Press Release—PRC State Media Attacks Jamestown Foundation’s Xinjiang Research

A screenshot of Xinhua's June 21 "investigative report" on international research on Xinjiang (source: Xinhua)

The official People’s Republic of China (PRC) press agency Xinhua has released an English language video feature entitled: “Who fabricated lies about Xinjiang ‘forced labor’?” The video asserts that the bipartisan “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act”, which was passed by Congress late last year and came into effect on June 21, is based on what it falsely claims is research manipulated by Adrian Zenz, one of the world’s leading scholars on PRC government policies in Xinjiang and Tibet. For example, Xinhua alleges that Zenz fabricated his original figure from 2018 that about one million Uyghurs were interned in camps; an estimate that the Asia Society’s ChinaFile called “quite credible.”

Xinhua then blames the Jamestown Foundation, which through our flagship journal-China Brief, has published much of Zenz’s groundbreaking research, for fabricating “a web of lies” about Xinjiang. The piece neglects to mention that Zenz’s scholarship for the Jamestown Foundation has been widely cited as credible by leading international media outlets, including the New York Times, BloombergWashington Post and BBC. Furthermore, both the U.S. Congress and State Department have also cited Zenz’s findings as accurate.

In addition to numerous falsehoods about Zenz’s research, the Xinhua piece also repeats a number of baseless claims about our organization. It calls the Jamestown Foundation an “ultra-conservative think tank founded by a former CIA chief.” Neither assertion is accurate. The Jamestown Foundation is scrupulously non-partisan and publishes research “without political bias, filter or agenda” that is primarily based on “indigenous and primary sources.” Finally, the Xinhua piece implies that the Jamestown Foundation is funded by the U.S. government, which is also untrue. The Foundation is funded entirely through the generosity of private foundations and donors.

We take enormous pride in the role of our research and analysis in revealing the full scale of human rights violations in Xinjiang, including mass internment, forced detention, political re-education, sterilization and mandatory birth control. Earlier this month, China Brief was proud to publish a report by Zenz on “Unemployment Monitoring and Early Warning: New Trends in Xinjiang’s Coercive Labor Placement Systems”, which has already been cited by the Washington Post, Bloomberg and Voice of America.

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Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, Eurasia and the world of terrorism. Jamestown produces three periodic publications: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Terrorism Monitor and China Brief. Jamestown research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website,