In late 2019, the New York Times received 403 pages of leaked documents, including the speech, that outlined what Xi intended to do in Xinjiang. The New York Times selectively reported on the Xinjiang Papers on November 16, 2019 and suspiciously failed to publish the key documents with critical information about the role Xi and other top officials played. Many of those documents have now been released to the Uyghur Tribunal, giving the public the opportunity to learn the information that the New York Times has been withholding.
Rubio’s letter demands answers from Sulzberger as to why the New York Times engaged in selective reporting in 2019 and continues to withhold these documents from the public.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. Sulzberger:
I write to alert you to what will no doubt be yet another historic stain on the New York Times’ record if found to be true. As you are aware, your paper has a long history of covering up brutal atrocities. In 1933, the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Walter Duranty dismissed widespread famine in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, including Ukraine. We may never know why the New York Times and its man in Moscow felt the need to cover up Josef Stalin’s atrocities intended to silence and wipe out millions of peasants, but it seems that history is repeating itself.
For unknown reasons, the New York Times appears to have intentionally withheld documents that directly linked top Chinese Communist Party officials, including General Secretary Xi Jinping, to the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In those now-released “Top Secret” transcripts – documents that the New York Times has allegedly had in its possession since at least 2019 – Xi explicitly authorized changing local counterterrorism laws, rounding up and sentencing Uyghurs, the use of forced sterilization, and the use of slave labor in Xinjiang.
More than 100 years ago, the New York Times promised, “to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” The paper has failed that test by covering up Xi’s direct involvement in the genocide.
I am under no illusion that you will demand an investigation into your paper and hold accountable those that carried water for Xi, but America and those Uyghurs unjustly suffering in prison and slave labor camps in Xinjiang deserve answers. Please submit, in writing, responses to the following:
Who made the decision not to release the full documents that someone risked their life to obtain and give to the New York Times in a desperate attempt to save people’s lives in Xinjiang?
Why did the New York Times choose to misleadingly characterize Xi’s policy goals as simply counterterrorism and blame the atrocities on mid-level Communist Party members when you had documents laying out Xi’s actual genocidal goal?
Did the New York Times have any discussions or communications with the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese Government about any of the 403 pages it received? If so, did the Times make any deal or concessions to withhold the release of any of the documents, including Xi’s speech about what he wanted to do in Xinjiang?
Did anyone at the New York Times reevaluate that decision after the Trump and Biden administrations determined that the atrocities being committed in Xinjiang constitute crimes against humanity and genocide?
Will the New York Times commit to release the remaining approximately 86 pages of the document?
For a newspaper that spent four years suggesting the duly elected leader of the free world was a Russian agent hell-bent on destroying America, the protection of a brutal dictator ordering genocide is simply astounding. To highlight the absurdity, the New York Times wrote countless articles elevating the conspiracy theory that the Russian government held “kompromat” over President Trump – and did so based on little more than hearsay and a document that has now been widely debunked.
By contrast, it looks as though the New York Times covered up proof that Xi sanctioned the total destruction of a people. No words of apology will erase your paper’s complicity in the ongoing genocide, but at the very least, you should end the censorship of your reporters and allow the full details to come out impartially, without fear or favor.
I look forward to your reply.