Playing Genocide Politics: The Zenz-Xinjiang Case

Adrian Zenz

By Dr Dan Steinbock

Recently, the Trump and Biden administrations have initiated a genocide case against China. Like during the Cold War, some European leaders have joined the White House, despite the flimsy case that mocks real genocide survivors.

In July 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for “using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.”

Stunningly, Pompeo based the charge on just one source: “German researcher Adrian Zenz’s shocking revelations.”[1]

Odd bedfellows

Except for the darkest days of McCarthyism, reliance on a single external source is rare at the top of the State Department. But so was the haste in Pompeo’s “global press statement.” Since Zenz’s report had been released barely a day or so before, the subsequent chorus fosters a perception of orchestration.

Despite Pompeo’s willingness to use lies as a tool for foreign policy, his statement resulted in a set of likeminded condemnations by international media. Oddly, the latter, too, embraced Zenz’s allegations without slightest source criticism, even though Zenz has never even been in Xinjiang. The suspension of all skepticism is even stranger taking into consideration the publisher of the report. As an ultra-conservative think-tank launched by CIA Director William J. Casey in the ‘80s, the Jamestown Foundation is known for its far-right ideology.

Furthermore, according to the UN Genocide Convention (1948), genocide is defined as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.”[2]         

In contrast, what Zenz claimed was that the fall of Uyghur birth rates and birth control measures in Xinjiang province was a proof of genocide. In the process, genocide was associated with family planning and modernization (which US agencies and foundations have implemented across the world since the postwar era).

Oddly, unlike Zenz, Xinjiang records a positive overall population growth rate, with the Uyghurs growing faster than the non-Uyghur population.[3]

Pandemic ploys  

In the White House, genocide accusations served a useful political function. In June 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, which the Trump administration had disastrously mismanaged, entered its second wave.[4] That’s when Pompeo delivered his first accusation, while the Biden campaign followed in the footprints later.[5] Neither resorted to the g-word, yet.

In early January 2021, the United States, with some 300,000 new daily cases, witnessed the peak of the third pandemic wave, which the White House continued to mismanage (Figure 1). Meanwhile, the Capitol was swept by the white supremacists’ mob riot that Trump had effectively stirred.

Figure 1: Uses of Genocide Politics

Uses of Genocide Politics
Source: Daily New Cases in the US, Worldometer (John Hopkins CSSE), Jun. 9, 2021

That’s when Pompeo, on his way out from the White House, charged China of “the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs in Xinjiang.”[6] As Antony Blinken replaced Pompeo as Secretary of State that very same day, he agreed with Pompeo’s designation. Distressingly, these actions reflect conflicts-of-interest by both administrations and their secretaries of state. In each case, material benefits trumped over integrity.[7]

To the Trump administration, genocide politics served as a distraction from pandemic mismanagement and the white supremacist riot. To the Biden administration, it offers a perceived bipartisan enemy that can be exploited to unify the divided nation and Capitol Hill.

Disturbingly, the genocide allegation was made against explicit legal opposition. Prior to Pompeo’s January statement, the State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove such genocide. So, both administrations simply over-ruled their own legal experts.[8]

Disturbingly, the genocide allegation was made against explicit legal opposition.

In April, economist Jeffrey Sachs and William Schabas, a leading international legal scholar of genocide, warned that “the Xinjiang genocide allegations are unjustified.” They noted that the State Department’s 2021 Human Rights Practices report made similar genocide accusation, but also without evidence. As they conclude, “unless the State Department can substantiate the genocide accusation, it should withdraw the charge. It should also support a UN-led investigation.”[9]

Who is the primary source of the genocide allegation that the leaders of the world’s most powerful nation prefer to their top-notch legal experts and a leading international scholar?

From God to anti-China Aussies and US defense contractors  

Adrian Zenz graduated from the hyper-Christian Columbia International University, headquartered in South Carolina, where teachers can lecture only if they affirm the Second Coming of Jesus. As Wall Street Journal once put it, Zenz feels “led by God” in his struggle against the Chinese communists.[10]

In his first book, Zenz sought to explain Why All Believers Will Not Be Raptured Before the Tribulation (2012). As a born-again Christian, Zenz associates biblical truth as the truth, which may or may not be identical with earthly truth.

In 2014, the German crusader became a secular overnight “Tibet expert” who wrote two years about Tibet “under the threat” of CCP assimilation. In 2016, he suddenly became a “Xinjiang expert” after a Foreign Affairs essay.[11] Co-author James Leibold, another Jamestown analyst, opened the door to the prestigious American journal.[12]

Leibold is a sinologist in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which has been credited as the think-tank behind Australia’s rock bottom ties with China. According to reputable financial observers, “the Department of Defense-backed ASPI has become a flashpoint in the breakdown of consensus in Beijing.”[13]

Usually, think-tanks refuse external financing. ASPI is more flexible. It is funded by Australia’s Defense Department and US State Department and Pentagon’s big contractors, including BAE, Northrop Grunman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon’s local subsidiary, and American cyber-giants, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, as well as Japan and Taiwan.[14]

Yet, ASPI did not publish Zenz’s Xinjiang revelations. 

Compromised think-tanks and NGOs

In effect, by 2017, Zenz’s publications were released mainly by China Brief, one of Jamestown’s flagships journals. Yet, his Xinjiang pieces were published by Journal of Political Risk, published by Anders Corr who has a track-record of fake predictions and whose clients comprise mainly Pentagon agencies and defense contractors.[15]

Oddly, Zenz did not turn to the world’s most prestigious academic journals with peer reviews to ensure quality and accuracy. Nor did he approach the journals of America’s leading think-tanks, which also do a fair amount of fact-checking. Even Jamestown and Corr’s Journal, both of which often prefer ideology to facts, stayed further away from Zenz’s “shocking revelations.”

Instead, the Christian crusader opted for two very different organizations. In December 2020, his Coercive Labor in Xinjiang was published by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy (NISP), in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights.

Founded conveniently right in time for Zenz’s report, Newlines Institute is portrayed as “nonpartisan”, yet its leadership features mainly US State Department officials, military and intelligence analysts who used to work for Stratfor (which the financial journal Barron’s once called the “Shadow CIA” agency).[16] The Institute has touted the views of the hyper-anti-China hawk Robert Spalding, Trump’s ex-strategy advisor, another Newlines expert, who is on the board of Jamestown as well.[17]

The Newlines Institute’s organizational parent is Fairfax University of America (FXUA), which has been the target of state regulators ever since its founding in 1998, due to numerous academic scandals, lack of didactic credibility, and noncompliance with state educational standards.[18]

To make things even more confusing, Zenz’s “report” mixed his old allegations with questionable data sources.

Zenz’s report featured mainly his old materials, but also those of Uyghur separatists, including the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) backed by the U.S. government.

How NED came to sponsor far-right Uyghur separatists  

Zenz’s report featured mainly his old materials, but also those of Uyghur separatists, including the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) backed by the U.S. government; Radio Free Asia owned by the U.S. government; and the Newlines “Uyghur Scholars Working Group” (whose core member is Zenz himself).[19]

The WUC regards Xinjiang as “East Turkestan” and its Uyghur Muslims as members of a mythic pan-Turkic nation stretching from Central Asia to Turkey. Dedicated to separatist objectives, it seeks to destabilize Xinjiang and ultimately regime change. Portrayed as a bottom-up movement, the WUC is actually a top-down umbrella for its Washington-based affiliates – e.g., Uyghur American Association (UAA), Uygur Human Rights Project, and Campaign for Uyghurs – reliant on US funding.

Historically, the Uyghur separatists’ money and arms ties with the US (and Taiwan) go way back to the 1930s and ‘40s.[20] The WUC has been supported since 2004 by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), whose recipients tend to operate in countries targeted for regime change. Since 2016 in particular, the NED has provided the WUC and its affiliates with millions of dollars (Figure 2).

Figure 2: A Separatist Dream Come True

Separatist Dream Come True
Source: In a 2020 NED tweet, Xinjiang is portrayed as separated from the Chinese mainland as sovereign East Turkestan.

Here’s how the pro-democracy/destabilization machine works: NED transfers monies to the WUC, which uses them for its affiliates, public PR and reportedly not-so-peaceful covert operation, while lobbying the Congress, which in turn funds the NED.

In the past, NED was led decades by Carl Gershman, who was recently succeeded by Damon Wilson, former executive VP of the Atlantic Council, which has intimate ties with US government and the NATO. Wilson interests are in security and military affairs.[21] Though both Wilson and Gershman share a penchant for regime change.

The Raoul Wallenberg Centre (RWCHR) was the other sponsor of Zenz’s genocide report. Despite its name and young Wallenberg’s portrait on the home page, the NGO has nothing to do with either Sweden or the Swede who saved thousands of Jews during World War II. RWCHR is based in Montreal and led by former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler.

Under Cotler’s leadership, the RWCHR positions have converged with those of US State Department (and Gershman is now a senior fellow at RWCHR).[22] The Center cooperates with the anti-China cult Falun Gong and its far-right Epoch Times (“the leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation,” as the New York Times has put it).[23]

The Xinjiang shakedown

In an in-depth review of the Xinjiang report, the Grayzone Project has demonstrated that “Zenz’s assertion of genocide is concocted through fraudulent statistical manipulation, cherry-picking of source material, and propagandistic misrepresentations.”[24]

Zenz’s factual and methodological fallacies are one thing. What is alarming is that the White House and international media portray such fake facts and data as real truths, without elementary source criticism.

In the US, the key role in the Zenz-fueled campaign against China belongs to the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), which seeks to pressure US companies to leave Xinjiang and whose steering committee members have been funded by NED.[25]

WRC, too, relies mainly on Zenz’s report. Its conduct is reminiscent of the Cold War AFL-CIO agencies that were created to battle against workers in developing countries.[26] Worse, the WCR campaign has forced Uyghur workers out of their jobs, while compelling US apparel company Badger Sport to pay $300,000 to Uyghur exile groups rather than the workers. These extremist groups include the WUC US affiliate (UAA), which in March organized a car caravan to disrupt a gathering against anti-Asian racism in Washington. The message? “Wipe out China!”[27]

Under its president Kuzzat Altay, the UAA’s anti-China fanaticism has escalated, while the far-right gun club Altay Defense drills combatants with ex-members of U.S. special forces. The club is led by Altay’s brother who is the nephew of Rebiya Kadeer, the veteran head of the US-sponsored Uyghurs. Hence the two sides of Uyghur separatism: public diplomacy and darker covert operations (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Two sides of Uyghur separatism     

 Kadeer and Pres. Bush (2007)           Altay Defense (Instagram 2020) 

Kadeer and Pres. Bush

Uyghurs, Gray Wolves and Washington  

Alarmingly, Uyghurs’ Turkey branch has ties with the far-right pan-Turkish Grey Wolves, a designated terrorist organization, which is usually characterized as ultra-nationalist, neo-Fascist and Islamophobic. It has been linked with political violence, death squads, heroin, CIA, and drugs trade.[28] More recently, the Wolves have focused on Uyghurs and Xinjian pushing for a more militant East Turkestan Independence movement and a Greater Pan-Turkic nation (Figure 4).[29]

Figure 4: Pan-Turkic Aspirations

Pan-Turkic Aspirations
Source: Wikimedia Commons

These activities led to their affiliates’ 2009 attacks against Chinese tourists in the Netherlands and to the 2015 Bangkok bombing. Together with a rival ultra-nationalist group, the Wolves also targeted Chinese in politically-motivated “revenge” assaults in Turkey, attacked Chinese restaurants in Istanbul, tried to break into Ankara’s Chinese embassy and assaulted Koreans whom they mistook for Chinese.[30]

After half a decade of attacks and friction, Chinese government believes that the far-right anti-Communist Uyghur separatists via their umbrella WUC have been funded and trained by U.S. government agencies.[31]

In effect, the far-right links extend to Zenz and his prestigious new host as well.

Far-right exploitation of genocides

After the Australian ASPI, Jamestown and his Xinjiang reports, Zenz was recruited as a senior fellow in China studies by the Washington-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), a fiercely anti-Communist NGO founded in 1993.[32] VOC is the successor of the National Captive Nations Committee (NCNC), which was created during the Cold War and led by Ukrainian-American Lev Dobriansky and the Ukrainian nationalist and notorious anti-Semite Yaroslav Stetsko.

In turn, the NCNC was the successor of the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) that Stetsko claimed to have founded in 1946 and headed until his death in 1986. In reality, Stetsko’s Ukrainian nationalists took over ABN only after World War II. ABN had been founded in late 1943, at the instigation of Alfred Rosenberg, the chief Nazi race ideologue and Minister of the East. Stetsko organized militia, which butchered Jews in pogroms in 1941 and cooperated with Nazi leaders who in turn used Stetsko and his nationalists in “political warfare” against the Soviet Union.

In the mid-1950s, the ABN was linked the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League (APACL), which was created in South Korea and in which Taiwan’s Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek played a central role. During the height of the Cold War, both the ABN and the APACL were linked with the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). In the ’90s, the latter was renamed ss the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), to “sanitize” its link with Cold War anti-Communism. But WLFD’s headquarters remains in Taiwan.[33]

That’s the long historical chain of organizational reincarnations Zenz’s anti-Communist VOC to Nazi ideologues’ ABN. It is these controversial origins of Zenz and his background forces that cast a long dark shadow over his allegations today (Figure 5).

Figure 5: From Anti-Bolshevism and Anti-Communism to Freedom and Democracy

Afghanistan 2.0 scenario would be Xinjiang’s nightmare

Chinese activities in Xinjiang aim at stopping the terrorism of militant Islamic groups, as did America’s foray into the Middle East and Central Asia after the September 2001. America’s flawed response to 9/11 led to repeated US violations of international law, massive bloodshed and unwarranted wars.

Similarly, between 1990 and 2001, Uyghur extremists committed over 200 acts of terrorism with over 160 deaths.[34] In July 2020, the United Nations noted the presence of thousands of Uyghur fighters in Afghanistan and Syria, where the White House has occasionally supported “moderate Jihadists.” And until late 2020, the US still classified the Uyghur East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist group, battled Uyghur fighters in Afghanistan, and held many as prisoners. Nonetheless, the Chinese and American approach have their differences.

Since 2000, Xinjiang has been included in the development strategy of China’s West. Between 2014 and 2019, Xinjiang’s economy increased annually by 7.2 percent and nearly 3 million residents were lifted out of poverty. Urbanization rate climbed from 37 percent to 50 percent, which is at par with that of Thailand, while GDP per capita (PPP) rose to the level of Indonesia. Beijing has pushed for economic development in Xinjiang to foster growth and prosperity, in part to pre-empt radicalization through cross-border infiltration via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Externally, the key role belongs to the massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was launched in 2013. The BRI, which Washington opposes, has entailed a long preparation in the region, which serves as the Chinese gate to the West.[35]

What seems to motivate Zenz’s background forces is an Afghanistan 2.0 scenario. In the 1980s, CIA chiefs who later joined the Jamestown Foundation were influential in the Operation Cyclone, which armed the Islamic Mujahideen against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, while funding and training the founders of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. One of them is Michael G. Wickers who is on the board of Jamestown and BAE Systems, a global defense contractor hoping to cash on South China Sea friction.

These Cold Warriors tend to see contemporary Xinjiang as Afghanistan 2.0. Since the 1980s and again after September 11, 2001, Afghanistan has been the prime recipient of billions of dollars of U.S. economic and military aid. Between 1950 and 2020, the US has sold almost $16 billion worth of weapons to Afghanistan, two thirds of which were exchanged since 2016.[36]

Yet, US aid has not enrichened ordinary people. Afghan GDP per capita (PPP) remains $1,900, at par with Yemen and Sierra Leone; and only 15 percent relative to Xinjiang. Worse, since the 1990s Afghan inequality has remained high with the wealthy 10 percent of the population owning 45 percent of national income.[37]

Even worse, since 2001 some 241,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan (more than 71,000 were civilians). In turn, the US has suffered over 22,000 military casualties, including 2,400 fatalities in Afghanistan, even as Congress has appropriated a whopping $143 billion for reconstruction and security forces there. As a recent congressional report concluded, “future prospects of gains remain mixed.”[38]

Afghanistan 2.0 scenario would be a nightmare to Xinjiang.

Uyghur genocide allegations over Holocaust history

The lessons of the Zenz debacle are many. The ultra-religious and hyper-ideological motivations of the old-new Cold Warriors are not surprising but have potential to result in major conflict. Perhaps a new Cold War is precisely the strategic objective, despite the enormous costs to global economic prospects and particularly to the most vulnerable nations.

The unsubstantiated genocide allegations by the Trump and Biden administrations seem not just hypocritical but outright bizarre in the light of US history, starting with the native American Indians, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and extending to series of atrocities in almost every major world region.

What’s highly distressing is the way the leading international media has allowed itself to be used, with little regard to public trust. The erosion of credibility and its long-term consequences are alarming, though something that did occur during the Cold War when science, culture and unions were weaponized.[39] Today, even Wikipedia has fewer web pages dedicated to the facts of the “Holocaust” than to the allegations of the “Uyghur genocide.”

Like the “infodemic” in the early days of the COVID-19, misinformation associated with social media trolls and conspiracy theorists blurs the distinction between realities and fantasies. With the pandemic, the ensuing divisions and delays cost millions of lives, and so could the erosion of media credibility in future genocides.

As Sachs and Schabas warn, the charge of genocide should never be made lightly. Washington’s rejection of top legal experts for a far-right ultra-religious crusader is a frightening precedent. When the word “genocide” is exploited without a solid legal basis, the very designation is politicized and diluted.

As real genocides are exploited and trivialized for genocide politics, even the banality of evil is trivialized. That is an insult against the real victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.

About the Author

How the World Press Freedom Index Was Politicized – Long Before the New Cold Wars

Dr Dan Steinbock is the founder of Difference Group and has served as research director at the India, China and America Institute (USA) and visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore). For more, see https://www.differencegroup.net/  

References

Unless otherwise stated, all data is from World Development Indicators (WDI), by World Bank.

  • [1] Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, 2020. “On China’s Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang.” Press Statement, Global Public Affairs, Department of State, Jun. 29.
  • [2] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide art. 2, 78 U.N.T.S. 277, 9 Dec. 1948.
  • [3] Most recent data is for 2010 to 2018. See Sachs, Jeffrey and Schabas, William. 2021. “The Xinjiang Genocide Allegations Are Unjustified.” The Project Syndicate, Apr. 21.
  • [4] On the politicization of the COVID-19 in America and Europe, see Steinbock, D. 2020. The Tragedy of More Missed COVID-19 Opportunities. SIIS, Aug. 16.
  • [5] Most likely to attract the Reagan Democrats that Senator Hillary Clinton had lost in 2016, the Biden campaign condemned China for the “unspeakable oppression that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have suffered.” See “Trump administration weighs accusing China of ‘genocide’ over Uighurs.” Politico, Aug. 25, 2020.
  • [6] “US: China ‘committed genocide against Uighurs’,” BBC, Jan. 20, 2021.
  • [7] Due to campaign finance, both Trump and Biden lean on to the Pentagon’s defense contractors, just as Blinken made his first $1 million through an advisory firm with similar clientele amid alleged conflicts of interests. On the conflict-of-interest issues, see Lipton, E. and Vogel, Kenneth P. 2020. “Biden Aides’ Ties to Consulting and Investment Firms Pose Ethics Test.” New York Times, Nov 29; Wong, Edward and Jakes, Lara. 2020. “Pompeo Quietly Visits Conservative Donors and Political Figures on State Dept. Trips.” New York Times, Jul. 21, 2020.
  • [8] See Lynch, Colum. 2021. “State Department Lawyers Concluded Insufficient Evidence to Prove Genocide in China.” Foreign Policy, Feb. 19.
  • [9] The two add, “the UN experts are rightly calling for the UN to investigate the situation in Xinjiang. China’s government, for its part, has recently stated that it would welcome a UN mission to Xinjiang based on ‘exchanges and cooperation,’ not on ‘guilty before proven.’“ See Sachs and Schabas 2020, op. cit.
  • [10] Chin, Josh. 2019. “The German Data Diver Who Exposed China’s Muslim Crackdown.” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 19. Zenz supports scriptural spanking and anti-gay policies. He lectures at the European School of Culture and Theology, but that’s part of Columbia’s German campus.
  • [11] Leibold, James and Zenz, Adrian. 2016. “Beijing’s Eyes and Ears Grow Sharper in Xinjiang: The 24-7 Patrols of China’s ‘Convenience Police’.” Foreign Affairs, Dec. 23.
  • [12] Two years later, Leibold declared the treatment of Uyghurs a “cultural genocide.” See Leibold, James. 2019. “Despite China’s denials, its treatment of the Uyghurs should be called what it is: cultural genocide.” The Conversation. Jul. 24.
  • [13] Robin, Myriam. 2020. “The think tank behind Australia’s changing view of China.” Financial Review, Feb 15.
  • [14] On ASPI’s funders, see https://www.aspi.org.au/sponsors
  • [15] Like Edward Snowden during his covert years, Corr had worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, but his main employer is US military-industrial complex. See https://www.jpolrisk.com/about/leadership/ In 2017, Corr predicted that by 2022 the Philippines would default under China’s debt slavery. His projection of debt-to-GDP ratio proved wrong by 200-250 percent. See Steinbock, Dan. 2019. “Whatever happened to PH debt slavery?” The Manila Times, Oct. 7.
  • [16] Laing, Jonathan R. 2001. “Shadow CIA,” Barron’s, Oct. 15.
  • [17] Spalding’s anti-China views were too much even for Trump’s National Security Council. See Rogin, Josh. 2018. “Air Force general behind 5G memo leaves White House.” Washington Post, Feb. 3.
  • [18] Redden, Elizabeth. 2019. “Virginia Regulators Move to Shut Down University.” Inside Higher-Ed, Mar. 20.
  • [19] Zenz, Adrian. 2020. Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton. Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, Dec.
  • [20] Benson, Linda K. 1990. The Ili Rebellion: Muslim Challenge to Chinese Authority in Xinjiang, 1944-49. Routledge. On the pre-US legacies, see Ke, Wang. 2018. The East Turkestan Independence Movement: 1930s–1940s. Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • [21] Wilson had had previous stints at the State Department’s China desk and US Embassy in Beijing the NATO, US National Security Council and US Embassy in Baghdad.
  • [22] See Katz, Bruce. 2020. “Irwin Cotler as a False Humanitarian: Cotler supports terrorists while befriending dictators.” The Canada Files, Dec. 27; Norton, Ben. 2020. “Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links to Colombian death squads and narco networks.” Grayzone Project, Dec. 26; Abunimah, Ali. 2019. “Canada activists disrupt top supporter of Israeli war crimes.” The Electronic Intifada, Jun. 5.
  • [23] Matas, David and Cotler, Irwin. 2020. “Legal steps must be taken against China for initial inaction.” Policy Options, May 25.
  • [24] In 2019, Zenz speculated that 1 million Uyghurs were detained in Xinjiang since late 2016, on the basis of extrapolations from food allowance subsidy figures of the Chinese government. Though the claim was accepted in the West, Newsweek Japan discovered that Zenz’s figures originated from Istiqlal TV, which often hosts leaders of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorists. In another study, Zenz charged China for running a forced birth control surgery program in Xinjiang. While public health analysts found major flaws in his study, Zenz only interviewed 8 women, who were all living in the US and had ties with various Uyghur groups. See Singh, Ajit. 2021. “’Independent’ report claiming Uyghur genocide brought to you by sham university, neocon ideologues lobbying to ‘punish’ China.” The Grayzone Project. Mar. 17.
  • [25] The WRC dismissed Badger’s own assessment, which rejected the allegations of “forced labor,” and the certification that its Xinjiang supplier received following an on-site inspection by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. See Blumenthal, Max. 2021. “Xinjiang shakedown: US anti-China lobby cashed in on ‘forced labor’ campaign that cost Uyghur workers their jobs.” The Grayzone Project, Apr 30.
  • [26] See Scipes, Kim. 2010. AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? Lexington Books.
  • [27] For some scenes, see https://twitter.com/NicXTempore/status/1373691318208245764
  • [28] See Uzer, Umut. 2016. An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism: Between Turkish Ethnicity and Islamic Identity. University of Utah Press; Gingeras, Ryan. 2018. Heroin, Organized Crime, and the Making of Modern Turkey. Oxford University Press.
  • [29] After the 1980s, the Wolves’ violence has occurred against Kurds, Armenians, in multiple Western European countries, as well as Greece and Syria. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Wolves grew active in Eurasia (Azerbaijan, Russia), while failing to radicalize youths in Central Asia.
  • [30] As their party chairman said, there’s no difference really: “They both have slanted eyes.” In a coordinated campaign, both groups hung banners with lyrics by an ultranationalist singer: “We miss the smell of Chinese blood.” See Shimatsu, Yoichi. 2009. “Behind the China Riots: Oil, Terrorism & ‘Grey Wolves.'”. New America Media, Jul. 13; Cunningham, Susan. 2015. “Thailand’s Shrine Bombing: The Case For Turkey’s Grey Wolves.” Forbes, Aug 24. On the Turkish attacks, see Erdemir, Aykan, and Tahiroglu, Merve. 2015. “Turkish Grey Wolves target ‘Chinese’.” Politico EU, Jul. 30.
  • [31] See for instance “Unmistakable US hand in Xinjiang.” China Daily, Mar. 20, 2020.
  • [32] On the inflated estimates of the victims of Communism, see Ghodsee, Kristen R. et al. 2018. “The merits of taking an anti-anti-communism stance” AEON, March 22.
  • [33] Burke, Kyle (2018). Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War. Hill: University of North Carolina Press, p. 21.
  • [34] ” ‘East Turkistan’ Terrorist Forces Cannot Get Away With Impunity.” Information Office of State Council, Jan. 21, 2002.
  • [35] Cappelletti, Alessandra. 2020. Socio-Economic Development in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Disparities and Power Struggle in China’s North-West. Palgrave Macmillan, esp. Chapter 2.
  • [36] ” Historical Sales Book: Fiscal Years 1950-2020.” Historical Sales Book. Security Cooperation Agency, US Dept. of Defense 2020.
  • [37] Inequality data from World Inequality Database.
  • [38] “Afghan Civilians.” Costs of War, Watson Institute, Brown University, April, 2021; and Thomas, Clayton. 2021. Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy: In Brief. CRS. Updated March 25,
  • [39] Wilford, Hugh. 2009. The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America. Harvard University Press; Saunders, Frances Stonor. 2013. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. The New Press.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.