Brutal: Under Tough Questioning, China's Ambassador to the UK Can't Explain Disturbing Video of Uighurs

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 1:30 PM

Hats off to the BBC, which has done important work highlighting China's program of grotesque human rights abuses against the Uighur minority population in Xinjiang. We highlighted the network's extraordinary expose that aired last year, and now one of their hosts has done an additional journalistic service by confronting Beijing's ambassador to London with shocking, recently-resurfaced images of what appear to be detained Uighurs being forced onto trains. Andrew Marr repeatedly pressed Liu Xiaoming to explain what was happening in the now-viral clip, reducing the Communist regime's diplomat to a string of non-sequiturs and dissembling, which were fact-checked in real time. This is superb:

Consider Liu's various attempts at spin and deflection: First, he asks if Marr has ever personally visited Xinjiang, which is totally irrelevant, before shifting over to waxing poetic about the beauty of the region (also irrelevant). He then mutters something about "thousands" of terrorist attacks but doesn't expand on the point. Marr refocuses on the question at hand, demanding to know "why people are kneeling blindfolded and shaven, and being led to trains, in modern China." Liu says he doesn't know how the video came into public view, tossing out a theory that perhaps it was a routine prison transfer. Rather than answering what is happening in the drone footage, Liu repeatedly says he doesn't know how BBC came into possession of it.

He then dismisses "so-called" Western intelligence agencies that have authenticated the video, also denying the broader allegations of widespread ethnic cleansing, internment and other abuses. His supposed evidence is significant population growth in Xinjiang over recent decades, but Marr cuts in with China's own statistics showing that population growth among Uighurs specifically in that region fell by 84 percent between 2015 and 2018. Liu denies this outright, then retreats to the same misleading talking point about Xinjiang's overall expanding population, ignoring the persecuted group at issue. He also insists that population control restrictions and forced abortions aren't occurring, but a recent Associated Press report demonstrates otherwise:

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children. While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor. The campaign over the past four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.”...

The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang. The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps...Police raid homes, terrifying parents as they search for hidden children...The result of the birth control campaign is a climate of terror around having children, as seen in interview after interview.

This is repugnant, and it's clear that Liu is flagrantly lying -- which is par for the course with Beijing, on numerous fronts. The Trump administration recently imposed sanctions against Chinese officials linked to the human rights violations against Xinjiang's Uighurs. The US government has also harshly criticized China's unlawful crackdown in Hong Kong, which was outrageously endorsed by the United Nations' body allegedly devoted to protecting human rights. In case you missed it, I discussed these matters with President Trump's National Security Advisor last week as he returned home from Paris.

Between this tough BBC interview and Boris Johnson's Huawei decision, the Chinese regime can't be too happy with the British government these days.  I'll leave you with this: