Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gutmann on Xinjiang: Is this what's in store for Taiwan when China comes over?

Gutmann has for years been working on CCP organ harvesting from political prisoners. He made this talk last month but for some reason it only popped up in my feed yesterday. I am putting it here because the Chinese occupation of Taiwan is going to be Xinjiang Lite. Recall that a skeleton of the infrastructure of authoritarianism still exists all over Taiwan -- from the schools that still have classes with class leaders and micromanaged, centralized control from the MoE, to the military bases in almost every community that could be used as emergency re-education camps, to massive internet surveillance already and widespread use of China-made mobile phone tech to cameras on many street corners.... it would not be hard for a Chinese occupation force to breath new life into that system. Taiwan is an island, easy to cut off from the outside world...


Ethan Gutmann’s remarks at the Westminster Roundtable. April 17, 2018.
(Special thanks to Rukiye Turdush and Becky James)

Back at the Roundtable in mid-December 2017, I examined the allegation that Beijing was ending the practice of harvesting political and religious dissidents for their organs. I argued it was logical for the Chinese Communist Party to do so, and their rhetoric has certainly followed that logic – and yet, China’s transplant volume has held steady. Even if we believed the Chinese voluntary donation numbers, they could not come close to filling China’s output. I also spoke of the Chinese effort to gather blood and DNA from every Uyghur in Xinjiang – tests that could be exploited for tissue matching.

What has happened in the new year?

The blood testing of 17 million Uyghurs is complete. And the Vatican is edging toward a historic rapprochement with Beijing. In the words of Bishop Sorondo: “the Church, the United Nations, and the people of the earth must follow the evolution of a country with a population of 1,300 million and 31 million Christians” – China, it seems, is the “protagonist of the new world scenario that is passing from the Atlantic to the Pacific…”

In other words, it doesn’t matter what Beijing is doing now – such as demolishing churches – and it doesn’t matter if the Party has committed mass murder. In essence, the Vatican wants to run with the big dogs and Beijing wants a papal dispensation.

Both parties may need one. Because there is a new development since we last spoke: Uyghur mass incarceration.

There are Falun Gong practitioners in this room today who know something about incarceration. And that’s the point: China’s public security bureau, the PSB, have exploited both Uyghurs and Falun Gong as experimental subjects.

Not only live organ extraction, but the harvesting of prisoners of conscience began with the Uyghurs in the mid-1990s; the procedure was perfected and put into mass production with Falun Gong. In 2001, the PSB created a mass-media pretext for murdering Falun Gong with the stage-managed immolation in Tiananmen. Thirteen years later, it was Uyghur “terrorists” in the Kunming station. The facts are murky, yet there was a reason why every Western media outlet used quotation marks around the term “terrorists” – until CNN caved to Beijing’s pressure. About five years ago, the PSB began DNA home-testing practitioners; now they’ve sampled the entire Uyghur population. Beijing created China’s Big Brother web to catch Falun Gong; yet predictive policing using big data analysis – that is, true total surveillance – blossomed in the deserts of Xinjiang.

For the years 2000 to 2008, I postulated that 450,000 to a million Falun Gong were incarcerated in the Laogai System at any given time. Now, the Congressional Executive Commission on China has confirmed that half a million to a million Uyghurs are presently incarcerated in “re-education” camps, or “transformation” facilities – and practitioner refugees understand the full implications of that word.

How do we come up with this number? It’s pieced together from Chinese sources. Beijing estimates that there are only 12 million Uyghurs (not 17 million, the Uyghur estimate) and according to Radio Free Asia and AP, the local PSBs tend to brag about their arrests: 10% of the Uyghur northern population is incarcerated, 40% in Hotan, 10% in Kashgar. Easy enough to get to a million, although let’s acknowledge the uncertainties; these may be “revolving door” numbers with “sentences” ranging from a single weekend to 20 years. It won’t be cleared up soon. With the arrest of the Globe and Mail’s Nathan Vanderklippe, Western journalists have generally avoided the trek out to Xinjiang. So under conditions of an Internet black-out, the academic, political, and intelligence community believe – as do I – that these are the best numbers that we can get.

The tragedy lies behind these numbers. Every township has a story: In Bullaqsu, there are “hardly any males to be seen.” The pretext was an incident four years ago where police removed two women’s headscarves. About 200 Uyghurs stopped the police from arresting the women. So the PSB multiplied that number by four, and threw all the males in a camp.

Or take just one of the deaths in detention. An 87-year-old man was held for a year, with continuous sound torture using a specifically designed helmet – along with sleep and water deprivation. The PSB released him and he died. Immediately. Anyone familiar with my book, The Slaughter, or indeed many of the accounts on will know the pattern. Release to the home community at the point of death – “kill the chicken to scare the monkey”

And the humiliations: Mosques patrolled. Then shut down. Then destroyed. Suppressing public displays of Muslim prayer. Then the compulsory patriotic songs. Then imams forced to perform the “Little Apple” dance. College students forced to eat during Ramadan. Uyghur prisoners forced to drink alcohol and eat pork – specifically, the pig’s head, feet, and guts.

The oft-imagined world of Islamophobia is the real-life world of the Uyghurs. And any practitioner who had to step on a poster of Teacher Li Hongzhi just to pay a visit to a loved one in the Dragon Mountain labor camp will know that this gratuitous humiliation – the rape of human dignity – may be the worst torture of all.

So if the British Foreign Office is listening: The time for questions about organ harvesting and the reasons for the persecution – that’s done. Because it is already starting over again.

Congress and the European Parliament have openly condemned Beijing for the organ harvesting prisoners of conscience, so you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Nor do you need the big dogs or “the new world scenario.” You need to run with your allies, and publicly, explicitly, condemn Beijing.

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