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US: China Works to Manipulate Xinjiang Discourse

A protester holds a placard as she takes part in a small demonstration against the holding of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China, at Piccadilly Circus in London, Feb. 3, 2022.

The United States said in a report Wednesday that China tries to “manipulate and dominate global discourse on Xinjiang and to discredit independent sources reporting ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity conducted against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs” and other minority groups.

The U.S. State Department report said China’s methods include suppressing reports about atrocities and flooding social media networks with inauthentic, positive stories about Xinjiang.

Another tactic listed in the report is the use of trolling campaigns aimed at silencing critics, which can involve death and assault threats, cyberattacks and other forms of harassment.

The State Department said China’s Cyberspace Affairs Commission and Central Propaganda Department have millions of employees and volunteers carrying out such efforts, targeting both people within China as well as the Chinese diaspora.

Last week, the top U.N. expert on slavery issued a report saying it is “reasonable to conclude that forced labor among Uyghur, Kazakh and other ethnic minorities in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing has been occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.”

China has denied accusations of abuse against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.