Wednesday 26 December 2018

And Witnessed Things For Myself

An immensely well-informed and well-connected friend has been in touch with the following:

I wouldn't necessarily believe a word I read in the capitalist media about Chinese policy in Xinjiang, having been there a few years ago and witnessed things for myself.

The provincial and Urumqi city administrative and party officials all spoke the Uyghur language as their first tongue, the Han-English translators we brought with us from Beijing did not speak it, so new Uyghur-English translators had to be found locally. 

Wandering freely away from the hotel on market day, we heard Uyghur everywhere; its Turkic sounds are fundamentally different from the major Chinese languages. 

All public signs were either in Uyghur alone, bilingual, the majority, or trilingual, since there is a long-established Russian minority there). 

Within days of being back in Britain I read a report in The Guardian (where else?) of a speech to the EU parliament by the president of the US-based World Uyghur Congress. 

It was about how all the top Xinjiang officials are non-Uyghurs, how the native language is forbidden and people are punished for speaking it in public, how all public signs are in Han only. 

Utter rubbish from beginning to end.

See also here.

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