China, a nation credibly accused of genocide of its ethnic minorities, used its state media apparatus on Monday to announce the collapse of American “values” at the hands of a growing pro-immigrant, “pluralistic” point of view.
China has for decades treated its ethnic minorities and immigrants poorly. It is currently believed to be imprisoning as many as 2 million members of its Uyghur ethnic minority, and other Muslim members of groups like the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, in concentration camps in western Xinjiang province. Survivors say they are forced to abandon their Muslim faith, worship dictator Xi Jinping, and are subject to torture, rape, and forced sterilization, the latter a hallmark of genocide.
Outside of Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party aroused global disgust last year with its extensive discrimination against African immigrants in Guangzhou, a regional capital that typically attracts many African transplants. At the height of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Chinese landlords began evicting black tenants, restaurants hung signs stating they would not serve black customers, and hotels rejected black people looking for a place to stay, resulting in the release of harrowing video of dozens of Africans sleeping on the streets of Guangzhou with nowhere to go.
In this context, China’s People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, lamented that America had become too welcoming to other cultures and that this had destroyed its “values.”
“The U.S. society has lost its values. With differing self and national identities, it is difficult to form a ‘spiritual synergy’ that unites the whole society to cope with challenges,” the author of the piece, professor Li Haidong, wrote. “The U.S., once a ‘melting pot’ of different immigrant groups and one that recognizes the dominance of white people and Christianity, is now filled with a pluralistic culture that emphasizes immigrants’ own language, religion, and customs.”
Li wrote that the United States was catapulting into the status of a failed state because it treasured its tradition of teaching citizens to “value diversity and harmonious co-existence.” That motto, Li claimed, was creating “an increasingly sharp confrontation between values due to the split of different races.”
Li disparaged former President Donald Trump as a supporter of “white supremacy” in the same article that he argued respect for immigrants was incompatible with social cohesion.
“Trump, who advocates white supremacy and the dominance of Christianity, has constantly intensified conflicts between white people and other racial groups in areas of immigration and racial policies,” Li wrote, without offering any evidence. The author went on to argue that any attempt by President Joe Biden to impose the “pluralistic values” that Li claimed were dooming the country would “inevitably be blocked,” and that this was bad for the United States, although he blamed those values for the demise of the country in the same article.
The Chinese Communist Party presides over a Han supremacist government that has increasingly moved to eradicate ethnic and linguistic minorities, imposing the northeast Han language, Mandarin, in regions where languages like Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mongolian are the norm. The Uyghur people have endured the most intense persecution of the state, relegated by the millions to concentration camps in their native Xinjiang region. Women who have escaped the camps, many of them not Uyghur but Kazakh or other ethnic minorities with ties to other states, have testified to being sterilized against their will, having their children killed, or enduring unwanted abortions.
The Chinese government openly admits to reducing the Uyghur population by force – an act that fits the legal definition of genocide – and has boasted that the Party liberated Uyghur women from being “baby-making machines.” Among the acts mentioned in the legal definition of genocide is “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”
In response to being accused of committing genocide against the Uyghur people, the Chinese government has claimed that “the U.S. is the country that commits the genocide of American Indians, discriminates against minority races, and severely violates workers’ human rights,” without addressing China’s own behavior.
China also treats ethnic and racial minorities from outside its borders cruelly. In April 2020, at the height of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic in southern China, African immigrants in southern Guangzhou began reporting of abrupt evictions, being banned from local businesses, and severe discrimination from authorities, including being put in “quarantine” even after testing negative for Chinese coronavirus. Some African residents were evicted, then denied entry to any hotel in the city despite having money to pay for a room, leaving many to sleep on the street – creating a hazardous situation for the spread of coronavirus.
Some restaurants – most famously, the American chain McDonald’s – posted signs on their windows indicating they would not serve black customers, prompting international outrage.
“We have pictures showing how some people were locked down in their apartments without food. You can’t go out on the street if you are black,” a spokeswoman for an association of Nigerians living in China protested at the time.
Reports at the time indicated that Communist Party officials had told locals the coronavirus cases in the city had come from abroad, triggering discrimination against foreigners. But black residents of Guangzhou said they noticed only black people were being targeted for discrimination; non-black foreigners could live their lives in peace.
A group of ambassadors in China from African countries wrote a letter to the Communist Party demanding “the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans,” but Beijing did not appear to take any significant steps to reduce discrimination. The Global Times, a state propaganda outlet, blamed “cultural differences, different understanding of the pandemic, lack of knowledge about China’s policies, language barriers, and misleading hype by some Western media outlets” for the scandal, urging black people to “readjust their way of thinking.”