Pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip drew controversy Thursday over a tweet insisting that there is no mass detention of Muslims in China, citing a successful Uighur actress as evidence that reports about the persecution are fake.
“One of the hottest stars in China is Dilraba Dilmurat, and she is not the only Xinjiang success story,” the lawmaker wrote. “What genocide?”
The US accuses China of genocide in Xinjiang. But one of the hottest stars in China is Dilraba Dilmurat, and she is not the only Xinjiang success story. What genocide? pic.twitter.com/xIR39lgZAi
— Regina Ip Lau Suk Yee (@ReginaIplau) January 28, 2021
Dilmurat is an actress, model and singer of Uighur descent, and has held leading roles in a number of mainland television shows and movies.
The 28-year-old was listed on Forbes Asia’s 100 Digital Stars in 2020, and according to Forbes has worked with high-fashion brands including Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent.
Ip’s comment drew backlash on Twitter, with many users questioning the logic behind her tweet. “Yes one alleged celebrity definitely = no genocide. That makes perfect sense,” one read.
Supporters of the Beijing’s Communist Party are known to cite examples of well-known Uighurs to argue that western media are pushing a fabricated narrative about the treatment of minority Muslims in mainland China—despite leaked documents exposing the mass detentions.
Numerous investigations have suggested that over a million Uighurs have been herded to concentration camps since 2017, intended to indoctrinate the minority group into displaying loyalty to the Communist Party.
Last week, the former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China is committing “ongoing” genocide against Uighur Muslims, marking the strongest condemnation of China’s actions from a foreign government.
In response, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying called Pompeo’s statement a “piece of wastepaper.”