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Opinion – China’s Wolf Warrior Propaganda Versus Western Criticism within the Xinjiang Cotton Disaster

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Amid the rising tensions between China and the West, the Chinese language propaganda equipment has discovered one other battlefield to retaliate in opposition to the US and different Western international locations. On March 24, the Communist Party’s youth wing denounced H&M on Chinese language social media over its sanctions on Xinjiang cotton. In the meantime, Chinese language state-backed media shops had been additionally calling for shoppers, owing to the identical motive, to boycott other international clothing brands, together with Nike, Adidas, Uniqlo, and so forth. This boycott marketing campaign in opposition to overseas clothes manufacturers has rapidly swept into all Chinese language social networking platforms and it’s apparent that China is experiencing a brand new nationalist upsurge in countering the West. On this disaster, the Chinese language authorities has ramped up its propaganda machine in an antagonistic method to struggle again in opposition to the Western criticism on Xinjiang human rights violations.

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Xinjiang cotton disaster, China’s diplomatic division and diplomats aggressively hit again in opposition to Western criticism in confrontational methods; and such a diplomatic follow is often known as one other identify, “Wolf Warrior diplomacy”. Because the outbreak of the pandemic, the Wolf Warrior diplomacy has been guiding the official rhetoric of state propaganda and it’s manifest that the follow of Chinese language propaganda organs has additionally served the identical rhetoric with the Wolf Warrior type.

Final month, the US, the European Union, and different allies issued to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang human rights points respectively. This coordinated effort just isn’t solely the primary sanctions on China for the US authorities beneath the Biden presidency, but in addition the primary time for the EU to impose such punitive measures in opposition to Beijing for the reason that 1989 Tiananmen Sq. crackdown. In response to the Western strain, the Chinese language authorities strongly rejected the Western international locations’ accusations and instantly retaliated to sanction the Western politicians, officials, and scholars. Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, even hit again to denounce the Western human rights records with the examples of US slavery and Western colonialism in historical past. 

Hua’s response to a sure diploma reveals that the CCP management has determined to strongly management the narrative over Xinjiang points and struggle again in opposition to the West by resorting to Chinese language Wolf Warrior diplomacy; and different social gathering organs and propaganda equipment rapidly observe the course concurrently. Because the Xinjiang challenge is at present the primary battlefield and, due to this fact, the Communist Celebration’s youth wing and the Chinese language media had the incentives to run the boycott campaigns proper after the Western sanctions whether or not their operations had been directed by the central social gathering management or not. 

Though the angle of boycott campaigns is aligning with the CCP’s stance, it seems that the Chinese language authorities is not willing to lead the campaigns overtly. In truth, China’s focus continues to be on manipulating the general public opinions at dwelling and overseas, in doing so, it put quite a lot of effort into stepping up the Wolf Warrior propaganda to reframe the Western criticism with a number of toolkits. Particularly, the Chinese language propaganda equipment is conducting the exhausting and comfortable methods concurrently.

As for the exhausting methods, the Chinese language authorities has condemned Western criticism aggressively and responded that the worldwide allegations had been all primarily based on lies, on the one hand. In a latest press convention, Hua performed a YouTube video about a China-based British Youtuber who describes the criticism over Xinjiang points because the narratives of anti-China propaganda and disinformation from the West. She additionally confirmed one other video clip the opposite day with a Canadian vlogger, additionally primarily based in China, giving a speech concerning that the true ambition of the US is aiming at China’s pursuits in Xinjiang. Most of those video clips had been uploaded once more onto the YouTube channel by China International Tv Community (CGTN) and had been broadly shared by different state-backed media shops and Chinese language officers (together with Hua Chunying herself) on social media platforms to amplify the consequences of Wolf Warrior propaganda.

However, the Chinese language propaganda equipment has begun to disseminate the picture that every Uyghur person lives a happy life beneath CCP’s rule. In a joint press convention by the Chinese language overseas ministry and Xinjiang native authorities in February, some Uyghur ladies claimed that there is neither forced labor nor internment camps in Xinjiang. Apart from overseas on-line influencers, a number of native Uyghur YouTubers have launched some movies to reveal farmers’ daily work and how to harvest cotton in Xinjiang. An Uyghur YouTuber even stated, as a neighborhood Xinjiang resident, that the Western coverage on Xinjian is absolutely not true. That’s, these narratives and movies mirror the upsurge of Chinese language patriotism amid the cotton disaster.

Despite the fact that there is no such thing as a vital proof to show that these Western on-line influencers and YouTubers have shut connections with the Chinese language authorities, it isn’t troublesome to establish that the Chinese language authorities precisely is aware of how one can benefit from them to strengthen its official rhetoric.

The methods by the Chinese language propaganda equipment illustrate an historic Chinese language proverb, “studying from the West in countering them”. On this propaganda conflict on the Xinjiang points, the Chinese language Wolf Warrior propaganda works in nearly all essential Western social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — their messages and video are in English in addition to the Westerner on-line influencers voicing out to assist China — and it employs the tactic of labeling all criticism from the worldwide society as pretend information, searching for to persuade the worldwide viewers that the Western accusations are merely primarily based on groundless info.

Most significantly, the Chinese language authorities is reframing the narratives of Western criticism, simplifying the criticism into the defaming of China and all Chinese language folks to deflect the worldwide accusations over the human rights points. Furthermore, it will possibly additional legit its rule and repressive insurance policies in Xinjiang through home nationalism. In conclusion, China’s framing methods within the propaganda conflict show that it goals at manipulating public opinion on the international stage and China’s rhetoric is the true narrative of tales in Xinjiang. The Chinese language authorities needs to emphasise that China has its personal definition of human rights and the US and different Western international locations needs to be extra attentive to their human rights data, not intervene in China’s home affairs.

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