Drone footage may finally expose 'Xingiang Aid' and U.S. ties

Thursday, July 23, 2020
 | 
Charlie Butts, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

Drone footage of Uyghur prisonersPressure is building on China over its ruthless treatment of its own people, and a watchdog group is pleased to watch the pressure mount.   

Thanks to haunting footage from a circling drone, the world saw hundreds of handcuffed and blindfolded Muslim prisoners, heads shaved and dressed in prison clothes, kneeling submissively after stepping off a train in the Xinjiang region.

China's spy ops hurt by closed consulate

Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

The U.S. State Dept. has ordered China to close a consulate in Houston, Texas, citing violations of U.S. laws on our own territory.   

"The United States will not tolerate (China's) violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated (its) unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior,” the State Department said.

Smoke was billowing from the consulate this week as Chinese diplomats burned stacks of sensitive documents and turned away local firefighters who responded.

National security analyst Kirk Lippold, a former U.S. Navy commander, says China is being held accountable for engaging in activities that “run counter” to diplomatic matters.

“And the way you do that,” he tells OneNewsNow, “is through diplomatic process, where you take down the consulate.”

Countries routinely run spy operations from their embassies and it is likely U.S. officials were monitoring the Houston consulate as part of normal operations. It is unclear from news reports what made the U.S. force China to close the consulate.  

Whatever prompted the U.S. to take action, Lippold says, closing the consulate will hurt China’s ability to harm American citizens and our armed forces. 

China’s persecution of its own people in re-education camps is well-documented but the aerial footage, which is reportedly a year old, may force U.S.-based corporations and politicians to finally take action against the ruthless communist regime.

‘Xingiang Aid’ enriching everybody

Of all places in the world to run a training camp, the NBA operated one in the Xingiang region --- until this week -- even though the area is known for its internment camps. The news website Slate reported on that relationship two years ago but it appears the drone footage from that same region forced the NBA to take action.

Minority and religious prisoners who are shipped to the camps are reportedly subjected to torture and communist indoctrination, and even organ harvesting, and it has been known for decades that political prisoners are working in U.S.-owned manufacturing plants across China. 

cash 100-dollar billCaterpillar, known for its heavy equipment, also oversees a retail clothing line in China through a program known as “Xinjiang Aid” that has been denounced by human rights groups for using slave labor, news website Axios reported last month.

Caterpillar states on its website the corporation strives to eliminate “forced labor, child labor, and discrimination in the workplace.”

That region of China is one of the world’s “worst humanitarian zones,” warned U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who has been pressuring the NBA to end its lucrative ties with China and its communist leaders.

Blackburn, Rep. Marsha (R-Tennessee)Caterpillar is not alone, of course. A 56-page report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute documents 27 factories across China that use forced labor from Uyghurs who are transferred from the Xinjiang camps. Those factories are producing materials for 83 global brands under the “Xinjiang Aid” program. Well-known companies Nike, Adidas, Fila, Apple, Gap, Toshiba, L.L. Bean, Bosch, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Volkswagen, and BMW benefit directly or indirectly from that labor, the report alleges.

“Making money and standing up for human rights,” Blackburn said in a statement, “should not be mutually exclusive.”

Much like the NBA's partnership with China, the business-friendly Republican Party is likely feeling pressure from Big Business to tread lightly on their business partnerships in China.The website for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, lists numerous press releases about trade negotiations but a search for "Uyghur" or "churches" or "religious minorities" on its China Center page produces no results. 

"Uyghur people enjoy peaceful, harmonious coexistence with other ethnic groups of people,” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, told a BCC correspondent this week. 

Asked about the drone footage, the ambassador said he does not know what is happening but it is routine for every country to transfer prisoners. 

A push for human rights

Matias Perttula of International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog, tells OneNewsNow her group has learned a complaint has been filed with the International Criminal Court on behalf of China’s persecuted population. 

China's Xi in front of CCP meet“Hopefully we'll see the investigation happen,” he says. “I hope to God we're proven wrong, of course, but there's some credible reports coming out there now that people are definitely hit hard.” 

Perttula and International Christian Concern document human rights abuses around the globe, including in China, where the Chinese Communist Party demands that religious citizens alter their beliefs to conform to the CCP.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, coined the phrase “Sinicization” in 2015 to demand the CCP attempt to assimilate the religious population to the State-worshipping doctrine of the communist party, which is why Muslims, for example, are forced to eat pork and why church congregations have been instructed to blend worship songs with songs praising the Chinese Communist Party.

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