Flower grower Ruz and his wife Tajinisa make rose sauce at a village in Hotan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 6, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
The independent news website Grayzone recently released a report on the new wave of Western media reports accusing China of implementing an oppressive program of "forced labor" against the country's Uyghur Muslim ethnic group. The Grayzone's main argument is that these reports reveal serious biases and credibility gaps that Western media willfully ignore in a bid to paint China as the world's worst human rights violator.
The latest accusation against China has been called "Xinjiang's new slavery". However, The Grayzone noted that the forced labor studies relied almost entirely on a series of dubious studies by purportedly "independent" think tanks backed by the West's military-intelligence apparatus, while exposing their main sources as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), as well as an evangelical religious fanatic billed as the "leading expert" on Xinjiang, Adrian Zenz, who has said he is "led by God" on a "mission" against China.
Both ASPI and CSIS are right-wing, militaristic think tanks funded by US and Western governments, mega-corporations, and an eye-popping array of weapons manufacturers. As previously reported by The Grayzone, Adrian Zenz is a far-right fundamentalist Christian whose questionable but incendiary accusations against China have led to the Western press crowning him as the leading international "expert" on Xinjiang.
The Grayzone claimed ASPI's labor report relies on far-right blogs of religious fanatics, and discovered the Australian media stifled criticism of the ASPI report and manipulated interview subjects. Similarly, CSIS, a US militaristic think tank, recycled shoddy research in the "forced labor" report, offering little to no new information.
While the Western public encounters stories about alleged "forced labor" as shocking journalistic exposés, they are, in fact, the direct product of an orchestrated PR campaign backed by US and EU governments, NATO, and arms manufacturers – all of which stand to benefit handsomely from the intensification of a new Cold War, according to Ajit Singh, the author of the Grayzone report.