By LARRY ROMANOFF – September 24, 2020
I want to set the stage for this topic by telling you a story.
When I was a university student, I worked during one summer at a huge supermarket in my city. It was a great place to work, with good management and very high standards of customer service, so much so that our location was the exemplar of perfection in our city and the envy of our competitors. As one example, no customers were permitted to carry their groceries to their car; that was part of our job. The entire staff was a group of young kids. We worked hard, we got along well together, we partied together and we were genuinely happy.
Then one day a young man in his early 30s, an organiser for one of the country’s prominent labor unions, began appearing in our supermarket and talking to the staff about forming a union. I wasn’t interested and was in any case returning to school in the fall, so the matter didn’t much concern me. But after repeated visits, some of the staff began attending meetings with this man in off-hours, and soon all of them were attending.
And we rapidly experienced an astonishing climate change, with our formerly happy workplace becoming infused with bitterness, resentment and anger, for no perceptible reason. The staff soon voted to form a union, and within a couple of weeks voted to begin a strike. I had never seen such a rapid transformation. The entire store had gone from an almost ideal labor environment to one filled with bitterness and hatred, and without discernible cause. It was so bad that one weekend some of the staff cut the power lines to the supermarket during the night so that all the frozen food and perishables would have to be discarded on Monday morning. Many of the huge two-story high front windows were smashed during the nights.
The strike was eventually settled, with the staff gaining a 5% pay increase, but the damage was permanent. The environment was so toxic that all the staff left within perhaps a month, including the entire management. No one was willing to remain in that poisonous context.
I always regretted not having attended those meetings with that union organiser because I would have wanted to understand the words and methods he used to create such a transformation. I eventually learned that it is exceedingly easy to create animosity and strife even among good friends. It seems there is no problem in finding one or two individuals who can be turned into disaffected grunts and who will in turn infect everyone around them; one needs only to know which buttons to push.
The Americans are renowned experts at this process, using it not for installing unions and causing labor strife but for instigating political instability and causing revolutions. As with their dozen or more ‘color revolutions’, this is what happened with Hong Kong in the recent past, and also in Xinjiang. In Hong Kong, the US State Department, working through the American consulate, organised and funded dozens of NGOs, imported professional trouble-makers, conducted long series of seditionist ‘seminars’, and turned a happy city into a hotbed of bitterness, resentment and anger that led to nearly a year of almost unbelievable violence. The American ‘black hand’ has been so well documented, including video of consular staff meeting with the terrorists, that no further evidence needs to be provided here. Xinjiang was the same, with the potential terrorists being trained and funded both at home and abroad.
Many readers will recall Timothy McVeigh and the US Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, where a truck loaded with explosives was detonated, destroying much of a government building and killing nearly 200 people. My assessment of that event led me to believe that McVeigh may have been a sane and rational person at the outset, but that somewhere along the way his mind became twisted and he convinced himself the system was so corrupt that gratuitous violence against innocent people was an appropriate method of expressing objection. He stated afterward that what he did was not different from what the US “rained on the heads of people around the world every day”, and that Americans “should think about that”.
But what if we had a flood of Timothy McVeighs, all psychologically corrupted in the same way and possessing the same sympathies and intentions; at the very least many thousands of them, and more likely tens of thousands? In Xinjiang, a relative handful of the members of this group committed crimes of shocking violence, but we had uncounted thousands more who realistically had the mindset and potential to continue this series of violent events.
How do we deal with this? We know all the fuses are lit. We know that emotions are severely inflamed, that the violent intentions are real, that rationality and reason are no longer serving as restrictive guiding forces. Do we simply wait for the bombs to explode and afterward hunt down the man with the matches? If we follow this path, the violence will never end. We will be forever facing violent terrorist attacks, random killings, and the potential destruction of a civilisation.
Think of Northern Ireland a few decades back, where it appeared the majority of the population existed in this mode, on one side of the fence or the other. I recall watching a TV interview where a seemingly fine and intelligent woman freely told a news reporter that she would kill her own husband if she discovered he harbored secret sympathies for the British. That was a long time ago, but Ireland still carries many open wounds as it will for perhaps another generation or two, and that barring any further provocative or inflammatory acts by either side.
This is precisely the situation in which China found itself in Xinjiang. I would note here that Xinjiang has five distinct groups of Uigur people, four of the five being quite normal with the fifth seemingly genetically predisposed to almost any kind of crime and with a serious propensity for violence. In Shanghai in years past, whenever we would see individuals specialising in picking pockets in subway stations and on trains, it was almost inevitably Uigurs of this one group. And this was the group that had been infiltrated by the CIA and its friends, and inflamed with the same or similar violent anti-system emotions as with McVeigh, the Irish, and so many others in so many places. These people were then transported to various locations in Asia and the Middle East for training as terrorists, then returned home to Xinjiang to practice their new marketable skills on an innocent population.
We can omit details here because they have been accurately recorded by many others, but the first major outbreak of violence was astonishing in its vehemence and scope. Several thousand Uigurs simply went on a rampage of mindless violence. They killed hundreds of policemen, bombed scores of buildings, torched hundreds of buses and scores of private automobiles, and freely killed anyone who stood in their way. They had clearly been well-financed from outside, and supplied with arms, bomb-making materials and instructions for use, none of which were obtainable within China.
After the violence subsided and the Chinese authorities managed to obtain some semblance of control, they conducted sweeps of interrogations and searches in which they discovered – and this I know for a fact – several tens of thousands of what we might loosely term American “Otpor manuals“, essentially of the same philosophy as those created by Gene Sharp and Robert Helvey in their Einstein Institute at Harvard University, those used in the planned destruction of Jugoslavia and many other countries. But these were profoundly more evil in content, containing detailed instructions not only in civil disobedience but in the precise methods of inflicting terrorist violence and mass murders almost at random.
The authorities also uncovered tens of thousands of DVDs, primarily containing inflammatory religious propaganda and “anti-China” provocations, as well as huge caches of weapons and explosives in various places on both sides of the Xinjiang border. This was Northern Ireland in Spades, and not at all dissimilar to what has recently occurred in Hong Kong, where radicals at one university (again clearly following instruction manuals) raided the chemistry labs for bomb-making components and where police discovered a cache of more than 4,000 petrol bombs ready for use.
Again, how do we deal with this? We know we have several tens of thousands of potential Timothy McVeighs with minds now as badly twisted as was his, and possessing the same alarming propensity for large-scale acts of violence.
The Chinese government appears to have seen the situation very clearly, possessing full documentation of the causes and sources of the unrest, and with adequate perception and appreciation of the future consequences. Their solution, done quietly, was from a decision to permanently remove this threat (now internal to China) by closing off all avenues of external instigation and to initiate a massive social organisation program to eradicate the current problems and prevent a repeat. This was not a simple matter of destroying arms, manuals and DVDs and increasing police presence and surveillance, but to entirely eradicate the disease by vaccinating the Xinjiang Uigur population against foreign terrorist propaganda (and, one hopes, against the Americans).
It was also not a matter of conducting interrogations and incarcerating many thousands of people based solely on suspicion of their intentions to violence. This was a much more restrained and discerning program that would seem to follow the Confucian mold. The effort was threefold: first, to enlighten the Uigur population through information and education as to the sources, the methods, and the purposes of the American-inspired and violence-based indoctrination they had received, and thus to eliminate its effects. Second, to undertake a massive effort to teach vocational and other skills as a means to redirect the accumulated psychic energy to purposes both personally useful and socially beneficial.
And third to provide language training in Mandarin Chinese to help remove the natural isolation of Uigurs who were not fluent in Chinese and could not in fact speak the main language of their own country. The Western media eagerly pounced on this latter item, terming it “cultural genocide” when of course it is no such thing. If an American learns to speak Spanish, in what way does that qualify as a cultural genocide? A person is simply learning a second language. The first language – English – does not disappear, nor could it. Nothing is destroyed but something additional is gained.
To facilitate these efforts, large-scale sites were built as temporary housing and educational institutions. These are not prisons or concentration camps in any sense as the Western media are so fond of describing, but simply facilities necessary to accomplish the tasks at hand. The people come and go, receiving information and instruction at various times and to various extents as necessary.
The program has been an outstanding success. There has been no further violence for years in Xinjiang. There is no overwhelming police or military force policing the province, with life as normal as possible in the circumstance. I should note here that travel by foreigners to Xinjiang is still restricted for now and must be done with government permission. The necessities are several and should be clear to any thinking person. From everything I know, the Chinese government has exhibited an almost extreme Confucian wisdom in its dealing with this massive foreign intervention, and I see little to fault.
The Chinese government has invited representatives from all around the world to come to Xinjiang to see first-hand these so-called ‘camps’, and to learn the entire extent and details of the effort to eradicate foreign-initiated terrorism from China’s soil. It is interesting that those 60 or 70 countries attending these extensive information sessions were those who either had already become intimately acquainted with the American style of democracy-by-terrorism or who were afraid they were on the list of candidates. To my best knowledge, no Western nation accepted these invitations, preferring instead to send their so-called reporters on surreptitious missions to Xinjiang, avoiding both the Chinese authorities and Chinese laws, in attempts to seek out disaffected grunts to bolster their propaganda victory of China imprisoning “millions of Uigurs” in brutal concentration camps.
I would say further that I am astonished at the ignorance and silence of the Western populations who must either know or at least strongly suspect the American black hand behind the unrest in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, all part of a long-term American (Western) plan of severe determination on the part of a relative handful of people to destroy China by any means. These so-carefully planned programs of terrorism and violence are not isolated events but part of something much larger that includes the huge outbreak of similar violence in Tibet in 2008 (America’s gift to China for the Olympics), other outbreaks of violence in the ethnic areas of China’s Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, the exploding automobile in Tiananmen Square several years ago, and much more since at least the 1980s.
It also includes Trump’s trade war, the attack on Huawei and the incarceration of Meng, the intrusions into the South China Seas, America’s so-called Pivot to Asia and its soon-to-be-aborted “Blue Dot” program. The reason, aside from the obvious damage to Chinese civilisation, is that if China must spend all its energy and time on internal terrorism, external military threats and foreign economic disruptions, it won’t have time to build more high-speed railways or enlarge its Belt and Road initiative.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’Chap. 2 — “Dealing with Demons”
He can be contacted at: email@example.com