China Change, March 9, 2017
On March 1, Chinese state-run print and television media launched a massive campaign to discredit reports that human rights lawyer Xie Yang was severely tortured during his detention, from July 11, 2015 to the present. The propaganda apparatus paraded on camera Jiang Tianyong, another human rights lawyer kidnapped by state security in November 2016, “confessing” that he had fabricated the details of torture to capture the attention of Western media and governments, who are said to be implacably biased against China. Jiang Tianyong is believed to have been tortured to subjection. The next day, the official Weibo account of the Chinese Communist Party’s Youth League trotted out a four minute video that, in addition to repeating the same smears, made cynical deployment of several one-liners from President Donald Trump to add a veneer of legitimacy to the attack. China Change uploaded the video to YouTube for preservation, and added subtitles so viewers can examine Party propaganda in its rawest form.
Since last August, the Chinese propaganda apparatus has pumped out a series of similar video productions that have reached tens of millions of viewers on domestic social media platforms. Such videos have charged that the goal of the United States is to incite a color revolution in China to topple the Communist regime. The conspiratorial anti-U.S. narrative used to be dismissed by China watchers as hawkish cries from the Party’s radical fringe, but by now it should be clear that this discourse in fact lies at the core of Party ideology.
These videos include:
After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’, China Change, July 15, 2016
The torture of Xie Yang:
How Xie Yang’s Transcripts of Torture Came to Light: Lawyer Chen Jiangang Rebuts China’s Smear Campaign, Chen Jiangang, March 3, 2017
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (1) – Arrest, Questions About Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (2) – Sleep Deprivation
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (3) – Dangling Chair, Beating, Threatening Lives of Loved Ones, and Framing Others
World media reports about the torture of Xie Yang following the publication of the transcripts:
Punches, Kicks and the ‘Dangling Chair’: Detainee Tells of Torture in China, New York Times, January 20, 2017.
Document of Torture: One Chinese Lawyer’s Story From Jail, WSJ China Real Time, January 20, 2017.
A broken lawyer and a hawkish judge cast deep pall over China’s legal system, Washington Post, January 21, 2017.
Beijing Breaks Lawyers, Wall Street Journal editorial, January 22, 2017.
Abogados chinos se movilizan contra el Gobierno tras conocerse torturas, EFE, January 22, 2017.
‘Your only right is to obey’: lawyer describes torture in China’s secret jails, The Guardian, January 23, 2017.
China must respect lawyers’ human rights, a letter by 29 international lawyers, judges and jurists, The Guardian, January 23, 2017.
Un avocat chinois révèle des tortures subies en détention, Le Monde, January 24, 2017.
“Te haremos sufrir de la manera que nos apetezca”, El País, January 24, 2017.
In China, torture is real, and the rule of law is a sham, Washington Post editorial, January 27, 2017.