A look at the evolution of China's Xinjiang narrative and how it is controlled by Beijing.
Date: 08 Sep 2019
After months of outright silence and even denial on the subject of Xinjiang and the mass detention of ethnic Uighurs, China's state broadcaster CCTV aired a 15-minute documentary on October 16, 2018. Not only did it acknowledge the existence of internment camps but it vigorously defended them.
The segment marked a major shift in the government's messaging on its policy in the region.
"It told the story of what the Chinese government wanted to communicate about what was happening in Xinjiang," says Shelley Zhang, a writer for China Uncensored and observer of the country's media trends.
"In Xinjiang, there was radical extremism, there was terrorism, there was ethnic separatism. And the government is fighting this as part of a 'worldwide battle against terrorism'. This was how the government framed it."
The piece did not stop at defending the need for the camps as a proportionate response to a terrorist threat. CCTV's coverage also highlighted their role not in suppressing the Uighur population – as has been reported in the international press – but rather in promoting minority culture and providing valuable vocational training opportunities.
"Western reports are fake news and misleading," Victor Gao, vice president of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing told The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi. [FULL STORY]