Translation: Propaganda in Urumqi Amid Crackdown

Translation: Propaganda in Urumqi Amid Crackdown

An ongoing terror crackdown in Xinjiang, launched in May 2014 in response to escalating violence and subsequently extended, has mostly targeted the region’s Uyghur ethnic minority. Rights advocates and overseas Uyghur exile groups have blamed the increasingly harsh and apparently indefinite campaign for exacerbating ethnic tensions and further destabilizing the region. The crackdown has included religious fasting banslocal and region-wide rules against “extremist behavior” including wearing veils or beards, a ban on “extreme” Islamic baby names, a biometric data collection system, and the use of political re-education camps—whose existence authorities continue to deny despite a mounting collection of evidence. Dr. Adrian Zenz, who described the camps in detail in a recent report, recently spoke further with RSDL Monitor about the indoctrination techniques used and the general conditions inside.

State propaganda has long been prolifically used in Xinjiang, but appears to have proliferated still further amid the ongoing crackdown. Meanwhile, China has increased its efforts to pressure Uyghur journalists and government critics living abroad through intimidation and targeting of their Xinjiang-based family members. CDT contributor Alicia, who earlier this year translated an “ethnic harmony”-focused propaganda anthem that she heard countless times while in Urumqi, has translated several recent propaganda posters that she saw on a recent trip to the city:

“Don’t Forget the Original Aspiration, Keep in Mind the Mission; the Unremitting Struggle to Realize the Chinese People’s Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Dream

“Strive to Compose the Story of the Chinese People’s Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Dream”

“Cleave to the Overall Goals of Societal Stability and Long-term Peace and Order”

“Build a Beautiful Xinjiang; Work Together to Make the Fond Dream of the Homeland Plausible”

The final sign submitted by Alicia was seen in the back of a taxi. It has been translated line for line in the blockquote following the image:

Urumqi City Citizens’ Joint Pledge

Left illustration: Honesty and tolerance passed from generation to generation for a long time
Right illustration: Focus on the Chinese Communist Party
Line 1: Love of country, and love of Xinjiang; Harmonious unity; Observe discipline and abide by the law; Maintain stability
Line 2: High quality service; Industrious and conscientious in work; Honesty and keeping one’s word; For the convenience and benefit of the people
Line 3: Exquisite environment; Strive for excellent sanitation; Beautify the appearance of the city; Protect the environment
Line 4: Interconnected civilization; Pedestrians and vehicles separated and orderly; Don’t run red lights; Don’t climb over guardrails
Line 5: On the long journey of civilization; Elegant bearing; Respect tradition; Friendly to others
Line 6: Civilized dinner table; Farewell to corrupt practices and bad habits; Diligent and thrifty; Clean your plate [don’t waste food]
Line 7: Volunteer service; The spirit of public service; Help the disabled and aid the weary; Take pleasure in helping others
Line 8: Respect teachers and attach importance to teaching; Promote character and inner quality; Change prevailing habits and customs; Keep fit and work out
Line 9: Civilized family; Upbringing with family traditions; Sublime morals and righteous etiquette; Keep watch over your neighborhood
Line 10: Civilized City; Practice and develop; Promote virtue; Cooperation in the autonomous region capital
Bottom left: Impart and inherit civilization; A virtuous capital city; Urumqi Civilization Office
Bottom middle: Rich and powerful, democracy, civilization, harmony, freedom, equality; Just and fair, rule of law, patriotic, dedicated to work, honest, friendly
Bottom right: Urumqi Transportation

For more examples of current propaganda and ideological rhetoric, see CDT’s recent translations of promotional material at Buddhist temples which use Party language and insignia, or of the Beijing Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science’s suggestions for Xi Jinping Thought-related research topics.

On Sunday, meanwhile, Buzzfeed’s Megha Rajagopalan, who has previously reported on Xinjiang’s role as a “frontline laboratory for surveillance,” tweeted two other travelers’ impressions from the region:


Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.