Thalia instrumentalized for China's state propaganda

Times of the Mao Bible and glorification of dictators should be over (Press Release)

According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), it is "insensitive and inappropriate" of the Thalia bookstore chain to promote Chinese state propaganda by presenting books by China's head of state and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping on special bookstands. "Why would Thalia want to advertises books from the biggest enemy of freedom of expression, written by people who are responsible for the burning of valuable Uyghur writings, for genocide crimes, and for banning standard works on democracy from public libraries," criticized Ulrich Delius, the STP's Director, in Göttingen on Saturday. The human rights organization demanded an immediate end to the controversial publicity campaign.

Further, Delius emphasized that the company's reasons for cooperating with the state-owned Chinese book export company China National Publications Import and Export Cooperation (CNPIEC) are ridiculous. Many Chinese students in Germany would not be interested in reading Xi Jinping's works in German. "They should be glad that they are not forced to attend Communist Party propaganda courses at German universities – unlike in China," Delius said, emphasizing that Thalia should have realized that the times of the Mao Bible and the glorification of inhuman dictators in Germany are over. Instead, people want insights into real life in China, and this should include information on the systematic human rights violations.

For several years, the Chines authorities in Xinjiang have been burning historically valuable Uyghur writing in order to destroy traces of the persecuted population group. "It is part of the genocide strategy to wipe out the Uyghur culture and identity," Delius stated. This has led to the absurd situation that there are now more historical documents of Uyghur in German museums and archives than in all of China.

Over the last two years, the Chines authorities ordered the university libraries in the country to remove all books on concepts of democracy and the rule of law from their shelves. The Communist Party fears that its striving for absolute power could be called into question.