China is trippin’…

wyo

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You’re certainly free from the tyranny of free speech in China and Russia. If that’s what you want, definitely a wise move to relocate there.
I moved from the UK to the US. LoneSage moved from the US to China. We both point out problems but you don't see us moving back home. I am typing this naked sitting in my hot tub looking at blue skies and palm trees, btw.
 

lithy

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Which is why I don’t understand the news media saying three balloons entered our airspace during the Trump administration but somehow we didn’t know until now?

Report first, correct later.

 

basic

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I moved from the UK to the US. LoneSage moved from the US to China. We both point out problems but you don't see us moving back home. I am typing this naked sitting in my hot tub looking at blue skies and palm trees, btw.
sage has a pretty chinese wife and a doting father-in-law that anchors him there. what do you have? a chrysler 300? hmmmmmmmmm?
 

wyo

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sage has a pretty chinese wife and a doting father-in-law that anchors him there. what do you have? a chrysler 300? hmmmmmmmmm?
I am the Mayor of Southtown.
 
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LoneSage

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On a personal reading the Sunday paper level, it bothers me that Uighers are more likely than not having their cultural and religious identities erased, but i'm not out protesting about it, nor am I prepared to send my sons off to war about it. In particular because the people in those areas are not prepared / willing to put their lives on the line for it (on a mass scale).
Nope. Many have put their lives on the line. They were labeled terrorists, and that was that.

I don't think I ever talked much about what I experienced in Xinjiang in much detail here. I visited in early 2019, when the camps were already in full swing by then.

By that time, mini police stations were set up every 100 meters in almost every city. Facial scanning by CCTV was already up and running. I saw a group of young Uyghur men, no older than 20, get stopped and asked for their ID cards just because they were in a group and walking down the sidewalk. In fact, it was a daily thing to get out their ID cards whenever police asked, for any reason. All that crazy shit about police knocking on the door if people here used a VPN was indeed true in Xinjiang, and it is known that is why some Uyghurs were sent away to the camps, for the crime of using a VPN.

In one city, I was followed for an entire day after checking out of the hotel. I took pictures once I noticed:
Spoiler:
FollowedByPoliceInVanForOneDay.jpg


Urumqi, the capital city, is not bad compared to every other city in Xinjiang. When I took the train to Turpan, when I got off the train and was about to exit the station, I was told by a worker at the station to hand them by passport. Handing over your passport is not something you do unless it's asked for by police or when traveling just to check. I was made to wait outside with other minorities, and then directed to a police station right on the train station square. I was asked, "Why are you here?", "What's your occupation?", "What hotel will you be staying at?", etc.

In another city, I went to a bus station. When I got to the front of the line, the ticket seller got up, walked away, and called the police. He told me to wait over there. A minute later, I got a phone call. The police knew my phone number, my name, my job. They said they'd be picking me up shortly. Afterwards at the police station I was told that I wasn't allowed to take the bus or a taxi, but I was allowed to take a driver that they approved of.

In Kashgar, I got a phone call in the later afternoon, again police. They told me that the hotel I was staying at was not authorized to allow foreigners to stay. So I had to leave my hotel after a day of being outside going around and try to find a hotel that would accept foreigners. The hotel that the police told me I could stay at was 4x the price of the one I was already at. I eventually walked around and found a place that took me.

Here's a picture I took next to the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, which is probably the most famous mosque in Xinjiang:
Spoiler:
IdKahMosqueScreen.jpg


The day I was followed by the van, I wanted to try and get to talk to the locals, which is something I always do when I travel alone. I walked into a village and saw an old farmer, and he was excited to see an American and invited me into his home for tea, and I said sorry I can't, the police are following me. When I turned around and looked at the van, I saw the driver had gotten out and talked to the old farmer for a minute. And that was the last time I talked to a Uyghur on the street.

There was a beautiful mosque in one city, and I saw a group of people hanging out in front of it. When they saw me, they all dispersed. At that time I was being followed by two Uyghur cops (yes, there were many Uyghurs who were police) on motorycles. I felt like a piece of shit coming here as a tourist, despite being fascinated by the Silk Road from a young age. It was the most horrible experience I have ever had and there are some more things I can think of but just don't want. I paid $100 to change my plane ticket to leave two days earlier.

Here's a mosque with barbed wire out front and a few CCTV cameras:
Spoiler:
MosqueWithBarbedWire.jpg


So that was some of what I experienced in Xinjiang. The paranoia was off the charts. That was also four years ago, and I don't know how things are now or how they have changed. I don't ever want to go back.

I just want to share that it's not as simple as you think. When every purchase you make is being tracked, every group gathering recorded on CCTV, every text message being looked at, people taken away in the middle of the night with no recourse, zero freedom of speech or press and zero chance to send any message out - how exactly do you fight that? With this technology, it has become impossible.

And fuck all those people who call it a hoax or think it's no big deal. I hope they get what's coming to them one day.

Probably should be posting this by VPN but oh well, c'est la vie. That was one of the reasons I never talked much about it before.
 

LoneSage

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One last thing, here is a message from an American friend who had lived there for 10+ years and gotten married to a local after I reached out to him (I noticed he had not posted since the camps started):

"Hey there...I appreciate the concern. I really do. The story is a long one, and obviously I decided against making videos about my exit like other China YouTubers, but here's the short version.
Officials in Xinjiang were never very comfortable with me and didn't quite know how to handle me running around such a sensitive region with a camera. I presented the region in a positive light, but they had no control over what I said and the local officials who were responsible for me and my family knew that any misstep on my part would be their responsibility. So naturally, they never liked me and made it extremely hard for me to live there...but I still did.
In the end, the national security bureau decided that I must be a spy and my family went through weeks of hell that I wouldn't wish on anybody. Thankfully, unlike my Canadian friend Michael Kovrig, they also decided that I wasn't worth the political headache (because I wasn't actually a spy) so they forced me out. 72 hours to leave a country I had lived in for 10 years and to add insult to injury, they banned me and my wife from returning to China.
There are three main reasons why I haven't shouted this story from the rooftops:
  • I had a traumatic experience, to be sure, but it's nothing compared to what my Uyghur friends are going through; I don't want to take away any amount of spotlight from them;
  • During interrogation, it was made clear to me that they knew who my close friends were and would punish me through them if I were to speak out; it's a common but effective strategy;
  • I didn't want to make it look like I was trying to benefit from this event (YouTube views, media exposure, etc.).
I've been trolled for years from people who think I'm a puppet for the Chinese government and then from Chinese who hated the fact that I loved the Uyghur people and culture "too much".
What's happening in Xinjiang is real, it's horrific, and I've seen parts of it first hand. I'm doing what I can quietly, but unfortunately since I can no longer enter China, the Far West China brand is dead."
 

wataru330

Mr. Wrestling IV
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So sad.
Humans don’t deserve Earth.

I read the article you linked awhile back, about the lady that went back and was put in a camp, and her struggles to get out.
Her story seemed like a fucked up blend of Sci-Fi, and Horror.
 

Burning Fight!!

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Sage, you're playing with fire there, be careful pal.

I'd at least limit these kinds of posts to Fighting Street only which is not publicly viewable
 

wyo

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Sad to hear LoneSage got treated like a black man walking around the wrong neighborhood in America.

Look... I don't doubt some individuals and groups have legitimate grievances with the Chinese authorities. However, being asked for IDs, temporarily detained and harassed is not a genocide. Maybe there are security concerns such as terrorism or infiltration by outside entities with an interest in sowing discord in China.

Get some perspective here and try to ignore the racist anti-China brainwashing you have been fed from the matrix. Everything I just typed is being tracked by the NSA. Talk to a Muslim (or anyone that resembled one) after 9/11. Talk to anyone that's gotten caught up in the US justice system. Everything seems fine here until something happens to you and your rose-tinted glasses get smashed.
 

LoneSage

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However, being asked for IDs, temporarily detained and harassed is not a genocide.
Yeah, because it's so easy for me to go right up to one of the camps and have them let me in to look around, you fucking chud. Oops, never mind, they like being taken away from their family and home to be imprisoned and told everything they believe is wrong!I wish that could happen to you.

There are ID checks every day for the people living there. Airport-styled security just to get into a supermarket. If people leave the city, there's another police checkpoint on the road.

It is not normal anywhere to leave a hotel, be told by the concierge I have a free ride to a train station when my train leaves in 12 hours, and then followed around by a van for the rest of the day.

It's not normal to leave a train station and have Han Chinese leave no problem while all the ethnic minorities are placed in line and questioned why they're traveling to that city and where they will stay.

What are they afraid of?

What are they trying to hide?

Why do you think wikipedia, youtube, and facebook are blocked here?

If you think that happens to black people in America then you are lost. There's something mentally wrong with you.
 

Lagduf

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Wyo’s favorite video game is “Papers, Please” but he missed the part where the game was satire. He thought it was an actual immigration sim.
 

LoneSage

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Wyo’s favorite video game is “Papers, Please” but he missed the part where the game was satire. He thought it was an actual immigration sim.
All his talk about Russia being anti-Nazi, it all makes sense now. Like Republicans who rail against pedophilia and then turn out to like little girls. Projection.
 

wyo

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I don't understand why we can't discuss these types of issues without the angry responses and personal attacks.

I am 100% pro-American. I love the American people and everything our country is supposed to stand for. I think the federal government is an abomination that does far more harm than good. The Chinese people seem to like their government so maybe we can learn a few things from them rather than demonize. We should lead by example rather than via coercion and stay out of the affairs of other sovereign countries.
 

Lagduf

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What do you mean by "stay out of the affairs of other sovereign countries."

No one is calling for us to drop freedom bombs on China.

Should the United States have, as an example, stayed out of the domestic affairs of apartheid-era South Africa and not levied sanctions, boycotts, etc against her due to the apartheid policies?

And yes, I am aware the United States has for the past 150 years variously stayed in and out of the affairs of various countries depending on how it suited our "national interests."
 

Lagduf

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Also allegedly we shot down "something" over Alaska late Thursday.
 
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