Scientists and science writers colluding in China’s colonialist discourse

The scourge of Western scientists and science writers falling for the politicized Chinese practice of appropriating any cultural achievement on their imperial map, as the achievement of the Chinese nation which did not exist or had not yet conquered that place in antiquity, is ongoing. For some good pointers about this, see this Twitter thread today, by James Millward (@JimMillward).

He starts with the New York Times article the other day (by science writer Katherine Kornei @KatherineKornei ), miswriting early horse riding in Chinese colonial Xinjiang as if it took place in China: “Mistake is saying that Xinjiang in 350 BCE was ‘China’: it wasn’t politically, and it wasn’t culturally.”

“This is just like saying that a site in Scandanavia, say, was “Roman” when it lay 1700 km outside the Roman frontiers and dates from 150 years before the founding of Rome.  Such a cultural and political attribution is plain wrong.”

See Millward’s thread for more examples (f.ex. how megalomaniac Chinese state media even claim that “China invented skiing” because skis have been spotted in non-Chinese rock art — way outside of the Chinese imperial conquests even in their own time).

We need scientists and China scholars to stop colluding in Chinese imperialism and colonialism. Especially while today’s Chinese regime is razing the cultural heritage of the peoples of the Uyghur region, as part of their massive, ongoing genocide – see for example:

The Spatial Cleansing of Xinjiang: Mazar Desecration in Context.”

Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *