China presents itself in best light – no room for human rights!

Criticism of the Chinese Culture Year 2012 in Germany:

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) describes the Chinese Culture Year 2012 in Germany to be a one-sided propaganda show initiated by the Chinese government. "China's leadership exploits artist for an image campaign in Germany, while at the same time dozens of writers and filmmakers are silenced by long prison sentences," said the STP's Asia-consultant, Ulrich Delius. "While Tibet is burning, China's government presents itself in Germany as if it were progressive and dynamic. This is a very bad timing to try to show only China's 'sweetest' sides in Germany." 

The only really dynamic activities are the pursuit of critical authors and the destruction of traditional cultures of Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghurs. "Since 2008, more writers, artists and filmmakers were arrested or silenced in China than ever before since the Cultural Revolution," said Delius. In Tibet, the Chinese government's massive intervention in Tibetan Buddhism now makes the people take to the streets and protest against China's dominance – while the Chinese government brutally suppresses the uprising.

Traditional Uyghur culture is also destroyed in Xinjiang (East Turkestan). Writers and bloggers are silenced and the Chinese authorities are "refurbishing" the historic town of Kashgar with bulldozers. "The destruction of Kashgar is a crime against the worlds cultural heritage," said Delius.

"People in Germany do not want cheap advertising images of a repressive system – but a representative insight into the rich culture of many peoples." This must include critical questions if writers, bloggers, artists and filmmakers are able to work. During the last months, China's Communist Party has tried to take even more control of the cultural industry. Thus, critical writers and artists experience more and more restrictions - but culture needs freedom to develop itself.

"We strongly urge all participants of the Year of Culture, German cities and federal governments, to consider these critical aspects of the events appropriately," said Delius."Only then may a real dialogue between the Chinese, the Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongols and Germans develop."