NYT's credibility once again at stake
Updated 10:34, 20-Nov-2019

Editor's Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs." The article does not necessarily reflect the views of CGTN.

An article recently published by the New York Times claimed the newspaper was in possession of so-called "internal documents" that allegedly "expose" China's "crackdown" in Xinjiang. The article, basically a fabrication smearing China's counterterrorism and de-radicalization efforts in the region, actually not only violated the professional ethics of journalism, but also exposed the long-standing ideological bias of some Western media when reporting issues concerning China and their intention of discrediting China. The New York Times has once again put its own credibility at stake.

As a self-proclaimed elite media outlet, the over 160-year-old New York Times has frequently been involved in journalism scandals, with several reporters found to have plagiarized, fabricated and engaged in other unethical behaviors. Senior editors of the newspaper have resigned over these incidents. In his book "Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted," U.S. lawyer Bob Koh revealed with abundant evidence how the newspaper has evolved far beyond its original purpose and is driven by political interests, often publishing reports with ulterior motives. That a slew of libraries canceled their subscription to the newspaper this year provides more evidence that its credibility is in decline.

When it comes to reporting on China, more often than not, the newspaper plays a smearing game to tarnish China's image with the aim of catering to the needs of certain political forces intent on containing China's development. This is particularly so in the case of Xinjiang. Since the beginning of this year, the newspaper has groundlessly labeled the vocational education centers in the region "concentration camps" or "detention camps," using these sensational expressions to convey ideological hostility. In its latest report on Xinjiang, the newspaper claimed it had received so-called "internal documents" on the one hand, while on the other hand admitted "It is unclear how the documents totaling 403 pages were gathered and selected." This prompts the question: How trustworthy can a report be if it's based on unreliable sources of information? It is just another attempt to smear China's policies on Xinjiang.

Some Western media outlets, such as the New York Times, have deep-seated prejudice against China. They refuse to treat China's achievements, made in all fields, with fairness and objectivity. Smearing China has become politically correct. Their fundamental purpose is to justify the cause of certain political forces in order to interfere in China's internal affairs. As American political analyst and journalist André Vltchek noted, in the eyes of some Western media, China has never done anything right. And in their view, the biggest mistake China is making is to grow stronger.

Facts speak louder than words. Xinjiang's achievements in counterterrorism and de-radicalization in recent years won't be written off by Western media. Xinjiang hasn't seen a single violent, terrorist incident over the past three years. People's right to life, health and development and other basic rights have been effectively safeguarded. Over 1,000 foreign diplomats, officials from international organizations and media personnel agreed after visiting Xinjiang that the counterterrorism and de-radicalization efforts there are an important contribution to the world and provide valuable experience for all to learn from. In his article published in the U.S. magazine International Focus in its May 2019 issue, Val Thompson wrote, "Visiting Kashgar Vocational Skills Educational and Training Center, I found everything well organized with most of the young people there of the Uygur ethnicity. The young people, both men and women, were, or could have become, victims of extremist teaching, but were now learning vocational skills and being taught a better way of life… They were well fed, and they had good sleeping conditions … I interviewed several of them; they seemed very happy; and they were treated well by their supervisors. For those who want to believe these young people may have been coerced, I say you can't fake happiness; and happiness is exactly what I saw."

Not long ago, Belarus presented a statement on behalf of 54 countries at the United Nations General Assembly, commending China's efforts in counter terrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang and voicing opposition to such countries as the United States and Britain which have been attempting to interfere in China's internal affairs by politicizing human rights. This demonstrates how unpopular the hegemonic position taken by some Western countries is when it comes to the issues Xinjiang faces.

As China's counterterrorism and de-radicalization efforts continue in the region, the prosperity and the steady and sound development Xinjiang enjoys will constitute a resounding response to all fabricated and concocted fake news aimed at smearing China's image.

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