World China Backs Lawsuits Against German Researcher for Xinjiang Abuse Claims
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(Bloomberg) -- China endorsed a series of lawsuits against a German researcher central to claims of abuses in Xinjiang, in the latest move to push back against foreign allegations of forced labor in the region.
The suits seek apologies and financial compensation from the researcher, Adrian Zenz, according to the state-run news site Tianshannet, which reported the cases Monday. Specifically, the plaintiffs dispute aZenz authored for the Washington-based Center for Global Policy in December, in which he said hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority laborers in Xinjiang were “being forced to pick cotton by hand.”
'Inferior' women: China counters Uighur criticism with explicit PR attacks
'Inferior' women: China counters Uighur criticism with explicit PR attacksBEIJING (Reuters) - China, under growing global pressure over its treatment of a Muslim minority in its far west, is mounting an unprecedented and aggressive campaign to push back, including explicit attacks on women who have made claims of abuse.
The lawsuits were later endorsed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who blamed Zenz for the Western backlash over Xinjiang. “Some politicians have chosen to believe his words,” Zhao told a regular news briefing Tuesday in Beijing.
Zenz said the legal action didn’t bother him and showed his research was getting noticed. “It’s really rattling them,” Zenz said by telephone from the U.S., where he lives. “It’s important to see that my research is having a real impact.”
China has been ramping up efforts to counter foreign criticism over its Xinjiang policies, which have prompted a U.S. ban on cotton products from the region and spurred calls for a boycott of next year’s Winter Games in Beijing. Zenz, whose 2018 research was among the first to show that the government had detained more than 1 million ethnic Uighur Muslims in the region, has been a leading target of government criticism.
Leaked Chinese report suggests it is forcing Uighurs to take jobs thousands of miles away to change the demographics of their homeland
A Chinese report obtained by the BBC shows Uighurs were given job-transfer schemes to "meld" them into mainstream society.Since 2016, China has detained some one million Uighurs in their homeland of Xinjiang in hundreds of prison camps across the region. China claims the Uighurs are a terror threat, and is accused of brainwashing Uighurs and trying to slash birthrates, prompting the US and Canada to accuse Beijing of genocide.
Zenz is a senior fellow in China Studies at the Washington-based, which was set up by a unanimous Act of Congress in 1993. Chinese officials have repeatedly denied Zenz’s claims, denouncing him as a “fake scholar” and accusing him of working with U.S. intelligence agencies.
Much of Zenz’s research has been corroborated by other scholars and independent media outlets. A United Nations committee confronted China over his estimates in 2018, and the U.S. government and Dutch parliament have recently deemed Beijing’s policies in the region “.”
On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed such claims as “” in his annual news briefing. “It is just a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives and a lie through and through,” Wang said.
Zenz said that he believed the lawsuits could bring more attention to the issue. “It would actually be a welcome opportunity to actually look at the topic in detail and look at the evidence in detail, because the evidence is really strong,” he said.
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