hard to avoid ask­ing fol­low­ing a 12-hour event held last week at the World Trade Cen­ter cel­e­brat­ing the one-year anniver­sary of the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na. That’s the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in exile start­ed last year by Steve Ban­non and his Chi­nese bil­lion­aire dis­si­dent spon­sor Guo Wen­gui.

    Speak­ers at the event includ­ed Guo, Ban­non, Mike Lin­dell, and Michael Fly­nn. In keep­ing with the tone of the event, Fly­nn used the event to address his recent appar­ent endorse­ment of a Myan­mar-style mil­i­tary coup in the US. Fly­nn deflect­ed crit­i­cisms about coup call by issu­ing a kind of sur­re­al non-denial denial where he com­plained about hav­ing “been pil­lo­ried in the media for things that I may have said or may not have said,” before going on to make com­par­i­son between the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the US and the Found­ing Fathers’ bat­tle for free­dom against tyran­ny and mak­ing fur­ther vague calls for a new US rev­o­lu­tion. Of course, Fly­nn was on video mak­ing his call for a coup, so his denials were real­ly just a kind of wind-and-nod gas-light­ing deflec­tion for an audi­ence that clear­ly would pre­fer to real­ly see an actu­al coup.

    And as the arti­cle describes, all four of these speak­ers drew heavy par­al­lels between the fight to over­throw the gov­ern­ment of Chi­na and the fight to rein­stall Don­ald Trump as pres­i­dent. And as we’ll see in the sec­ond arti­cle except below, it’s Guo Wen­gui’s pro­pa­gan­da net­work that con­tin­ues to be play­ing a major role in the online efforts to sow dis­in­for­ma­tion about a stolen US elec­tion. And that’s why we have to ask: is the far right fix­a­tion on rein­stalling Trump under a ‘stolen elec­tion’ Big Lie going to merge with the efforts to over­throw the gov­ern­ment of Chi­na? A kind of trans-nation­al group insur­rec­tionary effort?:

    Talk­ing Points Memo
    Muck­rak­er

    Chi­nese Bil­lion­aire Hosts Trump Extrem­ist Folk Revival

    By Josh Koven­sky
    June 4, 2021 4:42 p.m.

    When Mike Fly­nn took the stage on Wednes­day at the World Trade Cen­ter, he took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to extol two things that did not exist: one is Trump’s vic­to­ry in last year’s elec­tion, and the oth­er is an unborn coun­try called the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na.

    “It took a lot of strate­gic thought to get to this place,” Fly­nn said, refer­ring to the nonex­is­tent nation before ges­tur­ing towards him­self. “Who are your part­ners? Who are your allies? I can tell you, you’re look­ing at an ally. This guy per­son­al­ly will ally with you.” The for­mer gen­er­al added that the nation was on the verge of “a big revival, a big ref­or­ma­tion.”

    Flynn’s remarks occurred at a one-year anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion for the fledg­ling and fic­tive state, announced last year by exiled Chi­nese bil­lion­aire Guo Wen­gui and for­mer Trump cam­paign chair­man Stephen K. Ban­non.

    It was a ram­bling, 12-hour event held on the 102nd floor of the World Trade Cen­ter, per Moth­er Jones reporter Dan Fried­man, who was in atten­dance.

    Guo and Ban­non have been work­ing on the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na for at least a year. After Bannon’s arrest on Guo’s yacht last year, he thanked sup­port­ers of the coun­try for their sup­port.

    The project aims to cre­ate a gov­ern­ment-in-exile that may one day sup­plant the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s con­trol over Chi­na.

    In addi­tion to Ban­non and Fly­nn, in atten­dance were Trump attor­ney Rudy Giu­liani and MyP­il­low CEO and elec­tion myth pro­mot­er Mike Lin­dell.

    All four of them drew heavy com­par­isons between Guo’s New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na and their own bat­tle to over­turn the results of the 2020 elec­tion based on the myth that it had been stolen. Ban­non referred to the New Fed­er­al State as the “deplorables of Chi­na,” while Fly­nn made the com­par­i­son more explic­it.

    “When we talk about the for­ma­tion of new ideas, of new coun­tries, new nation-states, you have to take a look at your­self, have the con­ver­sa­tions in your com­mu­ni­ties,” Fly­nn said. “Like the com­mu­ni­ties that I rep­re­sent, which are peo­ple that care deeply about free­dom, and we are not about to give it up.”

    He likened the sit­u­a­tion to that of the found­ing fathers, who “real­ized we need to do some­thing bet­ter and said we can­not live in tyran­ny.”

    “There are hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple around this coun­try that are not about to give this coun­try up,” Fly­nn added, who are “will­ing to sac­ri­fice, because we can­not take for grant­ed any of the free­doms that we have.”

    The for­mer gen­er­al made a grin­ning ref­er­ence to his remarks last week­end that a Myan­mar-style coup “should hap­pen here” to rein­stall Trump.

    “I’ve been pil­lo­ried in the media for things that I may have said or may not have said,” he said with a smile.

    Flynn’s remarks came ear­ly in the event, and were fol­lowed by videos of Guo and oth­ers speak­ing around the world.

    Lin­dell, the MyP­il­low rep­re­sen­ta­tive, came lat­er in the day. His remarks were pre­ced­ed by a music video fea­tur­ing Guo, com­bin­ing Back­street Boys-inspired direc­tion with an anti-CCP mes­sage.

    He ram­bled through a series of elec­tion fraud alle­ga­tions before Ban­non inter­rupt­ed him by get­ting the crowd to chant: “Take Down The CCP.”

    Giu­liani round­ed out the cel­e­bra­tion, giv­ing a speech in which he referred to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic as the “Fau­ci pan­dem­ic” and accused the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty of cre­at­ing the virus.

    ...

    ————–

    “Chi­nese Bil­lion­aire Hosts Trump Extrem­ist Folk Revival” by Josh Koven­sky; Talk­ing Points Memo; 06/04/2021

    All four of them drew heavy com­par­isons between Guo’s New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na and their own bat­tle to over­turn the results of the 2020 elec­tion based on the myth that it had been stolen. Ban­non referred to the New Fed­er­al State as the “deplorables of Chi­na,” while Fly­nn made the com­par­i­son more explic­it.”

    The fight to over­turn the elec­tion results and the fight to over­throw the gov­ern­ment of Chi­na are part of the same fight. That was the meta mes­sage. A meta mes­sage Michael Fly­nn made much more spe­cif­ic. As Fly­nn put it, when we talk about the for­ma­tion of new nation states, that’s a con­ver­sa­tion Amer­i­cans should be hav­ing too:

    ...
    Guo and Ban­non have been work­ing on the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na for at least a year. After Bannon’s arrest on Guo’s yacht last year, he thanked sup­port­ers of the coun­try for their sup­port.

    ...

    When we talk about the for­ma­tion of new ideas, of new coun­tries, new nation-states, you have to take a look at your­self, have the con­ver­sa­tions in your com­mu­ni­ties,” Fly­nn said. “Like the com­mu­ni­ties that I rep­re­sent, which are peo­ple that care deeply about free­dom, and we are not about to give it up.”

    He likened the sit­u­a­tion to that of the found­ing fathers, who “real­ized we need to do some­thing bet­ter and said we can­not live in tyran­ny.”

    “There are hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple around this coun­try that are not about to give this coun­try up,” Fly­nn added, who are “will­ing to sac­ri­fice, because we can­not take for grant­ed any of the free­doms that we have.”

    The for­mer gen­er­al made a grin­ning ref­er­ence to his remarks last week­end that a Myan­mar-style coup “should hap­pen here” to rein­stall Trump.

    “I’ve been pil­lo­ried in the media for things that I may have said or may not have said,” he said with a smile.
    ...

    And as the fol­low­ing Wash­ing­ton Post piece from a few weeks ago describes, the net­work that put on this New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na event is capa­ble of much more than just throw­ing an event. Accord­ing to a recent report on an online pro­pa­gan­da net­work oper­a­tion under Guo’s direc­tion, a large num­ber of peo­ple, some peo­ple and some vol­un­teers, are fever­ish­ly work­ing to pump out exact­ly the kind of mes­sag­ing we heard at this event across social media. Recall how we heard about Guo and his “GNews” out­fit pump­ing out dis­in­for­ma­tion about the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic as far back as Feb­ru­ary 2020, right when the pan­dem­ic was get­ting under­way. So this report is basi­cal­ly look­ing at how this net­work has evolved over the 2020 elec­tion cycle and it sounds like it only got big­ger, more orga­nized, and is now push­ing and even more dan­ger­ous mes­sage. In mul­ti­ple lan­guages:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Chi­nese busi­ness­man with links to Steve Ban­non is dri­ving force for a sprawl­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion net­work, researchers say
    Guo Wen­gui, liv­ing in self-exile in New York City, is at the cen­ter of a dig­i­tal web push­ing elec­tion and covid false­hoods, accord­ing to Graphi­ka research

    By Jeanne Whalen, Craig Tim­berg and Eva Dou
    May 17, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. CDT

    A sprawl­ing online net­work tied to Chi­nese busi­ness­man Guo Wen­gui has become a potent plat­form for dis­in­for­ma­tion in the Unit­ed States, attack­ing the safe­ty of coro­n­avirus vac­cines, pro­mot­ing false elec­tion-fraud claims and spread­ing base­less QAnon con­spir­a­cies, accord­ing to research pub­lished Mon­day by the net­work analy­sis com­pa­ny Graphi­ka.

    The report, pro­vid­ed in advance to The Wash­ing­ton Post, details a net­work that Graphi­ka says ampli­fies the views of Guo, a Chi­nese real estate devel­op­er whose asso­ci­a­tion with for­mer Trump White House advis­er Stephen K. Ban­non became a focus of news cov­er­age last year after Ban­non was arrest­ed aboard Guo’s yacht on fed­er­al fraud charges.

    Graphi­ka said the net­work includes media web­sites such as GTV, for which Guo last year pub­licly said he was rais­ing funds, along with thou­sands of social media accounts that Graphi­ka said ampli­fy con­tent in a coor­di­nat­ed fash­ion. The net­work also includes more than a dozen local-action groups over which Guo has pub­licly claimed an over­sight role, Graphi­ka found.

    Graphika’s research sheds more light on Guo, a one­time bil­lion­aire real estate devel­op­er who, in addi­tion to his rela­tion­ship with Ban­non, has drawn atten­tion for the con­fus­ing mix of dis­in­for­ma­tion and invec­tive he has broad­cast since mov­ing to the Unit­ed States, includ­ing con­tra­dic­to­ry attacks on both the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty and anti-CCP dis­si­dents in the West.

    The Graphi­ka report “is an impor­tant foren­sic analy­sis of the ways that rich and polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed peo­ple can manip­u­late social media,” said Joan Dono­van, direc­tor of the Tech­nol­o­gy and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shoren­stein Cen­ter.

    Oth­er ana­lysts also have iden­ti­fied the net­work as boost­ing Guo-relat­ed media and aligned polit­i­cal mes­sag­ing. Alethea Group, a firm that tracks dis­in­for­ma­tion and oth­er online threats, said it had detect­ed an effort in Novem­ber to spread dis­in­for­ma­tion in Span­ish.

    Lisa Kaplan, Alethea Group’s founder and chief exec­u­tive, said the network’s flu­en­cy in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and abil­i­ty to make use of oth­er lan­guages beyond Eng­lish sug­gest it could remain a pow­er­ful asset.

    “These groups don’t just lie dor­mant after an elec­tion, they shift focus and morph top­ics to main­tain their rel­e­vance so they can be acti­vat­ed to achieve the goals of those who con­trol them,” she said.

    Graphi­ka, which has con­duct­ed research on Inter­net use for a wide vari­ety of orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing Face­book and the Sen­ate Select Com­mit­tee on Intel­li­gence, called Guo the “linch­pin” of the net­work, though it stopped short of detail­ing his exact role. “He is the lead­ing per­son­al­i­ty, appears to define goals and mes­sag­ing, and is posi­tioned as a wise leader who should be admired and fol­lowed,” the report says.

    Guo is the fea­tured speak­er in many of the videos and texts dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the net­work, includ­ing some that have sought to under­mine the sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus about the caus­es and reme­dies of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.

    In a video post­ed in April on GNews, a media web­site Guo has pub­licly sug­gest­ed he helped estab­lish, Guo calls vac­cines against the coro­n­avirus “fake” and “poi­son.”

    Images dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the net­work on Insta­gram have por­trayed coro­n­avirus vac­cines as grenades, bul­lets and hand­guns. Anoth­er meme that cir­cu­lat­ed on Insta­gram in Jan­u­ary warned, “Don’t trust the vac­cine, the med­ical indus­try is com­plete­ly con­trolled by a spe­cial inter­est.”

    Daniel Pod­hask­ie, a spokesman for Guo, denied Guo con­trolled con­tent on GTV or GNews.

    “They are not plat­forms whose con­tent is man­aged or direct­ed by Mr. Guo or any sin­gle indi­vid­ual or com­pa­ny,” he said by email. “GTV is an online video shar­ing plat­form with posts main­ly in Chi­nese Man­darin. Sim­i­lar to Twit­ter and Face­book, the GTV video host­ing plat­form allows users to cre­ate, upload, view, like/dislike, com­ment, and share videos … imply­ing that Mr. Guo is respon­si­ble for every­thing that is post­ed on this plat­form is ludi­crous.”

    “Mr. Guo posts his own videos on GTV and does not con­trol or coor­di­nate what sub­scribers or oth­er GTV blog­gers do with them,” he added.

    Infor­ma­tion dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the enti­ties that Graphi­ka defined as the net­work focus­es pri­mar­i­ly on attack­ing China’s polit­i­cal lead­er­ship, but the net­work also has played a loud, per­sis­tent and large­ly over­looked role in U.S. pol­i­tics, includ­ing in fuel­ing false­hoods — repeat­ed­ly reject­ed by inves­ti­ga­tors and courts — that wide­spread fraud marred the 2020 elec­tion.

    Graphi­ka said its analy­sis found thou­sands of accounts appar­ent­ly work­ing togeth­er across social media plat­forms in a well-coor­di­nat­ed effort to push select­ed themes in a man­ner that ampli­fies their reach. Many of the accounts “appear to be run by real peo­ple but sole­ly ampli­fy Guo-relat­ed con­tent,” Graphi­ka said.

    Peo­ple who describe them­selves as Guo sup­port­ers in Chi­nese expa­tri­ate com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and oth­er coun­tries help trans­late and pre­pare the videos and memes that the net­work dis­sem­i­nates, Graphi­ka researchers said.

    Dozens of cor­po­rate enti­ties, media orga­ni­za­tions and activist groups par­tic­i­pate in the net­work, Graphi­ka said, includ­ing Sara­ca Media Group Inc., a Delaware-reg­is­tered com­pa­ny that is list­ed as the enti­ty offer­ing the GNews and GTV apps in Apple’s App Store. Sara­ca also owns Guo Media, an enti­ty that agreed to pay Ban­non an annu­al fee of $1 mil­lion for con­sult­ing ser­vices, accord­ing to a 2018 con­tract pub­lished by Axios.

    Asked whether Guo is a direct or ben­e­fi­cial own­er of Sara­ca, GTV Media Group or the oth­er com­pa­nies iden­ti­fied by Graphi­ka, Pod­hask­ie said: “Mr. Guo does not own or have any employ­ment, over­sight or for­mal consulting/advisory rela­tion­ship with any of these enti­ties. He has served in an unpaid capac­i­ty, as GTV Media’s spon­sor, and as an unpaid infor­mal advi­sor and key host for con­tent.”

    Pod­hask­ie is list­ed as pres­i­dent and direc­tor of Sara­ca in a doc­u­ment filed in Feb­ru­ary with Delaware’s sec­re­tary of state. Pod­hask­ie declined to com­ment on that.

    The Graphi­ka report iden­ti­fies videos post­ed online in which Guo claims a lead­ing role in some oper­a­tions, includ­ing an April 2020 clip of Guo speak­ing about over­see­ing the sale of shares in media out­let GTV.

    “We main­ly accept invest­ments from our friends,” Guo says in the video, which con­cludes with writ­ten instruc­tions for investors to send the signed share­hold­er agree­ment to “Mr. Guo Wengui’s What­sApp num­ber.”

    Guo also refers to Ban­non as a GTV board mem­ber in the video. Ban­non didn’t respond to a request for com­ment, but in the past has called Guo “the tough­est Chi­nese oppo­nent the CCP has ever encoun­tered.”

    Last year, GNews quot­ed Guo as say­ing, “Our GNews view­er and reg­is­tra­tion num­bers grow by mul­ti­ples every week. … The chance for our prod­ucts to grow rapid­ly and make an enor­mous prof­it is bound­less!”

    Teng Biao, a Chi­nese dis­si­dent and human rights schol­ar at Hunter Col­lege in New York, who was harassed at his New Jer­sey home for weeks last year by pro­test­ers he said were sent by Guo, said the Graphi­ka research is par­tic­u­lar­ly valu­able in iden­ti­fy­ing the var­i­ous com­pa­nies and enti­ties that appear to be work­ing in tan­dem.

    “Guo and his media have played a very active role in spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion relat­ed to Chi­nese and Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and soci­ety,” Teng said. In addi­tion to cir­cu­lat­ing broad­ly in Eng­lish, the mate­r­i­al “has sig­nif­i­cant­ly pol­lut­ed the pub­lic dis­cus­sion on Chi­nese-lan­guage social media,” includ­ing the pop­u­lar WeChat app, he added.

    The protests at Teng’s home began after Guo record­ed videos encour­ag­ing his fol­low­ers to “elim­i­nate” rough­ly 20 peo­ple he deemed “trai­tors,” includ­ing Teng. Oth­er dis­si­dents named in the videos report­ed being tar­get­ed by sim­i­lar protests that on one occa­sion turned vio­lent, The Post pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed.

    Asked by The Post about the protests last year, Guo appeared to con­firm his involve­ment, though he denied any role in vio­lence. “To be clear, I have nev­er con­doned any type of vio­lence towards any indi­vid­u­als. Myself, the anti-CCP sup­port­ers, and the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na move­ment are exer­cis­ing our First Amend­ment right to expose and oppose those who sup­port the CCP,” he said at the time, refer­ring to a pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment he cre­at­ed with Ban­non with the stat­ed aim of replac­ing CCP rule.

    Guo sup­port­ers who help pro­duce and spread the network’s memes and videos are a com­bi­na­tion of vol­un­teers and paid work­ers who refer to them­selves as “ants,” work­ing for what Guo has called a move­ment of “whistle­blow­ers” chal­leng­ing Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pow­er, Graphi­ka said. The researchers titled their report, “Ants in a Web: Decon­struct­ing Guo Wengui’s Online ‘Whistle­blow­er Move­ment.’ ”

    The “ants” appear to coor­di­nate their work on chat apps, includ­ing Dis­cord, What­sApp and Telegram, and to post con­tent across Face­book, Twit­ter, Insta­gram and oth­er sites, Graphi­ka said. The researchers found iden­ti­cal posts appear­ing almost simul­ta­ne­ous­ly from dif­fer­ent Face­book accounts, a sign of tight coor­di­na­tion. But the researchers came to believe this work was not “inau­then­tic,” a term mean­ing that those post­ing con­tent are not express­ing their own views — often a trig­ger for take­downs or oth­er enforce­ment actions.

    Alethea Group’s analy­sis said accounts in one of the Dis­cord chan­nels tied to the net­work encour­aged par­tic­i­pants to post cam­paign-relat­ed con­tent in Span­ish. One mes­sage on Nov. 2, 2020, asked, “On the last day before the elec­tion, can we spread the truth … as much as pos­si­ble in Span­ish?”

    Alethea Group said users active in the net­work employed so-called “social lis­ten­ing tools” to mon­i­tor pop­u­lar phras­es and the per­for­mance of news arti­cles — part of an effort to max­i­mize their own reach. One of the Dis­cord chan­nels also con­tained instruc­tions for cre­at­ing fake Twit­ter accounts, and for spac­ing out tweets to avoid the platform’s auto­mat­ed detec­tion tech­nolo­gies.

    Accounts said to be part of the net­work have faced spo­radic sanc­tions by social media com­pa­nies, includ­ing the clos­ing of 150 Twit­ter accounts for “spam and plat­form manip­u­la­tion” dur­ing the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Graphi­ka found con­cert­ed efforts to side­step plat­form rules by, for exam­ple, post­ing mod­i­fied web address­es that would not face auto­mat­ic bans by Face­book or Twit­ter.

    “Twitter’s top pri­or­i­ty is keep­ing peo­ple safe, and we remain vig­i­lant about coor­di­nat­ed activ­i­ty on our ser­vice,” spokes­woman Katie Ros­bor­ough said. Face­book didn’t respond to a request for com­ment.

    The Guo sup­port­ers are orga­nized into local action groups known as “Himalaya farms,” accord­ing to Graphi­ka and Guo’s pub­lic state­ments. In a Sep­tem­ber 2020 video clip post­ed on GNews, Guo said the Himalaya Stand­ing Com­mit­tee over­sees the net­work of farms. “If you name your orga­ni­za­tion after a Himalaya Farm with­out our approval, we will soon cut our ties with you,” he said.

    Graphi­ka said the Guo-affil­i­at­ed net­work became more involved in U.S. polit­i­cal activ­i­ty in the run-up to the Novem­ber elec­tion. On Sept. 25, Lude Media, an online pro­gram that Graphi­ka iden­ti­fied as part of the net­work, began report­ing about alleged­ly dam­ag­ing con­tent pur­port­ed­ly recov­ered from Hunter Biden’s com­put­er — three weeks before the New York Post became the first news orga­ni­za­tion to report on the top­ic, Graphi­ka said.

    GNews also pub­lished many neg­a­tive claims about Hunter Biden, includ­ing false alle­ga­tions that he engaged in child sex­u­al abuse.

    After the elec­tion, con­tent across the net­work embraced Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s false elec­tion-fraud claims and the relat­ed #StoptheSteal hash­tag, and pro­mot­ed Trump’s plans for a Jan. 6 ral­ly in Wash­ing­ton, Graphi­ka found. Dur­ing the ral­ly and sub­se­quent storm­ing of the U.S. Capi­tol, GTV fea­tured live streams of the action, which Guo sup­port­ers pro­mot­ed on social media, along with mate­r­i­al call­ing mem­bers of the mob “patri­ots.”

    Lat­er, GNews and oth­er wings of the net­work pushed false con­spir­a­cies that the vio­lence was the work of antifa, Graphi­ka found.

    Regard­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, Graphi­ka said the net­work has ampli­fied the unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claim that Chi­na pur­pose­ly man­u­fac­tured the virus as a bioweapon. Chi­nese sci­en­tist Li-Meng Yan, whose spread­ing of unproven claims about the ori­gins of the nov­el coro­n­avirus sparked a pitched back­lash among Amer­i­can med­ical researchers last year, is reg­u­lar­ly fea­tured in con­tent and has open­ly affil­i­at­ed her­self with two non­prof­its that Guo announced he was found­ing in 2018.

    Posts on the net­work have pushed the use of the unproven treat­ment hydrox­y­chloro­quine to fight covid-19 — GNews pub­lished com­ments from Guo say­ing he him­self has tak­en the drug — and repeat­ed­ly attacked the safe­ty of coro­n­avirus vac­cines.

    One video released on GNews in April by a Himalaya farm in Toron­to said Chi­nese author­i­ties “quick­ly devel­oped and export­ed anoth­er bio­chem­i­cal virus in the form of a vac­cine.” The video includ­ed images of the AstraZeneca vac­cine and clips of Guo say­ing “How many peo­ple will die? The vac­cine is a real poi­son,” and “The vac­cines are all fake. … There is no vac­cine, nev­er ever. Because it is the bioweapon.”

    Graphi­ka said the net­work also has “con­tin­u­ous­ly ampli­fied QAnon-aligned con­tent,” includ­ing by post­ing an “exten­sive col­lec­tion” of QAnon videos on GTV.

    “Mr. Guo does not work with, know, or seek guid­ance from QAnon,” Pod­hask­ie said.

    Graphi­ka said the net­work also includes the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion and the Rule of Law Soci­ety — two non­prof­its that Guo said he was launch­ing in 2018. Ban­non was to lead the Rule of Law Soci­ety, which would be backed by a $100 mil­lion dona­tion from Guo, the two men said at a news con­fer­ence at the time.

    ...

    ————-

    “Chi­nese busi­ness­man with links to Steve Ban­non is dri­ving force for a sprawl­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion net­work, researchers say” by Jeanne Whalen, Craig Tim­berg and Eva Dou; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 05/17/2021

    “Infor­ma­tion dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the enti­ties that Graphi­ka defined as the net­work focus­es pri­mar­i­ly on attack­ing China’s polit­i­cal lead­er­ship, but the net­work also has played a loud, per­sis­tent and large­ly over­looked role in U.S. pol­i­tics, includ­ing in fuel­ing false­hoods — repeat­ed­ly reject­ed by inves­ti­ga­tors and courts — that wide­spread fraud marred the 2020 elec­tion.

    Chi­na was stolen from Guo and the 2020 elec­tion was stolen from Don­ald Trump. These have been the twin core mes­sages of this pro­pa­gan­da net­work since Trump’s elec­tion loss, mak­ing this net­work an impor­tant com­po­nent of the US far right’s over­all pro­pa­gan­da capac­i­ty. It’s part of what makes this alliance between a fas­cist like Steve Ban­non and Chi­nese exile bil­lion­aire a fas­ci­nat­ing devel­op­ing for the evo­lu­tion US far right:

    ...
    After the elec­tion, con­tent across the net­work embraced Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s false elec­tion-fraud claims and the relat­ed #StoptheSteal hash­tag, and pro­mot­ed Trump’s plans for a Jan. 6 ral­ly in Wash­ing­ton, Graphi­ka found. Dur­ing the ral­ly and sub­se­quent storm­ing of the U.S. Capi­tol, GTV fea­tured live streams of the action, which Guo sup­port­ers pro­mot­ed on social media, along with mate­r­i­al call­ing mem­bers of the mob “patri­ots.”

    Lat­er, GNews and oth­er wings of the net­work pushed false con­spir­a­cies that the vio­lence was the work of antifa, Graphi­ka found.
    ...

    But anoth­er part of what makes this net­work so inter­est­ing is that its mes­sages clear­ly have a lot of over­lap with Falun Gong’s exten­sive pro­pa­gan­da net­work, which rais­es inter­est­ing ques­tions about the extent to which we’re look­ing at the same net­work. The Graphi­ka report indi­cates that there real­ly are a large num­ber of real peo­ple who are car­ry­ing out this coor­di­nat­ed online activ­i­ty. Some of them paid work­ers but oth­ers act­ing as vol­un­teers. To what extent is Guo Wen­gui’s net­work of vol­un­teers a Falun Gong net­work?

    ...
    Graphi­ka said its analy­sis found thou­sands of accounts appar­ent­ly work­ing togeth­er across social media plat­forms in a well-coor­di­nat­ed effort to push select­ed themes in a man­ner that ampli­fies their reach. Many of the accounts “appear to be run by real peo­ple but sole­ly ampli­fy Guo-relat­ed con­tent,” Graphi­ka said.

    Peo­ple who describe them­selves as Guo sup­port­ers in Chi­nese expa­tri­ate com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and oth­er coun­tries help trans­late and pre­pare the videos and memes that the net­work dis­sem­i­nates, Graphi­ka researchers said.

    Dozens of cor­po­rate enti­ties, media orga­ni­za­tions and activist groups par­tic­i­pate in the net­work, Graphi­ka said, includ­ing Sara­ca Media Group Inc., a Delaware-reg­is­tered com­pa­ny that is list­ed as the enti­ty offer­ing the GNews and GTV apps in Apple’s App Store. Sara­ca also owns Guo Media, an enti­ty that agreed to pay Ban­non an annu­al fee of $1 mil­lion for con­sult­ing ser­vices, accord­ing to a 2018 con­tract pub­lished by Axios.

    ...

    Guo sup­port­ers who help pro­duce and spread the network’s memes and videos are a com­bi­na­tion of vol­un­teers and paid work­ers who refer to them­selves as “ants,” work­ing for what Guo has called a move­ment of “whistle­blow­ers” chal­leng­ing Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pow­er, Graphi­ka said. The researchers titled their report, “Ants in a Web: Decon­struct­ing Guo Wengui’s Online ‘Whistle­blow­er Move­ment.’ ”

    The “ants” appear to coor­di­nate their work on chat apps, includ­ing Dis­cord, What­sApp and Telegram, and to post con­tent across Face­book, Twit­ter, Insta­gram and oth­er sites, Graphi­ka said. The researchers found iden­ti­cal posts appear­ing almost simul­ta­ne­ous­ly from dif­fer­ent Face­book accounts, a sign of tight coor­di­na­tion. But the researchers came to believe this work was not “inau­then­tic,” a term mean­ing that those post­ing con­tent are not express­ing their own views — often a trig­ger for take­downs or oth­er enforce­ment actions.
    ...

    Final­ly, note how the far right memes about COVID-19 being a Chi­nese bioweapon are syn­er­giz­ing with far right claims about vac­cines being part of a gov­ern­ment plot and the broad­er QAnon world­view of a glob­al Satan­ic lib­er­al elite run­ning the world. The dis­in­for­ma­tion around pan­dem­ic is effec­tive­ly fuel­ing the far right meme of Chi­na being behind every non-far right gov­ern­ment on the plan­et:

    ...
    Regard­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, Graphi­ka said the net­work has ampli­fied the unsub­stan­ti­at­ed claim that Chi­na pur­pose­ly man­u­fac­tured the virus as a bioweapon. Chi­nese sci­en­tist Li-Meng Yan, whose spread­ing of unproven claims about the ori­gins of the nov­el coro­n­avirus sparked a pitched back­lash among Amer­i­can med­ical researchers last year, is reg­u­lar­ly fea­tured in con­tent and has open­ly affil­i­at­ed her­self with two non­prof­its that Guo announced he was found­ing in 2018.

    Posts on the net­work have pushed the use of the unproven treat­ment hydrox­y­chloro­quine to fight covid-19 — GNews pub­lished com­ments from Guo say­ing he him­self has tak­en the drug — and repeat­ed­ly attacked the safe­ty of coro­n­avirus vac­cines.

    One video released on GNews in April by a Himalaya farm in Toron­to said Chi­nese author­i­ties “quick­ly devel­oped and export­ed anoth­er bio­chem­i­cal virus in the form of a vac­cine.” The video includ­ed images of the AstraZeneca vac­cine and clips of Guo say­ing “How many peo­ple will die? The vac­cine is a real poi­son,” and “The vac­cines are all fake. … There is no vac­cine, nev­er ever. Because it is the bioweapon.”

    Graphi­ka said the net­work also has “con­tin­u­ous­ly ampli­fied QAnon-aligned con­tent,” includ­ing by post­ing an “exten­sive col­lec­tion” of QAnon videos on GTV.
    ...

    It all under­scores how the West­’s grow­ing demo­niza­tion cam­paign against Chi­na is play­ing into the far right’s attempts to paint Chi­na as being at the cen­ter of an glob­al oppo­si­tion to the far right. You’re either stand­ing with Steve Ban­non, Michael Fly­nn, Guo Wegui, Falun Gong, and Don­ald Trump and every oth­er far right move­ment around the world. Or you’re stand­ing with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. That’s the rhetor­i­cal fram­ing at work here. So as the US and the West con­tin­ues to implic­it­ly back the down­fall of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and estab­lish­ment of a New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na, it’s going to be worth keep­ing in mind that this Chi­nese desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign is increas­ing­ly mor­ph­ing into a joint Chi­na-West­ern democ­ra­cy desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign. In keep­ing with the memes.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 7, 2021, 5:15 pm

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