CCP pursues lawsuits against German researcher who uncovered human rights abuses in Xinjiang
By Arsenio Toledo // Mar 25, 2021

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has officially endorsed a series of lawsuits against Adrian Zenz, a German anthropologist and researcher known for works that exposed the genocide Beijing is committing against the Uyghur people in China's northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang.


In Dec. 2020, Zenz published a report for the Center for Global Policy, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. The report accused China of using hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs as forced laborers to "pick cotton by hand."

The lawsuits against Zenz are seeking apologies and financial compensation for the report, according to the Chinese state-run news site Tianshannet, which reported about the lawsuits on Monday, March 22.

"Unidentified corporations from Xinjiang have – no doubt at state direction – filed a lawsuit in a Xinjiang court against researcher Adrian Zenz," wrote Donald Clarke, a professor and Chinese law specialist at George Washington University. "There is little doubt that the plaintiffs will win in China. But what can they do with their victory? Nothing, unless they can enforce it in a jurisdiction where Zenz has assets."

The lawsuit was later endorsed by Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Zhao has called Zenz's reports "disinformation" with "zero credibility." He also blamed Zenz for the "Western backlash" the country has been experiencing, particularly companies in Xinjiang with ties to the CCP's inhumane treatment of the region's ethnic minorities.

"Some politicians have chosen to believe his words," said Zhao in a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. He added that the decision of the companies "to seek legal redress against Zenz reflects a stronger awareness among Chinese citizens to safeguard their rights through the law."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has dismissed Zenz's claims as "preposterous," and said that the "rumors" about Xinjiang were being spread because of "ulterior motives."

Zenz said the lawsuit did not bother him, and it in fact validated his research. "It's really rattling them," he said in a phone interview. "It's important to see that my research is having a real impact."

"It would actually be a welcome opportunity to actually look at the topics in detail and look at the evidence in detail, because the evidence is really strong," added Zenz.

Zenz's research corroborated by other scholars and by governments

Zenz, a senior fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has focused his research on the CCP and Xinjiang. Specifically, he has done a lot of works uncovering the communist party's attempts to rein in the ethnic minorities of the region, particularly the Uyghur people.

He has accused the CCP of attempting to reduce the number of Uyghurs in the region through a variety of inhumane practices, including sending busloads of Uyghurs into other provinces for forced labor and preventing them from returning home for long periods of time. (Related: The United Nations is now partners with the Chinese Communist Party; turned over names of Chinese dissidents to the regime.)

Zenz's research has been corroborated by many other well-regarded China scholars, as well as many independent media outlets. The United Nations has attempted to confront China over Zenz's research. The United States was the first country in the world to declare the CCP's actions in Xinjiang a "genocide," followed by the parliaments of Canada and the Netherlands.

Many Chinese state-run media outlets have gone on the offensive, accusing Zenz of being a variety of characters. The Global Times painted Zenz as a "swindler under academic disguise." China Daily called Zenz a "far-right fundamentalist Christian and evangelical zealot."

On social media, Chinese government officials have accused Zenz of being a liar and the news outlets that have run his stories as "spin doctors" engaged in a "smear campaign."

Learn more about the CCP's actions in Xinjiang by reading the latest articles at

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