They argue that CCP “wolf warrior” diplomats are “not less violent and active in spreading fake news than Trump.”
by Daniela Bovolenta
While legal experts and politicians debate the implications of a private company such as Twitter blocking the account of the President of the United States, in the United Kingdom a growing movement asks the social media to apply the same standard to Chinese Embassies.
“Wolf warrior” Chinese diplomats in several countries liberally use Twitter to spread fake news about the CCP’s opponents, and disseminate hate speech against Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, and other dissidents.
One case that created protests in the United Kingdom and beyond by women across the political spectrum was a tweet by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, answering revelations that Uyghur women are forcibly sterilized by posting a China Daily article claiming that, “in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines.”
Conservative British MP Nusrat Ghani asked Twitter to ban the accounts of Chinese diplomats, noting that in addition to offending Uyghur women, they consistently spread fake news, and hail violence perpetrated against Uyghurs, protesters in Hong Kong, Tibetans, and those persecuted for their religious or political ideas in China. These Embassy Twitter accounts also inspire violence and endanger the security of Uyghur and other critics of the CCP living abroad.
Once Twitter has established the principle that it can censor high-level politicians, there is indeed no reason not to apply it to Embassies. MP Tom Tugendhat supported Ghani, noting that Twitter accounts by Chinese Embassies are used to claim that “ethnic cleansing is a form of gender equality.”
The Jewish community in the UK has consistently raised its voice for the Uyghur cause. Both Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Vice President Edwin Shuker, and Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director of Jewish human rights groups René Cassin, supported Ghani’s initiative. “The attempt by the Chinese Embassy in the US to present an alleged program of forced sterilization of Uyghur women as a humanitarian measure is both outrageous and disgusting,” Shuker said.
Twitter can of course ignore these appeals—but, in this case, it would be difficult for the company to avoid being accused of inconsistency and double standards.
Update: On January 21, 2021, Twitter blocked (temporarily) the account of China’s Embassy in Washington DC.