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The Xinjiang Procedure
November 29, 2011 10:22 PM   Subscribe

In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes. Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners.

Beyond political prisoners, there has been concern for sometime that China is practicing genocide in the region. Neither mainstream media or political leadership is willing to ruffle Beijing's feathers with human rights much these days, and China now exports its human rights policies with its economic interventions.
posted by nickrussell (28 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Xinjiang Procedure article is absolutely frightening.
posted by peacheater at 10:49 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is horrifying.
posted by JHarris at 10:51 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find it endlessly funny (read: nauseating) how China's turned from the red menace into "our good friends the Chinese who are really working very hard towards a modern society and by the way they make all our stuff, like the computer you're typing this on, so be nice to them, OK?"
posted by Zarkonnen at 11:27 PM on November 29, 2011


The government of the PRC repeatedly perpetrates heinous crimes against the Chinese people. From organ transplants to death by pollution to genocide, it justifies its actions in the name of nationalism and economic development. Its apologists overseas will always point to the fact that China is now a strong united nation that has lifted millions out of poverty.

But the leadership builds that economic development on the backs of farmers in the 3 Gorges, on the corneas of executed political prisoners, and the dead bodies of workers who threw themselves off the roofs of Steve Jobs' factories. Sorry, Steve Jobs' business partner's factories.

China faces an ever widening gap between rich and poor, and dead end jobs for millions of college graduates. This thing with the corneas is just the tip of the iceberg-- millions of Chinese people suffered during the Cultural Revolution too. But it was all supposed to count for something, everyone was supposed to get a better material life in exchange for.... for the totalitarian absolutism of the Party. But every day that the economic gap widens, and more ordinary people are caught up in the Dickensian world of factories and brutal exploitation, the Party betrays the only thing that could in any way even begin to justify what it has done in the name of nationalism and economic development.

Most Chinese who are not in the elite (hint, if you go to undergrad or grad school with a nice Chinese overseas student, their parents are probably in the elite) know that their government is corrupt and rapacious. I don't know when, and I don't know how, but one day there will be justice. I have no expectation that it will be peaceful, and after all of this, after years of torturing people simply for practicing folk meditation, infecting people with HIV for cheap blood transfusions, and murdering political dissidents, the leadership should know what to expect. And I'm sure they do, which is why so many of them are securing second passports for themselves and their families. Because they are responsible.

I hope that Chinese people can do it right this time, and not make the same mistakes they made after 1949. And even though it may make me a bad person to say this, when it happens, I hope that the aim of the Chinese people is swift and sure.
posted by wuwei at 11:31 PM on November 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


Has anyone else written about this "Xinjiang Procedure?" The author of the linked article appears to only write China-menace stories for a News Corp owned neocon rag.
posted by twisted mister at 11:44 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bunch of stuff in wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_transplantation_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

Looks like Amnesty International had concerns about it as well.
posted by wuwei at 11:47 PM on November 29, 2011


There has been speculation for some time, however this is the first investigative piece I have seen on the matter.

The US State Department looked at it last year, however the last public statement noted on the topic was:

Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu in August 2009 stated that inmates were not a proper source for human organs and that prisoners must give written consent for their organs to be removed.

However...

The government generally did not permit independent monitoring of prisons or RTL camps, and prisoners remained inaccessible to local and international human rights organizations, media groups, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In May of 2011, Amnesty International reported:

The authorities failed to independently investigate the clashes of July 2009 in Urumqi city, including possible abuse of state power. People involved in the clashes continued to be sentenced after unfair trials.

In 2010, two Canadian researchers were honoured for their campaign against organ harvesting in China:

China does not have an organized system of organ donations, matching, or distribution, and there is a cultural aversion to organ donation. The massive spike in organ transplants conducted since 1999 coincides with the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong, Kilgour said, a strong indicator of a direct correlation.

We estimate that about 41,500 organs transplanted over the period of persecution up to 2005 came from Falun Gong practitioners,” he said.


Many related with Falun Gong continue to go missing in Urumqi as well.
posted by nickrussell at 11:59 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


can we start the "NOT made in china" ad campaign? right here. right now. who's in?
posted by dongolier at 12:03 AM on November 30, 2011


(ie. can you make it through christmas 2011 without buying anything chinese?)
posted by dongolier at 12:08 AM on November 30, 2011


If you want anything with a battery or a power lead, probably not. At some point in the supply chain there's going to be a bit of Chinese input...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 12:17 AM on November 30, 2011


And that's what a dystopian Oligarchy looks like.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:27 AM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Great, now you've added a link to the Epoch Times. How are the executed Xinjiang dissidents connected to Falun Gong?

Look, the Chinese government has committed and continues to commit horrific acts against its own people, and many of those acts have been documented by unbiased investigators and reporters. Why not link to those?
posted by twisted mister at 12:27 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


China isn't committing genocide in Xinjiang; the central government is imposing the same awful authoritarian shit it does everywhere else in the country, exacerbated exponentially by addition of the particular form of the bingtuan and the fundamental injustice of effective colonialism (including its cultural and religious consequences) in a non-Han border region.
I don't trust Gutmann, he's an adjunct fellow at a neocon think-tank and has worked with Falun Gong in the past concerning similar allegations. The accusations of the systematic practise of organ harvesting on Falun Gong prisoners have been discredited, and I suspect this will turn out to be a similar situation. It's no comfort to those murdered by the state or criminal elements tolerated and protected by state agencies but it does matter whether it's a policy of central design aimed at particular groups ethnic, political or religious, or the criminal failures of a thoroughly corrupt system. Why? Because that affects how you deal with a government that isn't going anywhere in the near or medium term.
Like wuwei, I think the PRC government commits or allows an almost endless number of heinous crimes. They need to be nailed for those, they're plenty bad enough, not ax-grinding distortions and exaggerations; not least because if you make accusations that can and will be refuted, the truly appalling stuff that is actually happening will get lost in the noise.
posted by Abiezer at 12:31 AM on November 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


awful authoritarian shit combined with an ethnic bias sounds like genocide to me
posted by MisplaceDisgrace at 12:39 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, you can certainly draw your own lines where you want and I've no intention of defending the PRC state's rule over Xinjiang, but you have no hope of establishing accusations of genocide in the framework accepted by international bodies, so I'd suggest it's not the best line of attack.
posted by Abiezer at 12:45 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with MisplaceDisgrace that awful authoritarian shit combined with an ethnic bias sounds like genocide to me.
establishing accusations of genocide in the framework accepted by international bodies
a list of warning signs that could indicate that a community is at risk for genocide or similar atrocities. It includes:

• the country has a totalitarian or authoritarian government where only one group controls power;

• one or more national, ethnic, racial or religious group is the target of discrimination or is made a scapegoat for poverty or other serious social problems now facing the country;

• there is a growing acceptance of violations of the target group’s human rights or there is a history of genocide and discrimination against them. This gives the violators and abusers a sense that if the perpetrators of the earlier crimes got away with it, they will get away with their abuses this time.


Lessons from Rwanda [UN]
posted by nickrussell at 12:52 AM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the international bodies would be hesitant to say anything because of the economic consequences, rather than a situation that defies legal definition. No chance of the PRC letting international observers to check, anyway
posted by MisplaceDisgrace at 12:54 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again, nickrussel, they'll point to the large number of ethnically Uighur (or Khazak and other smaller groups) cadres administering Xinjiang, and the supposedly preferential policies to advance them and 'preserve' Uighur culture and so on, and you'll have trouble making your case. It's not that there aren't appalling consequences of what's happening, it's that this really isn't the framework you can highlight those in successfully.
posted by Abiezer at 12:56 AM on November 30, 2011


Look, I don't expect any international body condemning China is going to make jack shit worth of difference, and I also don't think any UN body would, since the Chinese government would just pay them off or pay off their bosses. Therefore, I don't particularly care if what is happening in Xinjiang meets some elaborate UN definition of genocide.

I expect Chinese people to solve this problem by themselves.
posted by wuwei at 1:14 AM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


it's that this really isn't the framework you can highlight those in successfully.

How about my personal framework that these are atrocities and if anything near what a neocon author asserts is actually happening, there must be outrage?
posted by nickrussell at 1:32 AM on November 30, 2011


There should be outrage, not just at this but at the whole swathe of injustice. What outrage there is overseas will have some impact, I would expect, but it will be dented by the form of the message and who's delivering it.
I also expect the only resolution will come through the action of Chinese people themselves; in my experience, inaccurate stories in the overseas media about what's going on here don't advance the prospects of that happening. For one thing it enables a nationalist defence or deflection.
posted by Abiezer at 1:56 AM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Abiezer's comment about the author of this article seems relevant. The man Gutmann he mentions is the author of that scary linked article "The Xinjiang Procedure." The fact that The Weekly Standard is a self-proclaimed conservative journal is collaborating evidence. It looks like this isn't the first article about Chinese organ harvesting Gutmann has written. (According to http://faluninfo.net/print/1111/)

Maybe there's more to this than there seems to be at first.
posted by JHarris at 1:57 AM on November 30, 2011


All the more reason to legalize and accelerate stem-cell research. Once organs can be grown in labs, Chinese political prisoners can heave a sigh of relief.
posted by Renoroc at 4:34 AM on November 30, 2011


In my limited experience, when ordinary Chinese people see stories like this it just reinforces their belief in the government's line that Western media and governments are out to spread ridiculous lies.

There's basically nothing non-Chinese can actively do to improve the situation in China - the only sensible way forward is to wait, and eventually change will come from within. Unfortunately in the meantime a lot of bad stuff will continue happening.
posted by dickasso at 4:55 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


can you make it through christmas 2011 without buying anything chinese?

I need some computer parts, so that's an automatic no.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:50 AM on November 30, 2011


Many related with Falun Gong continue to go missing in Urumqi as well.

I don't doubt the broad truth that the Chinese government has committed/commits abominable—maybe even genocidal—crimes against its own people, but on this, or any, topic, Andrew Breitbart is as credible as a PRC press release.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:05 AM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Most Chinese who are not in the elite (hint, if you go to undergrad or grad school with a nice Chinese overseas student, their parents are probably in the elite) know that their government is corrupt and rapacious.

Oh, I'm close friends to some that can be classified as near-elite. They have an inkling and sometimes do know, though they will never publicly admit it. Why don't they fix it? Well, imagine the feeling of inertia and powerlessness some people have over the political process in the US and then increase that to the nth power. That's kind of how it is in China for nearly all people.

Some (I'm talking all the laobaixing, meaning the people), think that corruption is only at the local level and if somehow the centralized government were aware of what's going on, then things wouldn't happen that way. That's part of the reason why petitioning is still even attempted.
posted by FJT at 6:29 AM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's part of the reason why petitioning is still even attempted.

petitioning the central authorities in the capital is an extension of a tradition from the era when China was ruled by an Emperor.... and petitioners may also be arrested and imprisoned without trial by the central authorities in the capital anyway
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petitioning_(China)
posted by Bwithh at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


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