Authors: Merwan Aichour-Gillot and Subboor Ahmad
During recent years, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) use of propaganda has steadily increased. Indeed, the current Uyghurs genocide, repression in Tibet, Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia is forcing the CCP to diversify its strategies to hide what has to be hidden. Propaganda persists through traditional deceptive literature and sophisticated technological tactics, sometimes they merge to defend the indefensible. One current strategy is to employ ‘shills’ – a type of grey propagandists, a term that describes non-Chinese people who on social media and traditional media outlets parrot the CCP narratives. The most prominent of social media personnel who vociferously and blindly argue for the CCP government’s side in all political and policy debates is Daniel Dumbrill.
Dumbrill is a bar owner, who previously had no social media influence or following whatsoever. This was until Dumbrill’s sudden ascension to fame; mainly for his inflammatory opinions and rhetoric that feeds pro-CCP Chinese audiences. Dumbrill, finds himself among the CCP aristocracy. He is an outspoken controversial pro-CCP speaker, his overnight fame raises important questions. Most perturbingly, Dumbrill has appeared on Chinese state-run TV as if he were representing the expert opinions of complex political issues despite having no relevant credentials.
Dumbrill’s delusional thought bubbles will be examined, as well as his unwillingness to think analytically to support the claim he is not an objective truth seeker. We will show clearly that he says what the CCP says, he does not speak about things that are relevant but are red lines for the CCP, he is not an objective analyst but a CCP shill, and that he is in the same dilemma as other CCP shills, namely either he has to attack Islam or challenge CCP policies against Islam.
A sudden appearance that raises questions
Since the advent of online social media platforms, Twitter and YouTube in particular, have increasingly become tools to be used by political parties, and organisations to advance media narratives in an attempt to try and sway public opinion. Since 2016, 1000’s of ‘fake’ accounts surfaced to adversarially engage with the general public concerning affairs relating to elections and human rights abuses, namely by the CCP. Public opinion and media warfare refers to overt and covert media manipulation to influence perceptions and attitudes. Inherent to pro-CCP propaganda is the persuasive attempt to alter attitudes and behaviors by limiting freedom and generating obedience. Clashes between conflicting accounts occur daily on social networks and online discussion forums, and the trustworthiness of many online information sources is now in question. One highly effective weapon for spreading misinformation is the use of crowd-turfing campaigns, by hiring ‘shills’, who are simply bad actors or pay groups of users who perform morally defunct actions or uphold views that are foreign to their beliefs.
Daniel Dumbrill is not the average western immigrant in Xi Jinping’s modern-day China. We need to underline the fact we’re talking about a foreigner who is a public speaker on social media platforms that are banned in China. YouTube and Twitter bans are strictly enforced, yet, Dumbrill has seemingly found an outlet to overcome the so-called ‘Great Firewall of China’. Dumbrill regularly bypasses the censorship apparatus, despite breaking Chinese law by doing so. Where is the accountability? It is not impossible for the Chinese people to use VPNs to access social media but doing so is a well-known dangerous act. The CCP has banned Chinese websites from selling VPNs as well. If a Chinese person is a social influencer and uses these platforms without explicit approval from the CCP, they are likely to be jailed for two reasons. The first is that they are breaking the law, the second is that as a social influencer they are openly encouraging other users in China to also break the law.
The CCP veils its true motivated reasons under the guise of vague terms such as disrupting the social order or disseminating state secrets. The definition of state secrets in China remains ambiguous, facilitating censorship of any information that authorities deem harmful to their political or economic interests. Dumbrill is a high-profile personality in China who is openly breaking its laws, for instance, actively uploading content to YouTube and engaging in political discourse. YouTube is a widely popular video sharing website that has been blocked since 2009, note, it is also blocked by nations such as Eritrea, North Korea and Syria, countries infamous for their high-rank in the corruption perceptions index. Theoretically, social media censorship has been strategically employed with the sole aim at keeping citizens in line. Thus, a major concern revolves around Dumbrill’s social media activity, there is no trail to follow, indicating the Chinese state media and the Chinese institutions intentionally allow his platforms to operate with impunity. Freedom of speech and social media is tightly restricted by the Chinese constitution, who gave Dumbrill a golden ticket pass? We can safely conclude Dumbrill has permission from the CCP to openly bypass the ban with immunity.
The critical question is, what kinds of online political journalism/commentary qualifies to pass the CCP internet surveillance agents? There is not much justification for a man living in China with his family, having a local business, to speak out publicly on a prohibited social media platform. No sane individual would ever jeopardize or risk the lives of their loved ones, they would always take appropriate measures to safeguard their family and friends by making the correct decisions that prevent them from harm. So why would Dumbrill break China’s law? Why would Dumbrill openly discuss and declare his fondness for the CCP using means that are illegal? Dumbrill must account for how this is possible.
It is important to note that well known Chinese influencers, using the legally allowed platforms can still get into trouble for the most minor of offenses. Qiu Ziming posted on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo saying that casualties suffered by the Chinese side during the India-China border skirmish might have been higher. This relatively miniscule comment was severely punished and led to the imprisonment of Qiu (Business standard, 2021). The CCP frequently go to extreme lengths to suppress ideas that they perceive can undermine their sweeping authority. Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer from China who defended persecuted and underprivileged minority groups in China was erroneously imprisoned for claims of ‘subversion against the state’ during the ‘709 crackdown’ operation in July 2015 (The Guardian 2019). Yet Dumbrill appears on social media as an ‘objective truth seeker’ who cares deeply about human rights. Wang was subject to serious mistreatment and torture for more than 4 years without any contact with his family or journalists, a case that still remains bereft of thorough investigation. Perhaps Dumbrill will take the lead in supporting the rights of Wang? Another high profile case revolves around Liu Xia, wife of Liu Xiaobo, a human rights defender and Nobel peace prize laureate, who was placed under house arrest. China sentenced Liu Xiaobo in December 2009 to 11 years imprisonment on charges of inciting ‘subversion of state power’ after he helped write a manifesto calling for political and economic liberalization. Can Dumbrill elaborate on how economic liberalization is considered ‘subversion of state power’?
Given this reality and past censorship surrounding outspoken ‘political commentary’ how would an online objective truth seeker be safe in China? Dumbrill’s safety is guaranteed by the fact that he follows the mainstream party line on every issue and does not say or do anything that the CCP would not approve of, especially on hot issues like Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution etc. Dumbrill’s social media content is surely monitored and approved by the Chinese government, there is no other explanation for the safe pass he has.
The Canadian suddenly appeared on YouTube uploading videos about Hong Kong on the 31st October 2019. But why? It is necessary to recontextualize the actions with respect to the presence of Chinese officials on Western social media. Hong Kong protests began in April 2019. Since then, China’s officials have been dramatically increasing their presence on Twitter despite the blue bird being blocked in China. There is no need to have a PhD in geopolitics to understand it is a part of China’s will to influence global public opinion. The largest surge was between September and December 2019 when more than 40 new Chinese diplomatic accounts were created on Twitter, roughly the same number of Twitter accounts the Chinese diplomatic corps had in total prior to April 2019. That’s according to the Hamilton Report (securingdemocracy n.d.), this coincides with the exact period when Dumbrill suddenly started to upload pro-China videos on YouTube. Dumbrill’s narrative was exactly the same as the CCP politicians on Hong Kong. Furthermore, we can also see an interesting correlation between Chinese official communication on social media and Dumbrill’s activity on YouTube in early 2020. When COVID-19 was spreading rapidly in Europe and United States, data shows that 4 out of the top 10 most engaged articles on Facebook from Chinese state media outlets featured content that was critical of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. Again Dumbrill was parroting the same narrative in this period. We find this pattern throughout his social media. When the CCP focuses on an issue he repeats it on his networks.
Who is Daniel Dumbrill?
Expert or charlatan? How can we tell if someone is an expert consultant, or merely a charlatan? Charlatans are people who make elaborate, fraudulent and often voluble claims to a skill, profession or knowledge they don’t have or don’t operate within an objective mind-frame. Typically, a charlatan, a fraudster, possesses a moral failing with potentially grave consequences for others irrespective of their actions. Among the key signs include a person who privileges something false over something real, someone who values deceit over truth, someone who misquotes, misrepresents and relies on sophistry to propagate lies. A dishonest person deceives oneself with the full knowledge of the intention. According to psychological research, knowledge of self-deceit drives yet more self-deceit. In other words, if one knows, even slightly, that one’s knowledge is incomplete or fragmentary, one doubles-down on the self-lie through denial, emotion, an act of will. Charlatans are intellectually inconsistent, frequently employ conspiracy mongering and emotionality to support their claims. Another key sign of a charlatan is the strong emotional rejection of serious criticism, denunciation of well-reasoned arguments and/or censure/manipulation of facts. For their acts of rejection to be justifiable, for their strong emotional rejection of a reasonable argument or a contradiction to take place, the rejection of reason or criticism must be grounded in a distorted moral duty. The following sections will explore Dumbrill’s attitude, behaviour and opinions that are openly deceitful, devious and intentionally inaccurate. Dumbrill does not recant his exuberantly esteemed opinions of the CCP and is much too engrossed in engaging in ‘social media meltdowns’ and creating uncompromising online content that is one-sided, cheating his audience of true objective discourse.
The CCP understands they cannot triumph over objective truth seekers on ideological grounds. Consequently, they rely upon censorship, information manipulation, indoctrination, and coercive thought-transformation domestically and via shills (such as Dumbrill) to create online content parroting CCP narratives. Their ultimate agenda is to pressure Chinese citizens into believing the actions of the CCP are superior and that all critics of the CCP are dishonest sinophobes.
According to China Global Television Network (CGTN), Daniel Dumbrill is a ‘political commentator’. It should be known, factual reporting involves detailed descriptions of government or community programs with validated sources, accurate reporting of events, initiatives, or plans without censorship, or political cheerleading so as to qualify as independent freedom of speech. CGTN does not meet this standards by any measure. They describe Dumbrill to their audience as a ‘political commentator’ without any mention of his educational background; ironically, the CCP regime in China imprisoned 38 journalists in 2017 alone for alleged crimes against the state, yet Dumbrill enjoys the privilege of reporting pro-CCP political commentary (Daniel Dumbrill, 2021). The question we need to ask is what insight can Dumbrill bring that tens of thousands of Chinese journalists can not? Why did CGTN choose him above the others? What works has Dumbrill engaged in or reported that is held in high esteem and deserving of national TV coverage in place of qualified experts? The answer once again is obvious, owing to his non-Chinese origin and parroting of pro-CCP narratives are the only unique aspects to his institutionally unaccredited ‘political commentary’.
In his videos, we learn he has been living in Shenzhen with his family since 2008 where he opened a brewery in 2014. Thanks to the “Wayback Machine”, Dumbrill’s deleted personal blog was discovered, perhaps a breach likely to embarrass him (Web archive, 2007). Within Dumbrill’s blog, we learn a bit more about Daniels history. Interestingly, Dumbrill declares he dropped out of high school, he is not an honorary graduate with any alma mater. We can confidently assert Daniel does not possess an academic background that legitimizes his “political commentator” label by CGTN. In order to engage in public affairs, one must possess a degree of credibility. Credibility relates to the amount of trust an individual may attribute to another person. What credibility does Dumbrill possess as a ‘political commentator’? None. CGTN is falsely propping him up as an independent expert when he is literally a state nurtured shill.
There have been several notorious tales of con artists in various industries building audiences with false credentials until the truth blows up – whether its political lies or posing as a journalist, or providing dangerous medical advice, every agent of online deception is eventually found. Political reporters should be inquisitive, able to demand answers, and be interested in knowing the facts. Objectivity and integrity are arguably two of the essential components of good journalism, in order to develop the skills one would need to at least attend university, or complete internships at a respected institution. The job of a political reporter is to compile newsworthy information from critical political events and briefing, assemble and verify facts through a wide-range of interviews by examining documents and public records. Dumbrill does not possess these skills, he does not challenge the CCP narrative, his objective truth seeking only allows him to question CCP opponents narratives. He can get away with it because his followers are of a particular type. Regrettably, it appears that the majority of Dumbrill’s followers consist of Han supremacists and racists, pro-CCP shills, anti-theists, Islamophobes, nihilist Maoists and aggressive fanatical CCP patriots and imperialists. Credibility and expertise go hand in hand. Dumbrill has shown no commitment to independent verification and balanced journalism. Who peer reviews Dumbrill’s political commentary? Rather, it seems Dumbrill has resorted to parroting CCP engineered narratives and chasing online metrics (such as followers, likes and shares) to validate his status among his pro-CCP supporters as an ‘alternative authority’ outside the Western system.
From the screenshot above (from his deleted blog post), Dumbrill declares himself to be an alcoholic (assuming former) with very basic educational credit. Comparing this to his high-profile presence and the time to fully immerse himself with CCP political affairs raises the question about how this came to be? The answer is simple, he is a non-Chinese person who openly participates in praising the CCP hence he receives the state’s preferential treatment unlike ordinary Chinese journalists. It is anticipated Dumbrill will deny allegations of being a CCP state endorsed outlet, however we have investigated the altmetrics and his popularity prior to his vocalized support of the CCP. What was Dumbrill known as prior to October 2019, was he a popular traveler, cook, biker, academic, before he sang praise for the CCP? The answer is none of the aforementioned. His getaway to fame was supporting the CCP narrative as a non-Chinese person, that is it. It made him mega famous, he is a one trick pony and why would he stop when he was once an obscure alcoholic and now is a mega famous CCP aristocrat. Dumbrill is heavily indulging in a form of narcissism, seeking a sense of peer belonging among pro-CCP fanatics and Islamophobes. He gloats about how popular he is, and as we will see later, his megalomania has caused him to assert the ridiculous and unverified claim that his content has been viewed ‘hundreds of millions of times’. If that was the case he would be as popular as Muhammad Ali, Malcom X or Nelson Mandela!
Non-experts can make important contributions to public debate, but problems arise when there is uncritical acceptance of views as morally superior, and/or abstention from entirely trustworthy alternatives. A clear and open method of analysis is needed and a perpetual critical assessment of the accuracy or logical coherence of our own perceptions of reality and beliefs. When faced with facts or logic that undermines personal belief despite the negativity of our socio-political decisions, some people tend to look for support, while rejecting or ignoring disconfirming evidence. The CCP has an innate conscious biological urge to distort fact and logic in the name of personal ideology, as does Dumbrill who pretends to have broad public interest and ostensibly defends the indefensible CCP policies while seeking approval from his already convinced CCP loving audience. As a non expert Dumbrill is entitled to air his political commentary on social media as we all do. What is raising red flags is when a draconian state gives a non expert such a huge platform on state TV.
There is something quite odd that the South China Morning Post picked up on that is worth mentioning as well.
“In a rare move, China’s foreign ministry last week used a speech by a Shenzhen-based Canadian vlogger to hit home its point that Western countries are targeting Xinjiang to contain China, rather than because of alleged human rights abuses being committed against the region’s Uygur ethnic minority.” (Scmp 2021)
How can Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of China, and the director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department of China use a Canadian citizen to speak of current affairs in mainland China during a press conference? Can you imagine if the BBC tried to legitimise the Uyghur Genocide using a ‘Mr Wang’ (fictitious character) from London’s bustling Chinatown. After that random appearance, ‘Mr Wang’s’ video is played by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during a press conference. ‘Mr Wang’ is falsely presented as a recognized authority. With the new precedent of public recognition, ‘Mr Wang’ is unlikely to diverge from the fame and zealotry when prior to it he was an obscure and unknown entity.
Dumbrill’s chinese fame will vanish if he addresses controversial CCP political affairs objectively. There is fragility of state engineered rather than organic social media fame, eventually as the sun will set, controversial pro-CCP public applause will fade. It is not easy for a person with a solid social conscience to sustain a lifestyle that involves covertly influencing or controlling others through lies. Manipulating the mechanisms of one’s personality in this manner is very psychologically demanding. Dumbrill’s insistence on biased pro-CCP social media narratives highlights his neglect of personal responsibilities as a so called ‘political commentator’ to objectively report current affairs. He does not realize how delusional he looks to an actual objective observer, to take the side of the CCP on every issue and to not criticize them or even highlight the many internal divisions they have just makes him look grotesquely farcical.
In other good news, his bar business must benefit from his online fame as products of online personalities usually do. And if that is not enough then Dumbrill’s bar business has been promoted on the state-run news outlet ChinaDaily [ChinaDaily 2017]. Yes you heard that right, a communist party news outlet with a following of tens of millions promoted the business of someone who happens to defend communist policies against minorities. ChinaDaily is the same newspaper that brazenly celebrated the reduced births among the Uyghur population. It published an article that claimed that government policies in Xinjiang had “emancipated” the minds of Uyghur women so that they are “no longer baby-making machines” (Qz, 2021). China’s official U.S. embassy account tweeted this article and thank God they were subsequently suspended for contravening Twitter’s stated policy against “dehumanization of a group of people”.
Dumbrill managed to go from alcoholism to Chinese aristocracy, from finding himself at the bottom of a beer bottle to providing sudden psychodynamic and sociopolitical evaluations of Chinese domestic acculturation of minority ethnic groups in the Asian cultural sphere? Is he a CCP agent? Can anyone who is not a CCP agent get so much preferential treatment, protection and impunity, unless they are working for the interest of the party? Major news outlets and independent vloggers have been denied access for years, faced with travel restrictions and unable to cover the news in Xinjiang. Dumbrill on the other hand, has found himself free to roam Xinjiang and spoke about how good everything was and how the oppression does not exist. Satellite images show that Beijing has secretly built 260 high-security concentration camps to hold Muslims. Economic, cultural and religious discrimination against Uyghurs had been brewing for decades, why didn’t Dumbrill address these concerns fairly and objectively? How is it possible that not one Uyghur he met in Xinjiang was upset at the CCP, any country has citizens that are disaffected but amazingly the CCP has claimed the Uyghurs are the happiest Muslims on earth and Dumbrill is trying to keep that image.
Dumbrill’s trip to Xinjiang is a feeble attempt to reassure the Chinese citizens and the international community that everything is just fine there. It is evident from watching the videos on Dumbrill’s channel that his reporting of Xinjiang is entirely different to other independent vloggers who tried to cover the area. The latter faced constant harassment, restrictions, fines and warnings. The absence of any genuine sympathy and grief for the purported victims from Dumbrill is disturbing. Why didn’t Dumbrill address such cases in a safe space away from the repercussions of mainland CCP police agents? The sake of appearing as a journalist and presenting a false image is an unacceptable act. This is no minor transgression, for as the opportunity rose, Dumbrill traded instinct, altruism and compassion in place for social and economic benefits at the cost of Uyghur freedom from oppression.
No-one has ever been granted access that Dumbrill had been given interviewing Uyghur people, a right not even seasoned journalists are bequeathed with. This raises another question, why is a YouTuber with no credentials reporting the state affairs of Uyghurs? Is it mere coincidence Dumbrill’s investigation parrots the state propaganda? If he does go to Xinjiang again here is a list of questions he can ask locals, ‘If your religion teaches Alcohol is banned how do you feel about state run beer competitions here?’, ‘Millions of Muslims have been in the camps, were there places to pray there, how did they feel about being away from their loved ones?’ ‘While parents are in camps, kids are in large nurseries, was that difficult for the kids?’ ‘How do you feel about the Nuclear tests that took place in Xinjiang?’, ‘Islam forids marraige to Atheists, how do you feel about the state policy of promoting Muslims to marry Atheists?’, ‘Charlie Hebdo offended Muslims, do you feel offended that Chinese state TV made an image of your prophet and claimed false things about Muslims?’, ‘According to Islam, will Communists go to paradise?’ There are many more questions that could have been asked if he wanted to show he is an objective truth seeker. Obviously that is not what he is, so we will just be wasting our time trying to ask him about this.
Thus far, we have seen Dumbrill repeats the party narrative exactly on a range of issues from Corona to Xinjiang, and he speaks up around the same time the CCP is focusing on a particular issue. This in of itself is telling, why is his timing so synchronized with the CCP propaganda narratives? His YouTube videos cover the same topics that the CCP is churning out during any given period. That is not easy to dismiss as a coincidence and it would be disingenuous for anyone to claim so. Dumbrill is synchronising his message with CCP officials, the timing and messages match well, there is too many of these tweets/videos to include all of them, below is a sample of a few:
Native American treatment as a distraction to Xinjiang
Dumbrill and China’s MFA/Lijian Zhao sharing the same article on Xinjiang :
Hong Kong :
Dumbrill and CCP officials argue that British colonial rules oppressed Hong Kong residents
Early in 2020, we see that tweets and videos from Dumbrill are parroting everything about Covid19 virus that State media and CCP officials are churning out from the origin of the virus to the excellent management of the virus by China.
It is clear from what Dumbrill has said, how he said it, when he said it that he is a state backed CCP shill. He is proud of his state backing and openly gloats about it, this is what he said about one of his videos about Xinjiang that the CCP picked up: “That video has been shared by pretty much every single media outlet in China, probably been seen hundreds of millions of times” (Dumbrill, 2021, 00:36-00:41). The aforementioned decisively shows he is not an objective truth seeker but a tool for the state to whitewash its crimes, CCP has blood on their hands, and their shills are complicit in their crimes.
So far we have covered what he says, however It is important to see what he does not say. There are very important, relevant topics for anyone interested in Chinese politics that he simply stays clear from, this is telling of his allegiances and red lines that he will dare not cross. Below are some of the many things Dumbrill cannot cross the party on.
YouTube and Twitter are banned in China. Free flow of information and opposing ideas are the hallmark of nations like Canada where Dumbrill was raised, ideals he currently professes to uphold. Dumbrill frequently utilizes social media platforms and browses the internet to find opportunities to disseminate false information and misconceptions. Why doesn’t he campaign to ask the CCP to allow users to openly use these heretical platforms? Dumbrill tries to position himself as a critical thinker who is trying to balance the narratives of Western and Eastern outlets and question propaganda. Dumbrill states that he is an objective truth seeker, he clearly has access to the free internet to carry out his activities, why has CCP’s controversial internet censorship policy never been discussed? Does Dumbrill not want the nearly 1.4 billion Chinese to have the freedom he has? Why hasn’t Dumbrill set up a petition to ask the CCP to change the way the internet is censored in China? Why has Dumbrill not campaigned for an open internet with full access to the open world wide web? If Dumbrill doesn’t think the Chinese population should be allowed this freedom, why is he allowed special status to be on these platforms himself?
Dumbrill is aware of the current ban on social media platforms such as YouTube and Twitter in China, how does he reconcile his law-breaking behaviour and preferential treatment while more than a billion people live with limited resources, under draconian rules and fear of political retribution, without access to a free internet to discuss their problems? CCP endorse and apply censoring methods over all aspects concerning China and lands marked for sinicization. Doesn’t Dumbrill have any commentary on the effect of censorship in China with regards to the progress of Chinese people? Does he think they are too inferior to have free access as he does?
Xi Jinping vs Deng Xiaoping
China’s post-1978 success was built on Deng Xiaoping ‘burying Mao’, ushering in China’s ‘second revolution’. Today, Deng may be at the receiving end, being buried by Xi Jinping’s ‘third revolution’. It is widely believed CCP chairman Xi Jinping is undermining and challenging the legacy of Deng Xiaoping. Deng is a very popular and revered figure in China, he is credited with China’s rapid economic growth. Xi and Deng’s families have an ongoing feud about the role of personalities in the economic reforms that set China on the course to becoming a regional power. Xi over the years has downplayed Deng’s role and advocated for his father Xi Zhongxun’s role instead. This internal rift is well known within China among CCP academics and is a red line that is not publicly spoken about. Xi has directly undermined Deng on many issues, which is deteriorating the ties of kinship within the CCP party, though still Deng has many admirers despite having passed away. Most notably Xi’s explicit rejection of Deng’s term limits on the office of presidency is a live wire that no one dares to expose. This has allowed Xi to effectively rule for life, after nearly 9 years of rule, other CCP members have expressed disappointment and are disgruntled by the dismantling power-sharing norms they were accustomed to since the 1980’s. Why doesn’t Dumbrill discuss pertinent issues at China’s core, the power transfer, political succession and the imprisonment of political opponents? Deng Xiaoping put the limits in place to ensure that China was never again subjected to a dictatorship. He wanted to prevent one-man rule or a cult of personality by preventing leaders from staying on in power. Term limits for officials are constitutionally mandated. Scholar Bruce Dickson described leadership succession as “the central drama of Chinese politics almost since the beginning of the People’s Republic in 1949.” (Nationalinterest 1997). Will Dumbrill concede that Xi’s rule is a turbulent one, that can end with a coup, internal power displacement or with warring factions rising upon the cessation of Xi’s leadership?
Last year alone, Xi closed a US consulate in the country, fought several times with Indian border guards, dissolved industrial relations with the UK, relentlessly exchanged in taunts with Australia, repealed a draconian law he imposed on Hong Kong, Lost Huawei access to the UK market as well as the poorly handed and censored the Covid-19 outbreak. Yet Dumbrill does not find the time to question the policy decision making and international concerns for any of the aforementioned items? A Pew Research report from late 2020 found that of 14 countries surveyed across Europe, North America and East Asia, everyone had a majority negative view of China. Will Dumbrill take the time to objectively scrutinize the reasons for and against? Would he concede that in China some CCP members long for the days of Deng’s leadership and are worried about Xi’s wolf warrior diplomacy. Would Dumbrill ever talk about any of this?
In fact, we ask Dumbrill to openly investigate what was happening in his city of residence, Shenzhen. An exhibition was opened there, openly the hidden tensions between Deng and Xi’s families. Not too far from where he lives, he can maybe give us a balanced view of these tensions. Maybe he can mention this next time he is on state TV, perhaps unlike Xi and his faction of the CCP, he can approach the question in a balanced manner (Ft, 2018).
Corruption and its misuse
Corruption within the CCP and the way that Xi has used this to consolidate his power is something that has startled the entire global audience. Why has Dumbrill remained silent on so many controversial, illegal, distasteful and combative policies Xi has imposed to solely rule China? It is an open secret that at every level of the CCP structure there is mass, rampant, unfettered corruption. According to official figures well over a million officials from civil servants to high-ranking military personnel have been disciplined for corruption. Xi has termed this problem ‘flies and tigers’ and proudly boasts about his achievements in stamping out corruption.
Dumbrill must realise that a system with a continuous culture of corruption cannot be fixed with state tools that are corrupt in of themselves. It is a catch 22 problem, Xi himself admits that corruption is the biggest threat to the CCP (Scmp 2021). Despite Xi’s threat of severe punishment, corruption within Xi’s CCP has not been eradicated. Will Dumbrill spare any thought to the current level of corruption in China occurring in the political elite? The combination of unchecked power and lack of transparency along with the vast wealth accumulated during the decades of China’s rapid economic growth has resulted in widespread corruption at all levels of the government with an unprecedented scale and scope in China’s history. This alone could derail China more than any new Cold War could.
Xi’s family and close allies have not been investigated for corruption, though conveniently his political rivals have been investigated and found guilty. Is Xi utilising corruption as a cover (Fpri 2018) for furthering his agenda? This is something Dumbrill should talk about since it is paramount to the sustainability and legitimacy of the CCP, thus the future of Communist China.
One cannot understand China unless you understand Mao. Mao is a central figure who shaped modern day China and the consciousness of the CCP. Will Dumbrill explore the dark past of Mao’s ascension to power? The Chinese Communist Party certainly doesn’t think he is irrelevant. Perhaps, Dumbrill could care to explain why the CCP highly regards Mao despite his crimes? Maybe Dumbrill can explain why Mao is undeserving of any of his attention? The CCP academics salute and acknowledge Mao as their Chief of State who laid down the foundation of modern China, so it is strange that their chief shill does not want to talk about him.
When Mao is mentioned by CCP critics, Dumbrill had this to say in return:
“So many of these anti-China guys they are still talking about Mao Zedong. Mao is dead. No matter what you wanna say about him or no matter what you wanna hold him accountable for. Why are you talking about Mao when you could be talking about George Bush who is a war criminal, you could talk about Obama who is a war criminal who created that mess in Libya, you still wanna talk about shit that happened half a century ago, whoah (visibly upset and emotional) … I gotta calm down here (Daniel Dumbrill, 2021, 42:00)”.
Can you name the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century? No, it wasn’t Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong. Perhaps, Dumbrill will try arguing Mao is not relevant, but why is that so? Maybe Dumbrill can explain why nearly all totalitarian dictators with brutal histories from the 20th century were repudiated after their deaths, except Mao? The list includes Hitler of Germany, Stalin and Mussolini of Italy, Franco of Spain, Marcos of the Phillipines, Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Pot of Cambodia and Milosevic of Serbia, bar Kim Il-Sung of North Korea, all of which were heavily criticized, rebuked, and did not have ever-lasting physical influence in modern society, whereas Mao remains a hugely integral figure in day-to-day Chinese life.
Mao is everywhere, he is physically present, portraits, statues and banners of his teachings are found at every level of education. Contemporary revised philosophies espoused by Xi known as ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ remains heavily influenced by Mao teachings (also known as Maoism and related texts to the cultural revolution in the 60’s and 70’s). Does Dumbrill think Mao’s philosophy, teachings, rise to power and influence is irrelevant to discuss? The possible reasons why Dumbrill does not want to speak about Mao are twofold. Under Mao’s direct leadership tens of millions of ordinary Chinese people were killed, this is only whispered by the brave few in dark alleyways in China. Dumbrill knows that he cannot challenge Mao despite his horrific human rights record as he will be reprimanded and severely punished by the CCP. Secondly, the CCP has white-washed Mao’s history so that the ordinary modern Chinese people do not know the full extent of their benevolent leader’s tyrannical history. Perhaps Dumbrill will care to explain why China does not allow its citizens to engage in critical discussions relating to their country’s leader Mao with an international audience? Dumbrill will not be able to condemn Mao, nor will he be able to deny his human right abuses, he will not be able to cover up the CCP narrative on Mao. Dumbrill avoids Mao as because it puts him in a dilemma and it will undermine the CCP’s east-west dichotomy narrative. Interestingly take a closer look at Dumbrill’s wording on Mao ‘No matter what you wanna say about him or no matter what you wanna hold him accountable for.’ Even here he is not saying he did anything wrong, only that others may want to take him to account, does he not want to take him to account?. We would advise readers to watch this clip as Dumbrill gets quite emotional and has to stop when talking about this topic he says ‘I gotta calm down here’. Rather than being upset at those who speak about Mao, he should be upset about Mao killing tens of millions of Chinese people. For those who watch Dumbrill regularly he is not a natural public speaker and his videos are dry, scripted and monotone yet here he really visibly looks upset about Mao being criticised. This is something that needs to be explored further, we need to investigate what the CCP wants him to say and what to avoid. In the same clip Dumbrill tries to get his viewers to question Bush and Obama rather than Mao, but the latter killing tens of millions can not be ignored even if the whataboutism fallacy is employed, the crimes of Mao are too immense to ignore.
The CCP argues that Western intervention is the cause of China’s humiliation and setbacks for the last 300 years, particularly the failings during the 19th century. The loss of territory to Japan, Russia and Britain followed a loss of faith in the Qing dynasty, leading to its collapse and formation of the ‘Republic of China’; the loss of territories over the past 300 years would provide the basis for China’s territorial disputes which persist to this day. However, the reality of many regions including Xinjiang province has a much more complicated history with everchanging rulership in every century with no superpower having the right to claim the lands. The CCP intends on regaining lands lost to imperial powers and to expand their influence over the Eastern and Southern regions. An objective reader clearly sees militarily superior nations such as Russia, Japan and Britain, have a rich legacy of colonial activity, however, to solely blame them for the tragedies of the 20th century is baffling. No Western intervention in China caused devastation to the level Mao brought up on his own people. Will Dumbrill objectively explore Mao’s policies on the greatest man-made famine tragedy that resulted in millions dying?
Interestingly, in Mao’s paranoia, he purged and severely punished members of the CCP that he felt did not support the ‘Great Leap Forward’ initiative. Xi’s also purges and punishes those CCP members he deems guilty of disobedience or cannot trust. Has Dumbrill spoken about Xi and Mao’s similar tactics?
Wrongful, flawed and false convictions have become an important sociopolitical issue in China, miscarriages of justice whereby the innocent are subject to convictions is a deeply worrying issue. This led to the Supreme People’s Court Chief Justice Zhou Qiang to voice his huge concerns with injustice in China’s court system (Reuters 2017). In late 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a “war on corruption”, however, the ‘shuanggui’ system functions beyond the reach of China’s criminal justice system, gives the CCP the authority to summon any citizen or member to account for allegedly poor practice, ill-gotten gains or suspicious activity . The ‘shuanggui’ disciplinary system is famed for enforced disappearance then repeated hours/weeks of interrogation, torture and sleep deprivation. Does Dumbrill deny the existence of the ‘shuanggui system’? Why did Mao’s and Xi’s current CCP suspect individuals guilty until proven innocent, rather than innocent till proven guilty?
If Dumbrill is not a CCP agent, but is an objective observer, perhaps he can engage Chinese academics who have different views on Mao’s Legacy or begin his very own investigation. If Dumbrill is keen to demonstrate his objectivity, can he utter a small comment on Mao’s or Xi’s controversial actions? Since Dumbrill does not condemn Mao’s industrial scale killing of tens of millions of innocent Chinese people, why would anyone be suprised that he denies the genocide of non-Chinese Turkic Muslims?
Mishandling of Coronavirus
Another topic that Dumbrill will not speak about is China’s mishandling of the coronavirus. There are obvious contradictions in the CCP’s own narrative when it comes to the origin and the initial cases of the virus. They punished doctors who spoke up about human-to-human transmission. They’ve repeatedly refused independent investigation with other countries. Why didn’t Dumbrill condemn the CCP authorities for suppressing information from brave health experts and deliberately politically weaponizing the virus. You would think that the coronavirus and the CCP mishandling would be something that his YouTuber base with 150000 subscribers would be interested in.
For days and weeks on end, Mr. Xi’s CCP concealed, destroyed, falsified and fabricated information about the rampant spread of COVID-19 through its massive state-sanctioned surveillance and suppression of data; misrepresentation of information; silencing and criminalizing of dissent; and the disappearance of whistleblowers, all of which reflect the breadth of criminality and corruption in the party. Will Dumbrill deny the widespread reprimanding, interviewing, disciplining of medical doctors who disappeared for weeks on end such as Li Wenliang, Ai Fen or Zhang Yongzhen, heroes who were stifled by their own government?
On Twitter, Chinese diplomatic embassy accounts promoted conspiracy theories from fringe websites as reported by a variety of international independent news outlets. During the exact same period Daniel Dumbrill released several videos where he interviewed a Wuhan doctor and visited several mask factories that showed how China handled COVID-19 as a cover-up effort of stifling open discussion of the government response to the crisis. It is important to note, content relating to the quarantined city of Wuhan was a privilege not bestowed on the average citizen that could record an average Chinese person; such content must be approved by CCP. Whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang who courageously spread word of a deadly SARs virus in 2019, was summoned to the Public Security Bureau and accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order” (BBC 2020). In light of China’s digital censorship, close inspection of Dumbrills content strongly correlates with China’s communication policy as he possesses a pass for advertising and reporting explicitly pro-CCP interests with his nonargumentative praise of controversial incidents.
Why doesn’t Dumbrill investigate the CCP’s pandemic response that led to the deaths of Chinese citizens? Why does Dumbrill refuse to acknowledge the determined causes of death around the world was initially due the failure of containing the Covid-19 outbreak by China? Will Dumbrill conduct his own mortality surveillance study in Wuhan and provide his subscribers an objective report and timeline of government responses independently of the CCP official story?
Han Chinese Racism
Dumbrill often attacks American, Australian and European critics of the CCP as ‘racists. Let us begin with what racism is understood to be, racism includes all the barriers that prevent people from enjoying dignity and equality because of their race, any act of prejudice, discrimination or hatred directed at someone due to their skin tone or national origin. Dumbrill frequently declares any critical commentary concerning the CCP as ‘racist’.
Dumbrill’s dislike of ethnic marginalization and prejudiced racial hierarchies is applauded, however, why hasn’t Dumbrill extended this humanitarian right to the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Khazakhs or other minority groups who are being harassed, humiliated and degraded due to their cultures living in or near China? On Dumbrill’s YouTube channel, he is often immediately inflamed at any form of criticism of the CCP and tries his best to link that to a form of sinophobia. This behaviour fits hand in glove with the overarching CCP propaganda that seeks to label any criticism as racism. The CCP notion that the CCP and its ordinary Chinese people are synonymous is false. The CCP has led its nation to believe any criticism of their policies is an attack on all of China.
There have been numerous incidents of racism against black people reported in China. Traditionally, the CCP has portrayed racism as a Western problem. Previously, the CCP has pointed out the history of oppression by white imperialists particularly in the African continent. CCP can not hide the racism that Africans face in China and it has in fact contributed to it. The infamous Nanjing Anti-African protest demonstrations against African students studying in Nanjing reached headline news. Black African students were falsely accused of selling drugs, rape, public indecency and killing local Chinese men that resulted in the widespread destruction of student homes, personal properties, setting fires to homes and the hospitalization of students. Perhaps Dumbrill will plead that this is history, then perhaps he will address the CCP politician Pan Qinglin who is quoted in 2017 as saying things like we need to “solve the problem of the black population in Guangdong” and “Africans bring many security risks” (Qz 2017). Qinglin is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body. Is this acceptable behaviour and language? Pan continues his racist tirade, urging the government to “strictly control the African people living in Guangdong and other places.” Pan’s racist comments have received many likes and reshares on social media among pro-CCP Han supremacist supporters. Will Dumbrill, the ‘political commentator’, care to take a moment to condemn such attitudes from the CCP?
Racism towards black people living in mainland and greater China accelerated during the coronavirus, additionally black people living in Africa openly state the racism they feel in their own land from the CCP in their country. African news outlets and social media users have always reported strong words for such discrimination. Rockson Adofo a columnist for the news outlet Modern Ghana writes:
“They have no respect for black people and are far more racist towards the black people than the American Ku Klux Klan and white American police that sit on the neck of black Americans to kill them. I shall advise Ghanaians to stop their overt reliance on the Chinese. They are worse than the Europeans and the Americans if it comes to exploiting Africa to a hilt. Is it not the Chinese government who are in Ghana spoiling our water bodies, fertile and arable lands and virgin forests? Can a Ghanaian go to China to do the devastating activities as they are doing in Ghana, with impunity? No! Stop accepting free electronic devices, furniture and buildings built by Chinese state officials with their labour on our soil. They will bug them and conduct mass surveillance. They will eavesdrop on our leaders to whom they offer such gifts. I could see this coming way back in year 2007 and it is now happening. The Chinese CCP and their African leaders some of whom are stooges, can deny as much as they can, yet the reality is, the Chinese CCP are bugging some edifices in Africa.(Modernghana, 2021)”
Adofo’s observations of racism are real and are shared by Africans across the continent. Why is Dumbrill selective in his outrage, he rages against the slightest comment by westerners on China, yet completely ignores the open, vile racism that Africans face from the CCP. Why doesn’t Dumbrill address the sub-culture of racism lurking among the Chinese? Dumbrill relentlessly talks about anti-Asian racism by ‘white’ people, let him be consistent and add anti-black racism by some Han Chinese people.
The Han Chinese superiority complex and sinocentrism has been prevalent since the last century. Mao was open and wanted to deal with the Han superiority complex, he said “In some places, the relations between nationalities are far from normal. For Communists, this is an intolerable situation. One must investigate the roots and criticize the Han chauvinist ideas which exist to a serious degree among many Party members and cadres …[Marxists, n.d.]” Han Chauvinism is mentioned even in the constitution of China, it states that a “unitary [multiethnic] state created jointly by the people of all its ethnicities” and “it is necessary to combat big [ethnic group] chauvinism, mainly Han chauvinism, and combat local (ethnic) nationalist chauvinism (Yash 2000)”. However, Deng’s and Xi’s CCP reimagined the country as an absolutist unitary state, one country, one culture, one thought, one voice, one system that is now infested with Han supremacy.
Even today there is no doubt among the CCP that Han supremacy exists. Racism towards groups like Uyghurs, Mongols and Tibetans is strong. Since Han ethnic superiority is a persistent problem, one would expect someone as obsessed with race as Dumbrill to openly condemn it. It is obvious that his core audience is pro-CCP Han Chinese, will addressing the concerns of racism render him to lose popularity? Nationalists have portrayed the Han Chinese as a people with shared physical attributes and a line of blood which could be traced back to the most ancient period. Unlike Chinese nationalism, the Han Chinese nationalism has a historic root of being strongly stressed on the ethnic Han Chinese people, the dominant ethnic group in China that originates from Huaxia. Han Chinese nationalism had been often used as a rallying force stemming the historical pride of Han Chinese people and the way it developed to become one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Since the Han dynasty, ideas of Han Chinese superiority had been frequently used in its attempt to expand the territory. This is best exemplified by the invasions of Korea, Vietnam, conquest of Central Asia, Tibet, Xinjiang and Mongolia. There is a growing Han superiority group challenging Chinese multiculturalism, will Dumbrill address any of these issues?
These are just some of the topics that are red lines for Dumbrill that he willingly does not cross. If he was an objective observer and truth seeker he would speak about these issues since they are directly related to his current content. The fact he is dead silent on these is deafening evidence that will do as the CCP commands and his race baiting and selective outrage is carefully chosen for him.
Dumbrill’s defense mechanism
Dumbrill describes himself as a truth seeker, that he is trying to deconstruct biased narratives. Having a closer look at Dumbrill’s argumentation strategies, he habitually expresses propositions that are not intended to be informative or to further the ends of conversations. There is an absence of sincerity and lack of honesty, as Dumbrill’s main aim appears to be a relentless defense and affirmation of the CCP’s propaganda methods. When has Dumbrill ever demonstrated an ability to hold multi-perspectives and cross-reference his findings? Dumbrill is often seen attempting to outline facts, though his research strategy, resources and validation process is unclear, what is clear is that his conclusions are identical to the CCP. The authors argue that Dumbrill resorts to creating a bewildering maze of claim and counterclaim, where he uses misinformation that spreads with speed among his pro-CCP subscribers; Dumbrill churns out false information to gain the favour and social media attention of the english speaking CCP audiences. Surely, any objective person can see this is a form of lying. A liar must have some regard for the truth in order to artfully subvert it, a manipulative person meticulously seeks to prevent people apprehending the truth. Does Dumbrill have no concern or constraint on deception?
When Dumbrill is challenged, he remarkably exhibits a defense mechanism akin to the CCP. These defensive tools include accusations of racism, ad hominin attacks, accusations of terrorism, and ‘whataboutism’. Dumbrill does not retain a reasonably consistent line, rather he seeks to misquote and misrepresent independent positions. The CCP commonly lies to discredit its opponents, Dumbrill also employs similar tactics to serve as a distraction from the fundamental truths. We can see on many instances online how Dumbrill mimics the CCP in attacking opponents. One clear example is given below.
Dumbrill has an unhealthy obsession with a popular YouTuber known as Serpentza. Serpentza covers a range of topics on his channel which has over 140 million views. He gives a balanced view on China, having lived there for some years he has some valid critiques for the CCP as well as applause for aspects of Chinese culture. He is the most popular online face on China related issues, undoubtedly, the CCP has Serpentza in their crosshairs. Dumbrill’s fascination with Serpentza in an attempt to discredit and defame him is perplexing. Dumbrill has been continuously attacking Serpentza on anything he can. It is an obsession that goes from unhealthy to psychotic. Why does Dumbrill relentlessly hurl abuse at Serpentza, perhaps the CCP have requested Serpentza remain a ‘target’, what other explanation is there for his long-term predilection? Dumbrill’s disturbing obsession about Serpentza could be put in an entirely different article, although psychologists would be better equipped to write up an analysis on this.
Dumbrill sometimes begins engaging Serpentza politely and culminates with a total meltdown pouting personal insults and attempts to slander Serpentza’s character. This flux in behaviour is not normal, it appears his attempts of reigning in CCP criticism has allowed his frustration get the best of him. Dumbrill is affixed on getting a live discussion with Serpentza so that he can benefit from his massive platform and also get cut and paste videos to further slander him. Not only is Dumbrill unaware of how bad this obsession with Serpentza is making him look, Dumbrill tried to enlist the authors by goading us in for a debate, this is after he called co-author, Subboor, a terrorist. Global terrorism has been described as one of the most important and pressing issues of our time. For Dumbrill to callously label a public speaker as a ‘terrorist’ by perpetuating prejudices against Muslims is insincere and a ploy to avoid critical discussion (discussed later). In this context, what particular actions qualify as ‘terrorist acts? Superfluous comments and smearing of Muslims by name-calling ‘terrorists’ reveals an inherent anti-Islamic sentiment, as echoed by the CCP. A short evident fact checking journey would reveal to Dumbrill that the authors denounce any form of hostility to innocent people, reject all forms of terrorism and strongly abhor any individuals or organisations who call to any act of terrorism. The authors do not legitimize nor glorify extremist ideologies and are free of the slurs Dumbrill carelessly hurls.
Dumbrill’s YouTube channel is littered with communicative dishonesty, accusing someone of terrorism will not suffice to aid Dumbrill in creating more false content. Dumbrill’s favorite accusation is that Serpentza is a white supremist who hates Chinese people. This is odd, considering Serpentza has not committed any acts meriting that label. Dumbrill has continuously repeated this baseless accusation, one must think for what purpose? The illusory truth effect stipulates the human psyche equates repetition with truth, repetition normalizes claims and thus makes things seem more plausible. “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels, as well as “Keep up the lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” So we must ask Dumbrill, why does he insist of labelling Serpentza a ‘white supremist’?
This is akin to the CCP officials who label any Westerner who raises impersonal concerns or queries about CCP actions as ‘sinophobes’. It seems to be a standard approach for the Chinese government to discredit opponents by attacking them personally. Criticism is a valuable tool that allows individuals and organisations to learn and grow, new perspectives allow for self-reflection and corrective procedures. It’s important that no-one or any organization should take criticism so personally, feedback systems that allow for criticism cultivates trust, transparency, and fosters personal excellence. Criticism is not to be mistaken as ‘hate culture’, a systematic assault on a nation’s cultural living, individuals or groups who irrationally sustain their contest of the concerns and interests of another community. The absence of criticism and reflection is the primary mechanism for the destruction of society. The recent surge of anti-Asian violence across the U.S. has been rightly condemned and is shunned by the vast majority of people across the globe, but it should not be erroneously used as a ploy to avoid objective critical discussion about the nature and decision-making process of the CCP. Why cannot individuals such as Serpentza offer objective insight into the current affairs in mainland China? Why can’t Dumbrill allow CCP critics online to air their views without being labeled as racists or terrorists? Dumbrill tries to smear CCP opponents so as to discredit them, something that the CCP has mastered.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin is holding up pictures of concentration camp survivors. The CCP response to allegations of physical and sexual torture is disclosing “private medical data and information on the women’s fertility and accused some of having affairs and one of having a sexually transmitted disease (reuters 2021).” This is par with stating victims of torture should not be trusted as they are morally inferior women. How does that make any sense? It is a nonsensical, and surely a slanderous attack on a person’s dignity. If someone should suspect a false allegation of abuse, the defending or objective party should impose that the abused carries the burden of proving the claim by only preponderance of the evidence. This is the normative court procedure witnessed internationally. Ridiculing, misrepresenting, rejecting and making vile comments is not befitting for any person in office or court.
Disappointingly, Dumbrill has revealed much about his character by trying to attack others based on serious allegations. Shockingly, Dumbrill fallaciously doxed Serpentza and falsely attempted to link him to a mass murderer. Dumbrill informed his twitter audience that an attack on Asian people was influenced by Serpentza.
On March 16, 2021, Robert Aaron Long went on a shooting spree at three spas in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women, and one other person was wounded. Widespread condemnation of this attack was followed by online anger at how a white male went on a shooting spree against ethnically Chinese people. This is on the backdrop of many other racist and deplorable incidents against Chinese people.
In the screenshot you can see Dumbrill linking Sepenza to the attack the very next day when tensions were high. The need to have an evidential basis for cases in which serious allegations are made is imperative for anyone working as a ‘political commentator’. Dumbrill does not have any evidence that Serpentza influenced Long, he did not provide any serious attempt to even back up his case. Making an accusation like this can affect someone’s life, family, safety, finance, status for the long run. It is unbelievable that Dumbrill slandered someone openly and carried on without consideration of the effects. It is pleasing to see that the CCP has employed as their chief shill someone who has the same characteristics as them so that it is easy to show people why they and their shills should not be trusted. When a white person challenges the CCP the go to mechanism is to try and link them to sinophobia or even better far right violence.
But what about a brown Muslim who challenges the CCP, what should be their label? Any speaker or social media activist who is Muslim by faith, who expresses the slightest dissatisfaction of Chinese authorities and their lack of concern for minorities in China, or indulges in discussions of controversial decisions made by the CCP or acknowledges evidence of humanitarian crimes could find themselves labelled a ‘terrorist’. This is exactly what happened to one of the authors, Subboor. For many years Subboor has condemned ISIS, al-Qaida and anyone who associates or allies themselves with them including ETIM, TIP, IMU and any organization that calls for the death of innocent human beings. There is no orthodox Muslim who will justify the violence and terrorism of such groups, Muslims on the contrary despise and denounce these groups. It is the Muslim identity that has been hijacked by terrorists. It is shameful that Dumbrill resorts to reinforcing the production of false narratives stereotypes. Is this not a form of racist stereotyping? The intentional invocation of the terrorist label by Dumbrill is only intended to intimidate or coerce a civil population or influence a government to falsely commence a metaphorical ‘lynching’ of a person. Subboor has never advocated civil unrest or breaking of any law in any country. Yet Dumbrill has insinuated Subboor is a terrorist. Is Dumbrill unable to grasp that an individual has the right to criticize the CCP and that a person is not instantaneously a terrorist if they do so? Does Dumbrill believe any Muslim who stands up the CCP must be a terrorist? Dumbrill claims to be an advocate against racial and religious discrimination, yet Dumbrill hypocritically labels ordinary Muslims as ‘terrorist’. Dumbrill should learn, as many studies have proven, acts committed by terrorists who connect their ideology to Islamic beliefs and self-identify as Muslims are misusing the religion for inhuman aims. The CCP assumes Muslims are guilty until proven innocent of terroism and extremism and Dumbrill again mimics his superiors.
Any Uyghur who asks to stop the oppression or wants freedom from the CCP rule is instantly a terrorist. Dumbrill also frequently labels any caller for an independent Uyghur state as a terrorist; callers who demand an independent state are not a recent phenomenon; independent Uyghur states were declared in 1865, 1933, and 1944. The ‘terrorist’ narrative is only deployed to delegitimize the Uyghur struggle, will Dumbrill deny the indigenous political resistance can exist? The CCP and Dumbrill must understand Muslims are engaging in non-violent activism for the Uyghurs, some believe in an independent state for the Uyghurs, others do not and simply want China to stop the oppression.
Dumbrill’s smear campaign is not a cogent argument, objective readers (who are the majority) will not be fooled by Dumbrill’s attempt to disguise those who speak about the tragedies of the Uyghurs as ‘terrorists’. Perhaps Dumbrill will learn from Newt Gingrich, who once also stereotyped Uyghur Muslims, but now stands as a staunch defender of the Uyghurs due to overwhelming evidence of human rights violations occurring across China, specifically in Xinjiang. The CCP nor Dumbrill can dismiss the entire social movement as all terrorists and racists, it simply is not true.
Another mechanism of defence Dumbrill and the CCP significantly rely upon the ‘tu quoque’ logical fallacy of ‘whataboutism’, a rhetorical maneuver used to avoid discussing a critical question by readdressing an inquiry with a question itself to avoid difficult interrogation on indefensible positions. For every grief against the CCP and its policy making process for China, Dumbrill redirecting attention to how Western governments have erred on X or Y conflict or social issue. This rhetorical trick is widely spread among populist regimes and alt-right groups also known as “whataboutery”. Dumbrill must be acquainted with this logical fallacy as a ‘political commentator’, anyone who intends to provide ad hominem arguments in order to disqualify the orator without answering a question is not an objective truth-seeker. Accusations of inconsistency do not relieve criticism, rather only raises distrust. British journalist Edward Lucas dates back “whataboutism” to the Cold War. One of the earliest uses of the technique by The Soviets was in 1947 when William Averell Hariman, an American politician, criticized “Soviet imperalism” in a speech. Ilya Ehrenburg, a soviet writer, answered back criticizing United States’ laws and policies on race and minorities. Current implementation of the “You are worse than us” game is mastered by CCP leaders. Any attempts of distracting a viewer or reader from the criticism of one person, organization, or idea by diverting attention to someone else’s shortcomings without addressing the original issue at all is an error in reasoning. This is an appeal to hypocrisy because it distracts from the argument by pointing out hypocrisy in the opponent.
Lu Xun, a leading figure in modern Chinese literature describes Chinese colleagues’ common tendency to accuse Europeans of “having equally bad issues” whenever foreigners commented upon China’s domestic problems. He saw this mentality as one of the biggest obstructions to the modernization of China in the early 20th century. Some may argue “whataboutism” helps to prevent double standards, this is partially true. However, it is important to recognize when it is fallaciously employed to avoid external critics. To this matter “whataboutism” is used as a defensive rhetorical trick. The philosopher Merold Westphal asserted that only people who know themselves to be guilty of something “can find comfort in finding others to be just as bad or worse”. Dumbrill regularly uses examples like the Iraq and Libya war, European Colonization and other such topics to distract audiences whenever CCP crimes are mentioned.
Dumbrill efforts at moral relativism and a form of false moral equivalence is only a ploy to force others to accept all sides as morally flawed is purely descriptive and carries no value connotation. Dumbrill is intellectually subservient, he must realise that the pendulum swings both ways, that is, if western criticism can be dismissed because it serves their purpose and the west itself has failed on X, Y or Z this applies to the CCP as well. It appears that Dumbrill does not realise this is an inaccessible argument, flawed reasoning and is void of analytical logic thus suggesting he lacks the intellectual dexterity to know whether and when the CCP’s reasoning is flawed.
So, why does the CCP and Dumbrill rely on ‘whataboutism’? This is one of the most commonly used methods of changing the subject of a discussion used by online charlatans, this is unfortunately a virtual epidemic especially when discussing the current state of politics. Any sudden change of a subject topic indicates forfeiture of the discussion, a concession that a good a defense is not available. The CCP uses ‘whataboutism’ to prevent accruing further shame on their policies, whereas Dumbrill relies heavily upon ‘whataboutism’ to remain ‘socially relevant’ to his pro-CCP fan base as well as to evade talking about CCP crimes that he knows full well have taken place.
Propaganda as double edged sword
Dumbrill uses examples of Western media reports outlets which have produced ‘fake news’. He uses this to discredit all the negative discourse concerning the CCP. He does not realise that this is a double-edged reality. In every exchange in history between two competing nations, the propaganda used to sway public opinion will have a degree of inconsistency irrespective of the topic. If Dumbrill seeks to use some fake news or propaganda (e.g. Iraqi soldiers throwing babies out of incubators) to rubbish the entire western narrative on Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and so on then he must face the obvious, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The CCP uses sophisticated ploys and has an industrial propaganda machine that has churned out many inconsistencies, lies and fake news. Does Dumbrill deny the use of propaganda by the CCP? It is not acceptable that the CCP’s use of propaganda and fake news is overlooked. If he is consistent then the entire CCP narrative should be thrown out due to these lies.
Indeed, CCP propaganda is working at an unprecedented scale. For instance, China Watch, is a paid-for supplement segment in newspapers found in the West and across Africa that provides short reports from ‘China Daily’ that is a deliberate media outlet serving to promote CCP agenda’s by deflecting all attention of the human rights abuses occurring in China (Cfr 2017).
There are almost two millions workers employed by the CCP (CNN 2013) to review online content and control public opinion. Consequently, inside and outside China, very little negative information comes out. This is not restricted as a defensive tactic, the CCP proactively uses social media to spread its propaganda. Last year, Twitter removed approximately 170,000 accounts linked to CCP’s propaganda (Asia Nikkei 2020). They found 23,750 accounts linked to China that comprise a “highly engaged core network,” and about 150,000 “amplifiers” accounts that were designed to boost content from the core network.
This was not the first time Twitter has taken down accounts associated with Chinese government propaganda efforts. In August 2019, the company removed 200,000 accounts originating from China that were created to “deliberately and specifically attempt to sow political discord in Hong Kong.” China also creates fake journalists – the case of ‘Laurène Beaumond (Francetvinfo 2021)”. This was a fake journalist that the CCP created, this fictional character had supposedly published an article on CGTN trying to deconstruct the East Turkestan genocide narrative. The French media exposed this story; “Laurène Beaumond doesn’t exist in the way the state media [i.e., CGTN] wanted to introduce her. She’s unknown, officially, in the battalion of French press. Le Monde could verify that no person under such a name or pseudonym is listed in the files of the Commission for the press cards of French professional journalist [Commission de la carte d’identité des journalistes professionnels français.]”. After being exposed, CGTN argued she was writing under a persona as it would have been too dangerous for a French journalist to publicly defend this position. This singularity was never mentioned before-hand and the article is no longer available online.
Most bizarrely, a French newspaper actually interviewed the real ‘Laurène Beaumond’ after the controversy reached a wide European audience (Lefigaro, 2021). We learn here that she worked as a translator for CGTN and never acted in the stead of a journalist. The same Laurène Beaumont signed on March 31 a column on the CRI (Chinese international radio) website evoking the visit of French parliamentarians to Taiwan and this time was presented as a specialist in China passionate about literature and Asian pop culture. These efforts appear to be aimed at disparate audiences outside the country.
In summary, it is wrong to use the agendas, propaganda, fake stories, holes or inconsistencies from either side as an ultimate proof to disprove the entire narrative or muddy the waters. To talk about western fake stories such as the Iraq WMD claim without mentioning that the Chinese regime’s proactive policy about fake stories is intellectual dishonesty especially when the CCP has been proven to be engaging in propaganda at an industrial scale.
It is important to note how interested the CCP is in controlling public opinion online. This quote from a CCP paper issued by the ‘Cyberspace Administration of China’s Theoretical Studies Center Group’ makes a case for social media campaigns to channel public opinion:
“Enhance the guidance of online public opinion. Starting from the overall situation of the party and the state, effectively propagandize achievements in reform and development and economic livelihood and propaganda and provide policy interpretation on the economic situation. Alleviate doubts and boost confidence. Actively use new technologies and new applications to effectively guide the progression of online public opinion, grasp the evolution and laws of the online public sentiment, prevent hot issues from involving the economic and social livelihood of the people, and prevent mass incidents and public opinion from becoming online ideological patterns and issues. Play an important role in cyber comments and public opinion guidance and make cyberspace cleaner.”
The CCP wants to control public opinion and churn out propaganda on social media. It would make sense to employ online stooges to advocate pro-CCP positions who have no or little conviction of their statements. For the CCP it is an image war against the west, the CCP does not wish to be seen as inferior technologically, morally or politically, therefore it is willing to invest substantial resources. CCP’s official army known as the People’s liberation Army (PLA) plays an important role in social media manipulation. The praise from a western citizen is a much more efficacious marketing ploy than a Han Chinese citizen. ‘Guancha’ is a media outlet linked to the Chinese army, here you can find top of the range military analysis on regional and international issues, latest issues in politics, finance, culture and of course west bashing throughout. Guess who Guancha thought was important enough to interview? Daniel Dumbrill of course. Why would a news outlet that is specialized in military analysis with direct links to the armed forces ask someone unqualified for commentary? Here is Dumbrill’s military analysis:
“But onto the current issues, I personally find it hard to believe that innocent people in Xinjiang weren’t unfairly targeted by this anti-terrorism campaign. Of course, instead of being killed in an American military operation, they’re being sent to vocational training centers (Guancha, 2021).” Let’s break down what he saying here, firstly everyone including the CCP admits that the reeducation campaign is for the ordinary turkic Muslims, the numbers they admit are still in the millions. Dumbrill thinks this is fine, why well at least they are not being killed in an American operation. That is pathetic reasoning, if we applied that in everyday life there would be chaos, a burglar can say I stole money but I did not kill like others do, or a rapist can say, atleast the victem wasn’t killed after the rape. Dumbrill’s defence of the camps is so flimsy yet in his deluded mind he thinks he has a solid argument. Dumbrill’s argument that “millions of innocent people can be re-educated” for the crimes of a few is an uncomfortable bed he will have to rest in even for him as a CCP shill as we will see near the end of this article.
Throughout this article, it has been demonstrated how Daniel Dumbrill embodies China’s communication policy regarding many issues. He reaffirms each and every point of CCP’s propaganda. But how does Dumbrill’s propaganda strengthen the CCP narrative? Dumbrill social media content symbolizes a new trend in China’s propaganda, reliance of “testimonies” from Westerners. Dumbrill is ostensibly presented as a professional “researcher” who is disseminating his findings on social networks, in order to counter international accusations of oppression. From finding himself at the bottom a bottle to the elite “political commentator” for state TV, Dumbrill chooses to overlook the crimes of the CCP. Hiding himself behind the “truth seeker” label who’s trying to “expose facts”, we’ve seen that those so-called facts are only misinterpretations of an unqualified social media personality who only seeks to repeat CCP narratives. The next section will outline a dilemma which he and those who chose to parrot the CCP have to face.
In this final section ‘Dumbrill’s dilemma’, the authors will explore how the CCP policies are inconsistent with normative Islamic beliefs and practices. This is a dilemma for the CCP who wish to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim majority parts of world. The CCP bizarrely show a contradictory dichotomous thinking where they refer to Islam and Muslim people. CCP has declared an all out war on Islam in China but outside the want dialogue, economical trades, funding opportunities and government stabilization of Muslim majority nations. Only a primitive mindset would allow someone to think they can do these two things simultaneously. The CCP views adherents of Islam, and other religions, as dangerous, needing to be isolated, punished, or eliminated. The CCP and Han-supremacists have indulged in group narcissism accentuated by their antitheist ideologies that has normalised Chinese citizens to condoning oppression to resolve the grievances of the CCP against innocent minorities especially the turkic Muslims.
Dumbrill should explain this inconsistency between normative Islam and CCP policies. Either Dumbrill will have to attack Islam or attack CCP policies. Attacking CCP policies is something that is too risky, therefore it seems criticizing Islam is his only route but therein lies an issue, the CCP would prefer not to critique normative Islamic values because they want to be economic friends of the Islamic world. The CCP does not intend to alienate Muslims outside China as the CCP is currently financially vested in numerous trade deals with Muslim majority countries.
Before we get into the crimes of the CCP against Muslims we need to ask: Why does Dumbrill think the CCP is incapable of the evils it is accused of? Dumbrill exhibits extremely overprotective behaviour of the CCP, almost akin to blind delusion. If USA was spreading a rumour that a country such as Iceland is attacking smaller ethnic groups in its territory, putting them in concentrations camps, killing, raping, sterilization and so on then one would act the way Dumbrill does for the CCP, it would be absurd to think Greenland is doing this. However the CCP is not Greenland, it is a regime that has killed tens of millions of its people and controls dissent with an iron grip, Dumbrill’s overprotective outbursts regarding the CCP is easily recognized as irrational and disingenuous. In response to Dumbrills ethically dubious defence, does he honestly believe the world is oblivious to the evidence of CCP transgression? Dumbrill consistently denies plausible explanations and evidence for CCP transgressions, why doesn’t Dumbrill exert energy to address the concerns? The CCP have infiltrated all aspects of life, under the guise of ‘law enforcement’ they coerce Chinese citizens into adhering to the CCP’s policies. The more individuals that become included and socialized within the group (and insulated from extra-group influences), the more difficult it becomes for open-minded Chinese citizens to leave. Does Dumbrill attest there may be large or small groups, who may not enjoy CCP rulership and exhibit various degrees of loathing, dissent and desire for decentralized social management?
Mao’s communism has resulted in the direct and indirect deaths of tens of millions of people over the last couple of decades, in particular communists have killed religious people from all faith backgrounds including Christians, Muslims, Jews, Falun Gong etc. Why doesn’t Dumbrill acknowledge established facts? It is well known that during the CCP reign over the past 70 years, millions of Han Chinese, Mongols, Tibetans, Uyghurs and others have been subjected to persecution. If the CCP has killed nearly 80 million of its own people and is an openly militant atheist state, why would the prospect of the CCP harming Uyghur Muslims astonish Dumbrill?
If Dumbrill would take the time to familiarize himself with the Uyghurs during the Cultural revolution and ‘The Great Leap Forward’, surely, his outlook of the CCP would change. The CCP is an atheist fascist regime that hates faith, shuns pluralism; it is not a far-fetched concept that the CCP would mobilise efforts to discriminate and persecute religious and cultural minorities. Prior to the CCP’s current acceleration of their war on Islam, they singled out the Muslim majority providence of Xinjiang to carry out nuclear tests.
Scientific American reports: ‘A few hundred thousand people may have died as a result of radiation from at least 40 nuclear explosions carried out between 1964 and 1996 at the Lop Nur site in Xinjiang, which lies on the Silk Road. (Scientific American 2009)”
Surprisingly in 2008 the Chinese state news service Xinhua reported that the Chinese government is paying undisclosed subsidies to military personnel involved in the tests. Unsurprisingly CCP has given nothing to the Muslim victims and is not allowing research that would further incriminate it to be conducted there. It is not anticipated that Dumbrill will investigate any of the aforementioned atrocities, the information is shared for truth seekers.
CCP Policies VS Islam
The CCP is a militantly atheistic regime and has worked hard to indoctrinate its population into having a godless and materialistic worldview. This worldview is also being enforced onto Muslims, Christains and other minorities in China. Pastor Huang Chun-sheng of the Che-lam Presbyterian Church said: “The CCP has been attacking Christian groups ever since it took power but has now turned monstrous. There is no sanctuary safe from intervening affairs and dictation. The pastor further elaborated: “Religious minority groups endure much in China, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, are one in our persecution.” “It not only indiscriminately imprisons and kills Christians, expels missionaries, destroys Bibles and cracks down on churches, but even edits Christian scriptures and vilifies Jesus to glorify itself. The ambition to overturn Christianity and other religions including Islam is justified under preventive repression”, said Huang. Christains, Muslims, Buddists and Falun Gong practitioners have all united to call out the CCP for its oppression of their communities (Phayul 2020). Although the rest of this section will focus CCP’s crackdown on Islam, the authors are aware and sympathise with the oppression faced by other religious peoples.
Muslims can peacefully coexist in non-Muslim states and have been in China for over 1000 years. Muslims therefore can live in secular, Christian or Taoist government run countries. If the CCP allowed Muslims to practice their faith and allowed them basic freedoms such as going to mosques with their children there would be harmony. But the desire of the CCP to amalgamate and strip Xinjiang of its Muslim heritage is a serious predicament for the Muslim world. Muslims do not want to make enemies with anyone but they will not remain silent in the face of such brutal oppression.
General Secretary Xi Jinping’s recent book, “On the Party’s Propaganda and Ideological Work”, reaffirms the Chinese government’s commitment to Marxist-Leninism, which he also affirmed at the Chinese Communist Party’s recent Five-Year-Plan meeting. As part of Xi’s commitment to Marxism, religion, where not fully suppressed, is being co-opted to spread Party dogma a move that he describes as “sinicizing” religion. The Chinese government implemented a new decree on May 1, 2021, that required all religious leaders to “follow the lead of and support the Communist Party.” The decree, “Measures on the Management of Religious Professionals,” states that the preaching and teaching by religious professionals must in no way endanger China’s national security, promote extremism (extremism is not defined by the CCP so this could be anything) or divide the country. Ultimately, the CCP wants everyone to adhere to its ideology. The CCP is interested in homogenizing the official religions so that they all teach Party ideology.
The core issue revolves around the CCP’s agenda to assimilate and intimidate Muslims to submit to the materialistic outlook of the CCP and leave Islam. The CCP is targeting Islam as a means to destroy the faith, thus securing control of the Muslim majority Xinjiang. The CCP wish for Muslims to accept Chairman Mao over the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. They want communism to replace Islam in the lives of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Huis and others.
Global Times is a Chinese state-run news outlet, who do not have an iota of independent thought therein. Whatever is published in ‘Global Times’ is totally in line with CCP agendas, an article they published in 2019 states:
“China passed a five-year plan to sinicize Islam at a meeting on Saturday with representatives from China’s eight Islamic associations. During the meeting, participants agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to sinicize the religion. This is China’s important act to explore ways of governing religion in modern countries. (Globaltimes 2021)” This is not the western media distorting the words of the CCP. The CCP wants to “guide Islam to be compatible with socialism”. Muslims would not accept that Islam needs to be guided, as Muslims believe Islam is the guidance for humanity. This statement from the horse’s mouth is evidence against anyone that claims the CCP has no problem with Islam. The article further states “In an era of globalization, the revival of religion is a challenge faced by the whole world. As China learns from foreign countries’ experiences, the latter should also respect China’s practice.” So, Islam is a challenge for the CCP, that is the way they view it and hence want to change it. Dumbrill can not possibly try to say this is a western conspiracy to defame CCP, these are the words of the CCP, plain and simple for all to see.
The CCP intends to re-interpret the Quran and the Bible according to their ideology, their aim is to do a “comprehensive evaluation of the existing religious classics aiming at contents which do not conform to the progress of the times.’ Media outlets and social media users immediately picked up on this story and exposed it for what it is, a poor attempt at covering up their intent to change the Quran (Dailysabah 2020). The CCP’s attempt to create official state translations of the Bible, Quran and other religious texts signals their intent to transform world religions to restrict their religious practice and instill a love for Maoism. Professor Lian Xi, from Duke University stated this “The government has orchestrated a campaign to ‘sinicise’ Christianity, to turn Christianity into a fully domesticated religion that would do the bidding of the party. This materialistic sentiment is extended towards Muslims and other minorities living under persecution in China.” (The Guardian 2019)
This CCP admission fits in well with the multiple accounts of independent testimonies from Muslims across Xinjjang that they were ordered to hand in their copies of the Quran which were subsequently burned. The CCP do not allow the Quran or other religious texts to be the ultimate source of guidance for Muslims, Mao and Xi Jingping must be key figureheads and a source of guidance too. The CCP has tried to restrict access to mosques across China for years, regularly going to a mosque was a sign equated to extremism. Children were especially not allowed to go, in a bid to strip future generations of their Islamic heritage. The CCP has destroyed thousands of mosques, there is clear satellite evidence of these vanishing mosques (BBC 2019).
But what happens to the mosques it does not destroy?
This is the Id Kah mosque, the main mosque in the Uyghur region. It dates back to the 15th century. On the left-hand side, before the current crackdown it can be seen swaths of people prayed at the mosque, on the right a deserted tourist mosque is presented as a gimmick. You can see that something has been removed from the front of the mosque. The name of Allah has been removed and the Godless communist flag instilled firmly above it. This is a blasphemous act that will undoubtedly infuriate Muslims around the world.
However, till this day, the Chinese government denies destroying mosques and trying to undermine Islam. One would think if the government of any country did this to a Mosque, the Muslims would be holding mass demonstrations, why is this not the case in China? Fear of brutal retaliation, imprisonment, torture and systematic rape silences the Muslim minority in China. Some mosques even feature the pictures of Xi Jingping, another blasphemous act.
Muslims in China cannot peacefully protest the CCP from these blasphemous practices. In fact, the CCP can directly insult the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ or Jesus without as much a murmur of protest.
On this state-run TV program, they showed a picture they made of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ and claimed in the program that Muslims worship him. Any image of the prophet is blasphemous in Islam and will anger Muslims across the world, and to say Muslims worship him is factually untrue. Islam teaches none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, in fact this is the core teaching of Islam. Muslims in China can not openly protest against the CCP even for something as grave as the aforementioned.
The CCP laws concerning “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Regulation on De-extremification law (Chinalawtranslate, 2018)” provides a clear image of the CCP agenda. Islam is considered as “Primary Expressions of Extremification”. Even though the CCP claims they are fighting extremism and not Islam, they do not define extremism and they attack normative Islamic beliefs, values and practices. The examples below show how easily any Muslim can be labelled an extremist.
- Article 9 (5): “Interfering with cultural and recreational activities, rejecting or refusing public goods and services such as radio and television”.
Refusing to listen to Chinese state media is a sign of extremism.
- Article 9 (8): “Spreading religious fanaticism through irregular beards or name selection.”
Calling your male infant babies by the name of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is to be considered as extremism. The oppression extends itself to forbidding the growth of a beard which is what a tradition that goes back to all the Prophets like Moses, Abraham and Jesus.
- Article 9 (10): “Not allowing children to receive public education, obstructing the implementation of the national education system.”
This article outrightly labels a private course of Islam as an obstruction of the national education system. It permits the Chinese state to decide what education can and cannot be allowed for a believer. The Uyghurs have testified that for years their children are not allowed to learn the Quran or attend a mosque.
- Article 9 (13): “Publishing, printing, distributing, selling, producing, downloading, storing, reproducing, accessing, copying, or possessing articles, publications, audio or video with extremification content.”
China can label any media or literature content as ‘extreme’ if it does not fit the Mao-Xi socialist philosophy. This article permits to consider literally any Islamic content as a means for extremism. This vagueness allows them a free hand to oppress any Muslim or religious person.
Diving into the third chapter of this law, called “Prevention, Control, and Eradication of Extremification”, we can have a better overview of what is considered acceptable regarding faith to the eyes of the CCP.
- Article 13: “De-extremification shall carry out big publicity, learning and discourse; shall use modern scientific and cultural knowledge to educate the public to embrace science and civility, use legal knowledge to teach the public respect the law, and use religious faith for radical overhaul, rejecting cults and refuting fallacies, leading believers to establish correct beliefs and positioning; conscientiously resisting extremification.”
From this, we learn how the CCP views Muslim believers, in essence as ‘alien’ people outside of their modernity paradigm. The CCP is allowing itself to interfere in religious orthodoxy by being able to define what is good or bad to believe. This article underlines the need for an overhaul of faith as its current state. The so-called “skill and education centers” are not an empowerment for the Uyghurs but rather a reprogramming of their beliefs.
The fourth chapter called “Primary Duties of Government and Relevant Departments” is even more explicit:
- Article 18 : Departments for ethnicities and religion shall carry out policies on ethnicity and religion and publicity educational activities on ethnic unity, activities on better establishing ethnic unity; shall consolidate and improve mechanisms for service and management in education and training for religious figures; shall strengthen service and management of religious professionals, religious activity sites, and religious activities; shall strengthen review of religious publications; and organize religious professionals to do the work of religious teaching and interpretation, guiding correct faith and positioning. Curb illegal religious activities, illegal religious propaganda, and illegal religious internet transmissions in accordance with law and in conjunction with relevant departments.
This article gives impetus and legal right for the Chinese state to outline Islamic beliefs in China. Monitoring and reviewing religious publications, organizing religious professionals, the CCP is now ordaining itself to be the Islamic clergy. It opens a door to revise the Holy Quran to an official revision in compliance with CCP’s values. The “sinification” of Islam is, indeed, an official policy in Xi Jing Ping’s country.
The image above shows forced beer drinking by Uyghur women. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, the CCP forces Muslims to drink alcohol. The CCP forces Muslims to break their fasts, and also openly tries to get Uyghur Muslim women to marry Han Chinese men.
Muslims are not allowed to marry atheists but this state enforced activity continues. CCP claims these are voluntary marriages, but the multiple testimonies tell a very different and disturbing story.
The CCP no longer denies that millions of people have been through the camps, rather than admitting these are concentration camps, these are called “vocational camps” and people go here ‘voluntarily’. It is an odd story that the world is supposed to believe that millions of people voluntarily leave their everyday lives and children behind to learn in poultry farm conditions for long periods of time. One of the first things the detainees are forced to repeat is that ‘there is no God’ and that ‘religion is backwards’. This is not surprising since this is part and parcel of the communist world view. The most heartbreaking aspect of this oppression is that hundreds of thousands of children have been stolen from their parents and put in mass nurseries. Undoubtedly, Uyghur children have suffered more than anyone during the ongoing Uyghur Genocide being committed by the Chinese Communist Party. An estimated 1.5 million Uyghurs have been detained in concentration camps, separated from their loved ones. The rights of every child under the age of 18, regardless of age, language, religion, gender, and race, are protected under international law. Protection of children’s rights is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989. 196 countries, including the People’s Republic of China, are parties to the convention. Hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslim children have been reportedly sent to nusery camps or given up for orphanage in China, this is a horror beyond imagination. And what is most frustrating is the silence from the world community. Where are the child advocacy groups? Where are the leading voices for children? What happened to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)? Dumbrill has sold his moral values and abandoned reason for madness, as a father himself, it is unexplainable how he has neglected, contributed and overlooked the suffering of innocent children.
Research by Stanford Law School’s Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, along with reports by human rights organizations, the media, activist groups, and others, and internal Chinese Communist Party (CCP) documents, show that the Chinese government has committed and continues to commit crimes against humanity against the entire Turkic Muslim population. The world at large has remained silent. Crimes against humanity are considered among the gravest human rights abuses under international law.
The conclusion is clear, CCP policies attack Islam as a religion. CCP shills must decide whether to tell Muslims to obey these policies or demand the CCP to change its ways. Dumbrill has the same choice to make, he cannot pretend to be a friend of Muslims and still maintain the CCP party line. The time has come for Dumbrill to bite the hands that feed him, for they are covered in blood and oppression.
It is deeply worrying that Dumbrill defends CCP policies on the basis that there is a terrorism problem in Xinjiang. This is a poor and unfounded claim, an act of terrorism by an individual or group of a people does not give impetus to hold millions of people in camps and oppress them so severely. Terrorists have killed hundreds of innocents; this does not legitimize millions of innocent Muslims to be oppressed and ‘re-educated’. If Dumbrill insists that millions of ordinary Muslims must be sent to camps for ‘education’ on the basis of terrorists committing crimes in the name of Islam, then what about the CCP who has killed tens of millions of people? CCP members should all collectively be punished and sent to reeducation camps according to this logic. CCP has killed tens of millions of people, and terrorists in China have killed hundreds, so the priority for the Camps is for the CCP members even according to Dumbrill’s logic.
Dumbrill stands out due to his resolute commitment to the CCP by abandoning reason and disregarding clear evidence. The following facts are unassailable in light of the aforementioned evidence. Dumbrill is parroting the CCP on a broad range of issues and seeks to use “illegal” platforms only accessible to CCP officials. Dumbrill’s business is promoted by state media and has enjoyed unprecedented access to people and places that ordinary Chinese people do not, let alone international independent journalists. Dumbrill has been promoted on Chinese state TV as a ‘political commentator’ of which he has no credentials and has been referenced by the Chinese ministry of foreign ministry. The timing of his narrative is synchronized with the CCP state outlets and prior to his social media rise he was of unknown origin with no media clout until his CCP parroting.
Dumbrill intentionally avoids relevant topics which are red lines for the CCP, his defense mechanism is identical to the overall CCP propaganda machine. Therefore, if it thinks like a duck, looks like a duck, acts like a duck, walks like a duck, are we supposed to duck from the inevitable conclusion that Dumbrill is a CCP shill? It is highly probable Dumbrill is one among many other agents the CCP have as part of their massive propaganda machine.
Dumbrill like the CCP face the same dilemma, either CCP policies are wrong, or Islam is wrong. They/he cannot have it both ways, this is an ironic dilemma to be in since the CCP and its shills want to win over the hearts and minds of Muslims from across the world. Dumbrill has gone from a life of lowly alcoholism to aristocracy, he would not give this up for the sake of truth? This will not be a comfortable ride to continuous fame, he will have to face the aforementioned realities and of course all rides come to an end eventually.
No one escapes the justice of God:
By the sky with its towering constellations, by the promised Day, by the Witness and that which is witnessed, damned were the makers of the trench, the makers of the fuel-stoked fire! They sat down to watch what they were doing to the believers. Their only grievance against them was their faith in God, the Mighty, the Praiseworthy, to whom all control over the heavens and earth belongs: God is witness over all things. For those who persecute believing men and women, and do not repent afterwards, there will be the torment of Hell and burning. But for those who believe and do good deeds there will be Gardens graced with flowing streams: that is the great triumph.
Authors: Merwan Aichour-Gillot and Subboor Ahmad
Asia Nikkei, 2020, viewed 27 June 2021, https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Twitter-removes-over-170-000-accounts-linked-to-Chinese-propaganda-
Business standard, 2021, viewed 26 June 2021 , https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/china-jails-blogger-for-8-months-over-remarks-on-casualties-in-galwan-clash-121060100329_1.html
BBC 2020, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51403795
BBC, 2019, viewed 27 June 2021,
Chinalawtranslate, 2018, viewed 27 June 2021 https://www.chinalawtranslate.com/en/decision-to-revise-the-xinjiang-uighur-autonomous-region-regulation-on-de-extremification/
China Daily, 2017, viewed 27 June 2021, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/2017-06/09/content_29679340.htm
CNN, 2013, viewed 27 June 2021, https://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/07/world/asia/china-internet-monitors/
Cfr, 2017, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/media-censorship-china
Daniel Dumbrill (2021), The Point: Debunking anti-China allegations with Daniel Dumbrill, 31 March. Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV2nXyt5gMs&t=164s (Accessed: 27 June 2021)
Daniel Dumbrill (2021),The Real Potential for a Future Genocide in Xinjiang, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32huiOc9ruo (Accessed: 27 June 2021)
Daniel Dumbrill (2021), Viral Xinjiang Video & American Alternate Reality Journalism
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm0Nt-RcFZU (Accessed: 27 June 2021)
Dailysabah, 2020, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.dailysabah.com/op-ed/2020/01/09/chinas-attempt-to-change-the-quran
Guancha, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.guancha.cn/DanielDumbrill/2021_04_15_587510_s.shtml
Ft, 2018, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.ft.com/content/839ccb0c-e439-11e8-8e70-5e22a430c1ad
Fpri, 2018, viewed 27 June 2021,
Modernghana, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021,
Marxists, n.d., viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_25.htm
Nationalinterest, 1997, viewed 27 June 2021, https://nationalinterest.org/article/unsettled-succession-chinas-critical-moment-785
Ghai, Yash (2000). Autonomy and Ethnicity: Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-Ethnic States. Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780521786423.
Globaltimes 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1134750.shtml
Francetvinfo, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021,
Lefigaro, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/les-confidences-de-la-plume-mystere-au-service-de-la-chine-20210402
Phayul 2020, viewed 27 June 2021
The Guardian, 2019, viewed 28 June
The Guardian, 2019, viewed 27 June
Qz, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021,
Reuters, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-china-xinjiang-idUKKCN2AT1BE
Reuters 2017 , viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-policy-law-idUSKBN1500OF
Securingdemocracy n.d. viewed 27 June 2021 https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/toolbox/
Scmp, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3127611/china-based-foreigners-defending-beijing-xinjiang-genocide
Scmp, 2021, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3118964/chinese-president-xi-jinping-says-corruption-remains-biggest
Scientific American, 2009, viewed 27 June 2021, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/did-chinas-nuclear-tests/
Web archive, 2007, viewed 27 June 2021,