Time and time again we have seen Western governments accuse others of Human Rights violations that they themselves have been heavily implicated in. From France during its settler colonial occupation of Algeria, to the US in order to invade Iraq, now it’s UK playing the role of the defenders of Uyghur Muslims in order to justify their aggression against China.
Just days after the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, for alleged crimes committed in Xinjiang province, China has reciprocated and placed sanctions on British MP’s and others who they say “maliciously spread lies and disinformation”.
This will mean that all those affected by the new Chinese sanctions will be barred from entering China and not be able to have business dealings there. Those targeted under the Chinese sanctions have now been showered with praise and been permitted to act like champions of human rights. For the self-described “objective UK media,” it seems that there is only one side to this story, and therefore fail to delve any deeper into why MP’s are now raising the issue of Uyghur persecution.
Western Double-Standards And Pursuing Conflict Over “Concern” For Human Rights
Many would see it as rich that the United Kingdom – which has followed its NATO allies into almost every endless war humanly possible – suddenly cares for Human Rights. Especially as the UK just approved its largest ever weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, which is maintaining the number one humanitarian crisis on the planet in Yemen.
In Yemen, it is provable that hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of the ongoing famine, rampant disease and brutal 6 years of fighting. Yet Britain remains firmly by the side of the Saudi-run genocide, providing not just the weapons but also the logistics for the Kingdom to continue its onslaught.
British troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have also been found to have committed war crimes, for which the UK has failed to properly prosecute those involved. Then we could look at the sanctions, theft of the likes of Venezuela’s gold reserves – which belong to the countries largely suffering populace – and the backing of regime change operations from Syria and Libya. If we were to list the entire record of massacres, violations of International Law, crimes against humanity and forced famines committed by the UK, you wouldn’t be reading an article but instead several volumes of books.
So why is it that China’s alleged crimes committed against Uyghur Muslims are now an issue? Well some will claim it’s due to a sudden awakening to the crimes committed against Muslims and part of an effort to protect the Chinese religious minority, as well as their freedom to practice their faith. This is in my opinion complete lunacy and at best the work of shallow uneducated political analysts. This is due to a complete inaction against the crimes committed against Muslim populations in places like the Kashmir and Palestine, where there are clear-cut and provable acts of ethnic cleansing, attempts to “re-educate” (colonize minds), and massacres of the populations which the UK and their Western allies won’t bat an eye over.
It is more likely that the Uyghur persecution issue, as has been done time and time again, is being used as a cover for imperial action against the emerging Superpower China.
As one of the leading philosophical thinkers of the Algerian revolution against French Rule, Franz Fanon, wrote about in his book ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, the French would use the persecution of minority communities, even Muslims in some cases, as a cover for its own intervention. France would even hypocritically stand up and act like a moral arbiter, in the face of its adversaries, when it came to these cases. This was whilst the French still held African countries under brutal colonial rule.
Another more recent example of the mental gymnastics used by imperial powers, was in the case of the US government, when attempting to justify its intervention in Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein. It was the United States and Germany which sold Saddam his chemical weapons, which he used against civilian populations, which they then turned around to used as a justification for his violent removal.
When Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons in the country’s north, against Iraq’s Kurdish population during the Iran-Iraq war, the US government refused to act against their Iraqi ally and even attempted to blame Iran for the attack. Then, when it suited them, under the Bush Jr. administration, this was used as a stick with which to beat Saddam. Now that they had a reason to use the Kurdish minority, they suddenly feigned interest in their suffering.
For years there have been ongoing reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang province, yet while the UK was taking a friendly approach to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), these reports were completely ignored. Now, not only are the reports not ignored, these reports – many giving vague accounts of the crimes alleged and not providing any context – are plastered all over the front pages of Western news outlets and cited by just about every Western government.
It is not only the issue of Uyghur persecution that has been used as a justification to punish China, by the West. In fact the Hong Kong protests were also utilized to demonize and attack China. In the case of the Hong Kong democracy protests the UK and US intelligence agencies were found to have been heavily involved in manufacturing aspects of the movement. Also, China’s activities in the South China Sea have been a sticking point for aggression against the country, however, unlike claims of democracy suppression and an alleged genocide, this issue doesn’t have the same kind of resonance with Western populations.
If this predicament is going to change, it’s going to have to mean a shift in public awareness for the excuses to stop being used. Even when China is committing crimes – which it is – these are not the true motivations behind the actions of Western politicians, and to entertain that notion is falling for the same old excuse yet again. We should have learned a lesson from the lies about Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. and abandoned trust in our governments’ cover stories, especially when they themselves are often implicated in greater crimes than those of their enemies.