China Central Television (CCTV), the Chinese Communist Party’s main state broadcaster, disparaged Breitbart News this week as a home to “racist speech” and “anti-Muslim” rhetoric, a claim it did not corroborate with any examples.
CCTV – a mouthpiece for a regime currently holding as many as two million Muslims in concentration camps and facing outrage from Africa over the imposition of Apartheid-style anti-black laws in one of its biggest cities – made the outrageous declarations in a larger, Chinese-language profile of former Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Bannon stoked the ire of the Communist Party in a recent interview in which he noted that China may be responsible for “tens of trillions of dollars” in damages for its part in turning a local coronavirus outbreak in the center of the country into a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
China is currently facing lawsuits in two U.S. states – Missouri and Mississippi – and legal action in nations like Nigeria, Egypt, and Italy demanding redress for its role in creating the current pandemic. The lawsuits total billions of dollars and use widespread evidence of suppression of key information on the part of the Communist Party as the basis for their demands.
In the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan, Chinese police detained and threatened doctors for sharing information on fighting contagious diseases online. Chinese officials also falsely claimed the virus could not be transmitted from human to human and bullied states into not shutting down international travel with Communist Party-run territories.
CCTV cited the interview to accuse Bannon of promoting “racism of the far-right,” falsely claiming that Bannon “has been in charge of the right-wing news website Breitbart News Network for many years” when in fact he has not worked at Breitbart News for years.
Under the subheading “Right-Wingers Who Are Good at Using the Media,” the article calls Breitbart News “the largest media platform for the ‘alt-right’ in the United States,” a claim conclusively debunked by a 2017 Harvard/MIT study that concluded after comprehensive linguistic analysis that Breitbart is not the “alt-right.”
The article goes on to say Breitbart “promotes white supremacism and is keen to spread racist speech. It frequently launches anti-immigration and anti-Muslim reports.” It concludes Breitbart currently exists “to promote Bannon’s own political ideas,” again without noting he has not worked at the news organization for many years.
The Chinese government promoted this article through local channels, like the official page of the Propaganda Department of the Shenyang Municipal Party Committee of the Communist Party of China, and the official website of the Chinese Communist Youth League.
The Chinese Communist Party has attacked Breitbart News similarly in the past. In an alleged “Record of Human Rights Violations in the United States” published in March, the Chinese government listed Breitbart News’s existence as one of those human rights violations. In that report, the Party used false information from the discredited “Southern Poverty Law Center” to similarly claim that Breitbart News was publishing “material drawn from prominent white nationalists, Islamophobes, and far-right websites.”
The Party did not, on that occasion, identify any offending content at Breitbart News.
It notably also omitted, as it did this week, Breitbart News’s extensive coverage in defense of the human rights of ethnic and racial minorities in China, particularly Muslim minorities that the government has forced into concentration camps in western Xinjiang province. Breitbart has relentlessly reported on human rights atrocities against Muslims by the Chinese communists for years.
As of April, American officials believe that as many as two million Muslims – most of them ethnic Uyghurs, whom the Communist Party has resolved to eliminate – are still suffering in the camps. At their peak, officials believed the concentration camp population to be as many as three million people.
Survivors of the concentration camps say that Chinese officials beat them, tortured them, forced them to learn Mandarin (as opposed to their native Turkic languages) and worship dictator Xi Jinping; raped many of them, and killed others in their presence. Survivors have testified to having their infants killed, being forced into abortions, and forcibly sterilized to hinder the continued existence of their ethnic group.
Human rights groups have also collected evidence indicating that concentration camp victims have been used for organ harvesting, cut open alive without anesthesia so the Chinese government can steal and sell their organs. Some evidence suggests Chinese officials carved the lungs out of some Uyghur prisoners to use in transplants as an experimental measure against the Chinese coronavirus.
The population of the concentration camps has decreased because, extensive reports have shown, China is busing Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities into the factories that majority Han Chinese cannot or will not work in as a result of the pandemic.
China itself has admitted this, calling the camps “vocational training centers” and the newly minted slaves its “graduates.” Among the companies known to be using Uyghur slave labor are Nintendo, BMW, Nike, Apple, and other high-profile international brands.
The Han supremacist Chinese Communist Party is also currently under fire for allowing the southern city of Guangzhou to impose discriminatory policies against black people. Guangzhou is home to one of the nation’s largest immigrant populations from Africa, a result of China’s predatory Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In April, video reports began surfacing of Han Chinese landlords evicting African and other black tenants, despite the fact that they had the ability to pay their rents and had not violated the terms of their lease. Hotels in the city also banned black customers, resulting in large numbers of African people sleeping on the streets during a pandemic-related lockdown.
Restaurants, including American outposts like McDonald’s, posted signs stating that black people were not allowed on the premises. Africans complained that, when not evicted, they were placed on house arrest, “quarantined” even when testing negative for coronavirus and not having any recent travel history.
In response to criticism of the government’s racist policies, Chinese state-run media outlets suggested the affected Africans “readjust their way of thinking.”