I want to try something a little different this time. Instead of looking at a particular document, I want to look at a particular claim: “cultural genocide”.

This claim is frequently made, but when examined in detail, it is even more baseless than the genocide claim.
"Cultural genocide" is often used as an easier-to-prove alternative to genocide. But, there are many cultural elements which are thankfully gone, e.g. virgin sacrifices to the gods. Therefore, a value judgment is required to prove this claim, which is not required for genocide.
From affirmative action to requirements for mask wearing, people have been asked to change behaviour to fit the times. Given culture is closely tied to behaviour, it can be argued that each change replaces an old culture with a new one. The question is whether this is desirable.
As there is no commonly agreed definition, I propose that to prove cultural genocide, the following 5 steps are needed:
1. Define “culture” in general.
2. Define Uyghur culture and how it's distinguishable from Han culture, such that it can be targeted for elimination.
3. Show that certain elements of Uyghur culture (as defined above) are under threat of elimination.
4. Show that this threat is intentional by the government.
5. Show that it can be objectively considered “bad” or undesirable to lose these elements of Uyghur culture.
1: What is “culture”?

This is a key question for proving “cultural genocide”, because culture itself is difficult to define and can evolve. Some elements of culture are so central to a group of people, that the only way it would be lost is if the people are gone as well.
Indeed, well-known cases of cultural genocide happened simultaneously with collapses in population, e.g. American Indian cultures, South American cultures, Australian Aborigine cultures.

Therefore, it makes the Uyghur situation very unusual, in that cultural genocide is...
...said to be happening at the same time as a population boom, meaning really compelling evidence is needed before such a claim can be accepted.

I will define "culture" as anything manifesting from common habitual behavior of a group. Using this definition, cultural genocide...
...is synonymous with forced behavioural change, and it's obvious that not every instance of forced behavioural change is bad.

2. What is Uyghur culture?
Nowhere near an exhaustive list, but the major distinctive elements are:
- Language
- Religion
- Food
- Music/Dance
- Fashion
As an aside, most China watchers refer to “Han Chinese” as a homogeneous group, but this is far from accurate. Each Han community has it’s own culture; spoken language, foods, customs and other inherited behaviour. They can easily be distinguished as different ethnic groups.
3. Are these elements under threat?

Fashion, Music/Dance, Food - far from being under threat, these cultural elements are promoted so much by Chinese media, that there's antipathy towards "dancing Uyghurs" as a promotional tool. Uyghur restaurants are also in every city in China
Language - this is so protected that all Chinese bank notes have Uyghur language on it. Uyghur schools in XJ also teach in Uyghur, with Mandarin as a second language. China even implemented a typing system for Uyghur language: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghur_al…

Religion - Islam is officially 1 of the 5 recognized religions of China: gov.cn/test/2005-06/2…
Islam has a long history of existence within China (since 7th Century CE) and there are a large number of mosques in China. Uyghur is also not the only Muslim ethnicity in China...
...with 10 out of 55 minorities being majority Muslim.

China also has freedom of religion regulations:

As icing on the cake, China's Islamic Association website can be in Uyghur: uyghur.chinaislam.net.cn

Therefore, Islam is not under threat in China...
...and no significant element of Uyghur culture is under threat. What exactly is under threat then?

4. Intent of the government:
Government docs show the target is religious extremism. This is not confined to Islam, but Islamic terrorist groups are currently the biggest threat.
5. Is this a “bad” move?
To the extent that extremist groups are also a cancer for mainstream Islam, targeting them is actually helping to preserve the religious core, instead of destroying it.

XJ is now a safer place for both Muslims and non-Muslims, which is objectively good.
One may argue that some Uyghurs want to follow Islamic fundamentalism and they should be allowed to. But, this involves implementation of fundamentalist Shariah law, whereby women are subjugated, non-Muslims and moderate Muslims are labelled infidels and discriminated against.
These are all talking points in the Western media against Taliban rule in Afghanistan, as reasons why the US should have continued the occupation there. But, just across the border in China, there’s active support for groups that want these rules in XJ. It's hilarious hypocrisy.
Islamic fundamentalism kills more moderate Muslims than it does non-Muslims. Therefore, the vast majority in XJ are willing to put up with extra surveillance and checks to ensure safety.

Finally, people claiming "cultural genocide" hasn't put forward a compelling motive for...
...eliminating culture, whilst allowing population growth.

To the extent that behavioural change is really difficult and costly to achieve, there must be a compelling reason to do this besides bigotry.

If it was only bigotry, then actual genocide is much easier to implement.
Therefore, a more logical explanation is an anti-extremism campaign, implemented to preserve the mainstream Uyghur culture and allow the vast majority to live safely, prosperously and contribute to the growth of the region.

"Cultural genocide" just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

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More from @GFPhilosophy

28 Aug
Upon the request of @missioncritica, I'll analyze the arguments presented in this ICIJ report:

This report is another example of an article giving evidence that doesn't support their narrative. The author must be hoping that people won't realise this.
The leaked documents included in the article DO reveal more information about how the re-education centres are run, fully confirming that they are indeed re-education centres used as part of an anti-terror campaign, and not as concentration camps as part of a genocide campaign.
For example, the article notes that the "telegram" gives directives such as:
- provision of basic health and physical welfare
- rules for seeing relatives
- disease prevention standards
- withstand fire and earthquakes
- food safety testing

Does this sound like a genocide camp?
Read 18 tweets
8 Aug
After examining many flawed pieces accusing China of genocide in XJ without providing much evidence, I want to examine a report that actually does present convincing evidence of genocide in Myanmar against the Rohingya people, as a comparison of quality. ohchr.org/Documents/HRBo…
There are four aspects I would like to highlight, which are in direct contrast to the "Uyghur genocide" reports (hereon referred to as UG reports) I've read.

1. Right from the start, this report states the methodology used and the standard applied to accept evidence.
Exactly 875 in-depth interviews were done in total from targeted and random selections. The report only relied on “verified and corroborated information” from a wide range of sources, including documents, photographs, videos, specialist advice and, yes, satellite images.
Read 24 tweets
16 Jul
ASPI's "Uyghurs for Sale" report is often used as the basis for forced labour and even "can now buy Uyghur slaves on Taobao" claims. Let's have a look at the contents and see whether the claims are supported by evidence.

@CarlZha @Jerry_grey2002 @Xi_Fan
First, let's note a few hilarious parts, as indicators of quality. The first and second footnotes indicate that accuracy is not a concern of this report. Would you accept any report that calls all minorities "hispanics", and uses the words "prison" and "school" interchangeably?
Page 6 claims that there is a smartphone app that tracks the movements and activities of the workers.

However, the footnote says that they can't identify the app...

So, is ASPI sure this app exists and how do they know what the app does if they can't find it?
Read 27 tweets
20 Jun
Here, I want to examine an article by Byler that is repeatedly used to push a Uyghur forced marriages narrative: supchina.com/2019/08/07/uyg…

It is at least cited by Amnesty Jun 2021, New Lines Inst Mar 2021, HRW Apr 2021 & Campaign for Uyghurs Oct 2020 (respective screenshots below)
Before we even start looking at the article, let's have a think about the narrative. It goes: "Han Supremacist China is trying to dilute the culture and bloodline of the Uyghurs, by forcing Uyghurs (mostly women) to marry Hans." Consider the logical fallacies of this narrative:
1. Why would Han Supremacists send their children to marry members of a perceived inferior race?
2. How do you force people to stay married without the support of the people involved, when there are divorce laws?
3. People don't forget their culture when they marry members...
Read 39 tweets
20 Jun
*sigh* What's with these articles about how ineffective Chinese vaccines are?? They don't even do some basic comparisons and statistical analysis...so, let me do it for them.
Indonesia indeed uses mainly Chinese made vaccines: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_…
However, roll out has been relatively slow and only 4.5% are fully vaccinated. This could explain why cases are increasing again and why there are still over 1,000 deaths per week.
Read 6 tweets
15 Jun
Recently, Amnesty International released a report on the situation in Xinjiang, recommending that China "immediately release all persons held in internment camps or other detention facilities – including prisons – in Xinjiang...". This is my review of it. xinjiang.amnesty.org
First, let's look at the title and note 2 important things:
1) It doesn't use the word "genocide"; and
2) It doesn't use the word "Uyghur".

Instead, it refers to 3 potential Crimes Against Humanity (CAH) and Muslims as a whole.
Whilst this allows them to avoid the obvious problems with the genocide claim (see thread below), it creates new problems for Amnesty to answer. For example, why is the persecution limited to Muslims in Xinjiang? Why not all of China?

Read 18 tweets

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