Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We know that the current Chinese regime has been making
strenuous, even shrill efforts around the world to stop the
pro-Uighur documentary The 10 Conditions of Love from
being shown, apparently on the grounds that any officially
unsanctioned view of the political situation in Xinjiang—or
East Turkestan, as the Uighur people know it—is by
definition not fair and accurate. Watching the doco on
Maori Television last night I had the feeling it was probably
neither, but as an attempt to put the Uighur side of the
argument it was entirely valid and well worth screening. So
big ups to Maori Television for that. A great shame, then,
that the channel felt it had to follow the doco with an
official Chinese government one purporting to show the
'truth' about the riots in Xinjiang, which, like Tibet, has
been colonized and exploited by Han Chinese in recent
years. The 10 Conditions might have been biased but at
least it held together as the work of people with hearts and
minds capable of independent thinking; the government
film was so patently a piece of state propaganda that I
turned it off after a few minutes. Whether Maori Television
thought it was striking that mysterious thing called
'balance' I don’t know, but whatever the reason, it didn’t
work. The channel undercut its original brave decision with
what seems to have been a craven one, bowing to pressure
from Beijing.

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