The Trump administration has once again invoked Orwell to describe the actions of the Chinese government.
“In China, the government is engaged in the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities that is straight out of George Orwell,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Monday at the Chiefs of Defense Conference Dinner in Washington DC, referring to the “re-education camps” in Xinjiang where hundreds of thousands of Uighurs and other Muslims are being detained without trial.
“It is the largest internment of civilians in the world today. It may be the largest since World War II,” she continued, adding that detainees are being “tortured, forced to renounce their religion and to pledge allegiance to the Communist Party.”Haley’s words come after a China-bashing speech by Mike Pence earlier this month in which the vice president blasted Beijing on a number of different issues and following legislation being proposed by a group of bipartisan legislators which would urge President Trump to demand that China close its internment camps in Xinjiang and to impose sanctions on senior Chinese officials and companies linked to human rights abuses there.
Meanwhile, the UN ambassador’s words came just before China tried to put its own special spin on the camps, casting them as fun and expense-free vocational training centers that are a crucial part of the restive region’s security, helping to counter the threat of extremism.
The last time that the Trump administration invoked George Orwell to describe the actions of the Chinese government was back in May when China ordered dozens of international airlines to remove any reference on their websites or in other promotional materials that suggest that Taiwan is a separate country, independent from China.
The White House called the move “Orwellian nonsense,” however, in a few months time, all the airlines, including the American ones, had complied with the order in one way or another.