Friday, September 20, 2019

Making Uighurs learn Mandarin is not suppression

Feb 20. 2019
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Re: “For independent evidence of China’s Muslim gulags, see here” and “Verdict already in on Tiananmen: Army guilty of mass murder”, Have Your Say, February 19.

My thanks to S Tsow for recommending Anne Applebaum’s article regarding the alleged suppression of Uighurs in China. 

Half of the article was devoted to separate struggles by minorities in search of independence from host countries, and Applebaum suggested that Uighurs in China have the right to do the same but were being ignored by the international community. I have great respect for the Uighurs in China, just as I respect all the other Chinese ethnic groups, including Tibetans. But a nation must have a single official language (except perhaps Switzerland) for communication and as a symbol of unification. The Uighurs in China have to receive Mandarin education as a national language, just like other Chinese in other provinces who speak a different dialect and have their own customs. This policy is not suppression. If this point is not clear then ask if any Thai authority will allow Thai Muslims in the southern border provinces to use Malay instead of Thai as their official language?

Now we come to the concentration camp issue, especially the big photo that was used to illustrate S Tsow’s letter. Did the photo show a corrections centre or a prison for criminals/separatists who stabbed and killed innocent people in railway stations in China? And who was the “me” who was put in a small solitary confinement cell, according to the Canadian government report cited by Applebaum? (Was he Andy in “The Shawshank Redemption”?) Perhaps there is a real concentration camp that Applebaum should look into – in Guantanamo Bay, where waterboarding is widely used in “enhanced interrogation”.

Meanwhile Dr Frank asks what I meant in mentioning the so-called “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. This was the fake excuse that President George W Bush used, together with his buddy Tony Blair, to invade Iraq in 2003 (no such weapons were ever found). In the resulting war millions of Iraqi lost their lives. 

Frank keeps condemning authoritarianism. But what’s wrong with China being ruled by one party if it can do a better job than two? Why would Frank be so furious and concerned as an outsider, when the majority Chinese don’t even bother? Look at the many Chinese tourists around you. Do they look like they care about authoritarianism back home when they are riding the banana boat in Pattaya? The unification of China and Taiwan is nothing to do with bullying, as Frank claims. It’s an internal affair between two family members. If Frank wants to know the meaning of bullying, look at the recent attempt by US to topple the government in Venezuela by naming another president – that is the ugliest bullying of all time.

Incidentally, please do not label me as an “apologist for China”, because there is nothing to apologise for. I am just trying to tell readers the facts that I know, although for some I find it more difficult than to teach an old man to use chopsticks. If any of this reasoning and comment infuriates Frank again and makes him lose his appetite for breakfast, then I will have something to apologise for.

Yingwai Suchaovanich 

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