The country’s social media offensive over Xinjiang is in overdrive — and backfiring in the West.
As tensions grow between China and the world’s major democracies over human rights abuses in Xinjiang province, Beijing’s “wolf warrior” diplomats have shed their sheep’s clothing and gone on the offensive.
Last month, the US, UK, Canada, and EU enacted targeted sanctions on officials responsible for what the Biden administration has labelled a “genocide” of Uyghur Muslims. Beijing retaliated with a “counterpunch” on European parliamentarians, academics and think tanks, and doubled down on an information counteroffensive to dispel concerns over Xinjiang. But this effort is backfiring in the west, exposing a more shadowy side of Beijing’s foreign policy to public scrutiny.