A digital illustration of a prominent Chinese propagandist ridiculing Western governments, companies, and the media for criticizing working conditions in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, home to the country’s Muslim community, has been widely circulated on social media in Asia. This was reported today, March 28, by Reuters.
An illustration by the artist, working under the pseudonym Uheqilin (the name of a one-horned Chinese mythical beast), shows two figures with white pointed hoods, reminiscent of the robes of the American far-right Ku Klux Klan organization, interviewing a scarecrow in a cotton field and black slaves. One of the journalists is holding a microphone with a logo similar to BBC News. At the bottom of the picture, it says, “Could you tell us what kind of unfair treatment you have suffered, Miss Scarecrow?” “I have been sexually assaulted and abused,” reads a poster next to the scarecrow. The scarecrow’s cross bears a hooded figure wearing American Minneapolis police uniforms – an obvious reference to a police officer who pressed his knee to the neck of dying black George Floyd last year, sparking anti-racism in the West.
Western governments and human rights groups have traditionally accused the authorities of the western Chinese region of Xinjiang and the central government of the PRC of “inhuman treatment and torture” of ethnic Uyghurs who practice Islam in local “correctional camps.” Beijing calls them vocational training centers that help combat religious extremism in this region of the country.
Earlier this year, the BBC claimed that women in such camps were “raped, sexually abused and tortured.” The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by pointing out that the British broadcaster’s reports “have no factual basis” and the people interviewed in BBC reports “have been repeatedly proven to be actors spreading false information.”
Swedish apparel retailer H&M faced public backlash in China last week when local social media users circulated the company’s announcement last year that it would no longer supply cotton from Xinjiang. Since then, many in the PRC have abandoned several foreign clothing brands, including Nike, TOPNEWS notes.