Thirty-seven years ago, two young reporters at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, began investigating the story that would come to be known as the Watergate scandal. Their dogged reporting contributed greatly to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon two years later and won the paper a Pulitzer Prize in 1973.
So it’s astonishing to see such an internationally prestigious publication publish an editorial as full of lies and biases as the Post’s recent piece entitled, “Now the Uighurs.”
“What began as a peaceful protest by an aggrieved minority turned to rioting after police responded harshly,” the editorial began. Why didn’t the writer do a little bit of investigation like Woodward and Bernstein before writing on such a serious topic?
How did a peaceful protest result in the deaths of 192 people, and injure another 1,721, including women and children? How did a peaceful protest damage and burn 331 stores and 627 vehicles? If the editorial writer could listen to what witnesses said when interviewed by Chinese media, words such as “peaceful protest” would be thrown into the wind. Would she or he still be unable to tell the difference between riots and an “aggrieved minority” after knowing their nightmarish experiences?
When facing such a severe threat to people’s lives and security, why shouldn’t Chinese authorities use force to crack down on the riots according to the law? But the editorial continues: “As always, Chinese authorities have been unsparing in the force used to silence the protests.”
Since the incident happened on July 7, the Chinese government has sincerely and resolutely called for unity among all ethnic groups, which is treasured as a basis for the whole nation’s stability and development.
However, the editorial of the Post said, “Chinese authorities are fomenting Han nationalism with xenophobic diatribes in the state-controlled media.”
With no idea of China’s policy of regional ethnic autonomy, the editorial accuses the government of treating Xinjiang and Tibet as if they were “colonies.”
In the eyes of the Chinese government and Chinese people, Xinjiang and Tibet have always been parts of our country instead of “colonies.” People in the two regions are treated as compatriots instead of as an “inferior race” as stated in the editorial.
Can people in colonies be treated with favorable policies in family planning, education and employment? Can people in colonies enjoy such a rapid improvement in their living standards and so many opportunities to get educated? People in Xinjiang and Tibet have enjoyed all these benefits.
Also, the article goes so far as to say the reason why Uygurs “get little love in Paris and Hollywood” is that “they are known for the alleged militants held at the Guantanamo Bay prison who have been found to pose no threat.” In fact, those held in Guantanamo are members of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement. This organization has been recognized worldwide, including by the United Nations, as a terrorist organization.
At the end of the editorial, it said “The brutal suppression of the Uighurs’ legitimate demands for justice will not make them go away.” How come a just crackdown on outlaws becomes “suppression?” Killing of innocent people, both Han and Uygurs, is definitely not an outcome of their “legitimate demands for justice.”
An editorial represents a paper’s point of view. If an editorial of a newspaper is biased and questionable, it will do no good for the full understanding between people in China and the United States. As well, it will do no good to boost the newspaper’s good image among Chinese people.
We remember the Post for its historic coverage of the Watergate scandal, but we will also remember it for its biased and untrue presentation of opinions.