In the morning of December 21, 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China holds Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region’s 21st Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues at the press release room in Beijing, briefing Chinese and foreign media on Xinjiang’s situation and answering their questions. The participants from Xinjiang include deputy director-general Xu Guixiang of the Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, spokesperson Ilijan Anayat of the Information Office of Xinjiang People’s Government, Hatip Obulhasan Tursunniyaz of the Jama Mosque in Hotan City, two graduated trainees Ablajan Ablat and Tursunnisa Ali who graduated from a vocational education and training center in Aksu Prefecture and Hotan Prefecture respectively, and two workers Shirali Mamtimin from Hotan Prefecture and Paziliya Tursun from Aksu Prefecture.
Jiang Xiaoyan: Good morning. Welcome to the press conference brought to you by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To answer your questions, we are happy to have invited deputy director-general Xu Guixiang of the Publicity Department of CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, spokesperson Ilijan Anayat of the Information Office of Xinjiang People’s Government, Hatip Obulhasan Tursunniyaz of the Jama Mosque in Hotan City, two graduated trainees Ablajan Ablat and Tursunnisa Ali who graduated from a vocational education and training in Aksu Prefecture and Hotan Prefecture respectively, and two workers Shirali Mamtimin from Hotan Prefecture and Paziliya Tursun from Aksu Prefecture, Please introduce your organization before asking questions. Now, we open the floor for questions.
Xu Guixiang:Friends from the press, good morning. It’s a great pleasure to communicate Xinjiang-related issues with you. I’ve met some of you in Xinjiang. Meanwhile, there are some new friends. I’d like to extend my welcome to you all.
In recent years, the overall situation in Xinjiang has seen remarkable changes. Xinjiang now enjoys steady and sound economic growth, constant improvement of people’s livelihood and steady progress in all undertakings. The sense of fulfillment, happiness and security has been on the rise across Xinjiang. Firstly, the overall situation in Xinjiang is stable. Frequent terrorist and violent activities have been the thing of past. No single case of violent terrorism has been occurred in Xinjiang for the past four years. The number of criminal cases, public security cases, cases of endangering public security and public safety incidents has fallen significantly. People’s hope for peace and stability has been realized.
Secondly, steady and healthy economic growth. Stick to the new development philosophy, we have achieved high quality development of economy. From 2014 to 2019, the GDP in Xinjiang rose from 919.59 billion yuan to 1.35 trillion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 7.2%; the general public budget revenue rose to 157.77 billion yuan from 128.23 billion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 5.7%. Continued improvement of infrastructures. All the regions and prefectures in Xinjiang have entered the era of express ways. Thirdly, people’s life has been greatly improved. The annual growth rate of per capita disposable income of residents in Xinjiang was 9.1%. 1.69 million rural houses and 1.56 million government-subsidized housing projects in cities and towns have been constructed. More than 10 million people have moved to new houses. Public service has upgraded continually; social security increasingly improved. All the residents in Xinjiang have access to free physical checkups. The medical infrastructure in rural and pasturing area has improved a lot. Standardization for clinics in townships and villages reached 100%; and 99.7% residents were covered by the basic medical insurance. Fourthly, decisive results have achieved in poverty alleviation. More than 3 million people were lifted out of poverty under the current poverty line. Poverty was eliminated in 3666 poverty-stricken villages and 32 towns. The absolute poverty issue in Xinjiang has been solved historically.
The hard-won achievements of stability and development in Xinjiang represent the hard work from people of all ethnic groups which have earned supports from visionary people worldwide. It should be further cherished. For journalists present here today, we are grateful to your objective and fact-based reports.Meanwhile, our policy on Xinjiang are wantonly slandered by some anti-China forces, media outlets, think tanks and politicians. They spread groundless reports and viciously vilify Xinjiang related issues. They intend to sow discord in ethnic relations, disrupt development in Xinjiang and confuse the international community. People of all ethnic group in Xinjiang firmly oppose it and they are indignant about it!
Here, I solemnly make it clear that the so called Xinjiang-related issues are not at all about ethnicity, religion, or human rights, instead they are about anti-violence, anti-terrorism, anti-separatism and deradicalization. These issues have been properly handled in Xinjiang based on facts, truth and justice. We resolutely defend the achievements of Xinjiang’s stability and development, all ethnic groups’ fundamental interests, and national security. We will speak the truth loudly and never give in, and we will firmly rebuke any slander and smear towards Xinjiang.
I believe that lies repeated a thousand times are still lies, for everyone’s eyes are bright. Today, the purpose for us to hold this press conference on Xinjiang issues is to expose lies and tell the truth about Xinjiang to everyone. I hope everyone here will report objectively and rationally and represent an authentic Xinjiang to the world.
Questions raised by foreign media
NBC: 1) In March the ASPI accused international brands including Adidas, Gap and Nike of using Uighur forced labor in their textile supply chains. And recently a report by Washington-based think tank the Center for Global Policy cited online government documents as proof that in 2018 three majority-Uighur regions within Xinjiang sent at least 570,000 people to pick cotton as part of a state-run coercive labor transfer scheme. Will you welcome foreign media to visit factories and farms to independently verify if these claims are accurate or not? 2）In a new book Pope Francis said: “I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi.”It was the first time he had called China’s Uighurs a persecuted people. Can we say the Pope was right or wrong?
Xu Guixiang: The so called “massive forced labor”in Xinjiang are lies and fallacies fabricated by some US and Western anti-China organizations and individuals, and we have exposed it on many occasions. In real practice, laborers of all ethnicities in Xinjiang choose their jobs out of their free will, and sign labor contracts with and receive payment from companies on the basis of equality and voluntariness according to The Labor Law of PRC and relevant regulations. They enjoy full freedom in deciding where to work. Thus the alleged “forced labor” thing just doesn’t exist in Xinjiang.
On September 17, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China issued a White Paper on Employment and Labor Rights in Xinjiang which gave a full account of Xinjiang’s employment situation, proactive employment policies, labor rights protection and demonstrable results. All laborers of all ethnicities in Xinjiang work voluntarily according to The Labor Law and The Labor Contract Law. On November 13, employees of ethnic minorities from Hotan, Turpan and other places telling their stories about their experience at workplace or in starting their own businesses at the press conferences on Xinjiang related issues. If people from overseas really care about the employment situation in Xinjiang, they should read the white paper and listen to what these employees said.
It must be pointed out that all ethnic minority laborers in Xinjiang, who are a part of the labor force of the country, are free to choose their jobs and each of their rights and benefits is protected by law. They have full freedom in deciding where to work and what jobs they do. Either working in Xinjiang or in other cities, they all enjoy equal rights to be get paid, to rest, to workplace safety, to social insurance, and to freedom of religious belief and to use their ethnic languages in accordance with law. They work and live in an pleasant and comfortable environment and their families back home are free of worries about them.
In recent years, employees of ethnic minorities get steady income through employment. According to incomplete statistics, the annual per capita income of workers from Xinjiang who are working in other provinces is about 40,000 yuan, roughly equal to the per capita disposable income of permanent urban residents in the places where they work. The local people who left their home to work elsewhere in Xinjiang have an annual per capita income of 30,000 yuan, much higher than earnings from farming. Where does this forced labor come from when all the workers and their families are satisfied with the arrangement of transferred employment?
It has proved that Xinjiang’s policies and practices concerning employment and job security comply with Chinese Constitution and relevant laws, conform to international labor and human rights standards, and support the will of all ethnic groups to live a better life. These policies and practices can withstand any test . Ignoring Xinjiang’s tremendous efforts in guaranteeing human rights and promoting employment of all ethnic groups, some people in the US and Western countries violate the basic labor rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang under the banner of human rights by hyping their false claims of so-called “forced labor” in the region. Their acts amount to a denial of the fact that the local people in Xinjiang enjoy the right to work, aspire to move out of poverty and backwardness and are working towards that goal. Their attempts defy people wishes.
When talking about “cotton picking”, years before, when it came to the harvest season, many workers from Provinces of Henan, Sichuan, Gansu came to Xinjiang by train, they were called “cotton picking contingents”. Local workers in Xinjiang also voluntarily went to cotton producing areas to help the picking. They worked together and cared about each other, building strong bond of friendship. Picking cotton is totally the farmers’ voluntary choice: a month-long work can bring them about 10,000 yuan of income. Isn’t it a wise decision?
As you mentioned about “visit factories and farms”, we have no problem with as long as the factories and farms agree. Xinjiang is an open area, we welcome friends from all over the world to visit Xinjiang and learn about the real situation on the spot. In October this year, there were 20 Arab ambassador to China and envoy of the League of Arab States in China visited Xinjiang Aksu Huafu Color Spinning Co., Ltd.. They said that “the company operates very well, the employees live and work happily here, they totally enjoy their rights”, “the employees here enjoy comfortable and stable lives, and are adequately provided with working clothes, food, accommodation and commuting service and skills training.” When it comes to cotton picking season, I’d like to take you to the cotton field and to hear what will cotton farmers say.
Ilijan Anayat:Labeling Uygurs as “a persecuted people”has no support of facts or evidence. China is home to 56 ethnic groups, Uygurs are an equal member of the Chinese nation. The Chinese Constitution and theLaw on Regional Ethnic Autonomy prescribe that “all ethnic groups in China are equal and the state protects the lawful rights and interests of ethnic minorities.” People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang including Uygursenjoy equal legal status, the right to vote and to stand for election, and all other rights, such as to participate in the administration of state affairs, freedom of religious belief, to receive education, to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and to preserve their traditional cultures and customs.
Meanwhile, all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy full rights to subsistence and development. Xinjiang allocates 70% of the general annual fiscal revenue to guarantee and improve the people’s livelihoods through an array of benefiting-people projects in employment, culture, education and medical care. In terms of employment, a dynamic mechanism has been put in place to ensure at least one member of zero-employment families get employed. In terms of education, we are pushing for integrative development of rural-urban education and the enrollment rate of schooling children in compulsory education hovers at 99.9%. Nine-year compulsory education covers the whole region, while southern Xinjiang enjoys 3-year free preschool education and 12-year free elementary education. In terms of health and medical care, free physical examination has become popularized to all residents in Xinjiang, with the participation rates of basic medical insurance, old-age pension and major illness insurance for impoverished people reached full coverage. All the poverty-stricken rural population has been lifted out of poverty by current standards, making the historical extreme poverty to an end in Xinjiang. All Uygurs have shared the fruits of development and fulfilled their dream of living inpeaceand contentment, which is reflected on their faces and rooted in their hearts. You can visit cities and countrysides in Xinjiang to take a look at what we Uygurs eat and wear and how we live. Come and see whether they are going through the so called “persecution” or not.
Spanish EFE: 1) Recently, about how many trainees in the “re-education camp” in Xinjiang? Is the number of trainees over one million? 2) Evidence showed that there’s hardly anyone in the mosques in Xinjiang because many surveillance equipment are near the gate of the mosque, people who goes to mosque will be penalized. Is this true? In Xinjiang, is there corresponding penalty to people who goes to mosques, conducts Islamic religious activities in public or in private?
Ilijan Anayat: We have firmly emphasized for many times that there has been no so-called “re-education camps” in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training centers legally established in Xinjiang were actually schools with the character of deradicalization, which were no different in essence from the “community corrections” enforced in the US, the DDP (Desistance and Disengagement Programme) in the UK, and the deradicalization centers in France, all being conducive attempt and proactive exploration for preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization, complying with the principles and spirits of United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy and other anti-terrorism resolutions.
The white paper Vocational Education and training centers in Xinjiang issued by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China expounded in detail the urgent needs, legislative authority, teaching content, management measures and remarkable results of education and training efforts. On August 24, 2020, CCTV released a special document on this matter named Lies and Truth: Vocational Education and training in Xinjiang, vividly presenting to the public the real stories and scenes in the centers.
The numbers of trainees were dynamic. In October, 2019, all the trainees on the vocational and training program (learning the national common language, law and skills and receiving deradicalization education) graduated. As for the rumors created by some US and Western media outlets that “a million of Uygurs were detained in the centers” are nothing but slanders and smearing. The Grayzone, an independent news website once published articles to expose that such ridiculous conclusions were fabricated and spread by the US government supported non-governmental organizations and anti-China forces: firstly, Chinese Human Rights Defenders drew a conclusion that among the 20 million people of Xinjiang, 10% were detained in the reeducation camps based on the interviews of eight Uygurs. Secondly, the pseudo researcher Adrian Zenz also who forged such lies has admitted that “he is not certain about this estimate.”
On July 25 this year, Max Blumenthal, an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, spoke at an international symposium No to New Cold War that many media reports alleging an astonishing number of a million Uygurs being detained are based on shaky sources of information that don’t stand up to examination. I hope friends from the media could sharpen your eyes and do not be blinded.
Hatip Obulhasan Tursunniyaz of the Jama Mosque in Hotan City: On your second question: Respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief is a fundamental policy of the Chinese government. China’s Constitution stipulates that citizens are entitled to freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization, or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The State protects normal religious activities.
In Xinjiang, normal religious activities, such as recitation, praying, Koran teaching, fasting, and celebrating Islamic festivals, conducted by Muslims at home or mosques are all believers’ voluntary activities and protected by law allowing no interference. The well-equipped Jama Mosque where I serve in Hotan City is in nice condition and has good surroundings. Though Xinjiang was struck by Covid-19 this year, normal religious activities were not affected much by the epidemic and nearby Muslims came to the mosque to pray largely as usual, thanks to our effective prevention and control work.
Installing cameras in the region’s mosques is to protect the safety of our clerics and believers, and to prevent and fight terrorist activities. In 2014, Senior Mullah Juma Tayir, vice president of Xinjiang Islamic Association and Imam of the Id Kah Mosque, was brutally killed by terrorists on his way home after morning Faji prayer. I am sure you are aware of the incident, which was also featured in the documentary Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang broadcast by CGTN. Without the footage recorded by cameras, cracking the crime would have become more difficult, not to mention make the brutality of terrorists known to the world!
Some people falsely accuse that installing cameras in mosques is to make them under surveillance and to punish Muslims. It is totally a malicious smear, with a sinister intention to sow discord in the relations between China and Islamic world, to create contradictions between Muslims and Non-Muslims, and to disrupt Xinjiang’s religious harmony and our happy life.
Radio France International (RFI): 1) What are the security policies and measures Xinjiang has taken in 2020? 2) Whether trips to Xinjiang will be arranged for member states of UN Security Council and diplomats of EU countries to China?
Xu Guixiang: On your first question, I need to point out that, for some time, Xinjiang was plagued by terrorism and religious extremism, which gave rise to frequent violent terrorist incidents. According to incomplete statistics, the “three forces” (terrorism, extremism and separatism) had conducted thousands of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China, causing the deaths of a large number of innocent people and hundreds of police officers, as well as damage to immeasurable property. Facing complex and grave circumstances, Xinjiang, upholding the principle of fighting and preventing terrorism at the same time while earnestly implementing The Counter-terrorism Law of PRC, has been taking aggressive action against violent terrorist crimes, and at the same time, addressing the problem at its source. It has been making every effort to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens from violation by terrorism and extremism. Specific measures include improving public wellbeing, promoting knowledge of the law through education, and offering education and aid through vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law. It has been proved that these measures suit the conditions in Xinjiang and have produced notable results. No violent terrorist attacks have occurred in the past four years in a row, and extremism has been effectively contained. Public security has substantially improved with people’s happiness, enhanced sense of gain and security.
Today, Xinjiang is safe and stable, people are living in peace and contentment. We will persist in governing Xinjiang according to law, stabilizing Xinjiang by shared solidarity, culturally moistening the Xinjiang, enriching the people and prospering the region, building Xinjiang with a long-term goal, and strive to an era of socialism with Chinese characteristics in Xinjiang featuring unity, harmony, prosperity, civilization, progress, peaceful living and work, and sound ecology.
To answer you second question. I’d like to stress that Xinjiang is an open region. We conduct ourselves honestly and handle each thing according to its merits, and therefore we have nothing to hide. Since the end of 2018, over 1,000 people have visited Xinjiang. They include foreign diplomatic envoys to China, UN officials, Geneva-based senior diplomats of various countries, as well as more than 70 groups (or delegations) of people from news media and religious organizations of various countries. We welcome foreign visitors to Xinjiang, including those from UN Security Council and diplomats of EU countries to China, to see for themselves the real situation in Xinjiang. A joyful and harmonious Xinjiang awaits your visit.
Al Jazeera: 1) Last year, Xinjiang government announced all trainees had graduated. But the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) alleges that China has set up larger “detention centers.” As all trainees have graduated, what measures government is going to take against those who are considered to have “separatist” tendency. 2) Could you provide some statistics on how many laborers from Xinjiang are now working in factories in other parts of China? how many people have benefited from this policy? and what do local government do to implement such a policy and are there any indicators to measure?
Ilijan Anayat: On your first question, I want to sternly state that over a past period of time, terrorists and extremists had been very rampant and deceived a large number of people. Through the vocational education and training program centered on learning the country’s common language, legal knowledge and vocational skills as well as deradicalization, we have helped many trainees realize the criminal nature and serious harm of terrorism and extremism, get rid of the terrorists and extremists’ influence and control, and achieved remarkable results. By October, 2019, all trainees under the vocational education and training program had graduated.
The ASPI’s claim that “Xinjiang has built even bigger detention centers” is in every way conjecture and nonsense. Even Australian Citizens Part’s official publication Australian Alert Servicecould not stand it anymore, so it published an article pointing out that the ASPI report was absolutely ridiculous. The two so-called “detention centers” in Turpan City alleged in the report are in fact office buildings respectively of the Industrial and Commercial Information Technology Bureau and Veterans’ Affairs Bureau of Gaochang District; and the “detention centers” in Kashgar City are in fact local high schools and technical secondary schools. The ASPI report does not make any sense apart from fabricating sensational fake news. We have shown relevant photos on the scene of press conferences on Xinjiang-related issues. I hope our friends from the press can also read about the reports of these press conferences, and will not be blinded by ASPI’s lies.
Let’s take a look at what on earth the ASPI is. It has long received financial support from the US government and arms dealers. It has been keen on fabricating and hyping various anti-China topics and spreading rumors for the benefit of its paymasters to stigmatize and demonize China. It is not an academic research institution at all, but an anti-China tool manipulated by the US government, and an anti-China vanguard in an academic guise. In particular, it has been notorious for throwing out fallacies on Xinjiang related issues that are unfounded and full of illusions and groundless suppositions. the ASPI just fawns on its paymasters so as to make more money. It is not responsible to its readers.
Of course, counter-terrorism and deradicalization is a long-term and arduous mission. Some violent terrorists and separatists are still trying to incite and deceive, and it cannot be ruled out that individuals may be deceived, but we believe that the vast majority of the people are clear-minded and have already seen through their ugly face and evil intentions, and thus will not follow those bad guys. For individual people who may be affected by terrorism and extremism, we will provide them with assistance, education and guidance in strict accordance with relevant Chinese laws and regulations, so as to enhance their capability to guard against infiltration of erroneous thoughts and avoid taking the road of crimes.
Xu Guixiang: On your second question, in recent years, Xinjiang has prioritized employment, made and taken a series of policies and measures to enlarge employment, which aim to help workers of all ethnic groups to realize stable, sustained and long-term employment, so that they can live a well-to-do life through their hard work. One of the key measures is to utilize the central government’s Xinjiang-aiding mechanism to make overall plan on employment in and out of Xinjiang and actively facilitate people of all ethnic groups to find jobs in inland provinces and cities. Since 2014, a total of 117,000 Xinjiang people have worked or been working in inland provinces and cities.
Supported and guided by the employment-oriented policies, many people from rural area in Xinjiang, especially those in southern Xinjiang, have migrated to cities to work. From farmlands to factories, the farmers have become workers, who have not only got higher pay but also realized their ideals and value of life. For example, Arapat Ahmatjan, from Charbagh village, Lop county, Hotan Prefecture, used to earn less than 10,000 yuan a year as a farmer. In 2017, he went to work in an electrical company in Nanchang city, Jiangxi province and earned more than 160,000 yuan within 3 years. Another example.
Pashagul Keram, from Bartokay Village, Wuqia County, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture, signed up voluntarily for a job in a company in Dongguan City. Today, she makes an annual income of 60,000 yuan from the job. Inspired by her experience, more than 1,300 workers from Kizilsu Prefecture have gone to Guangdong Province for work and most of them have shaken off poverty. Because of her leading role in hard work, Pashagul also won several awards, such as “China’s most beautiful workers of 2020”.
To assist Xinjiang’s surplus urban and rural laborers in obtaining employment in other provinces, local authorities in Xinjiang have adopted a bulk of attentive and effective measures. First, forming a comprehensive picture of the local labor resources.Based on the labor offices at township/sub-district and village/community levels, local authorities have established basic information on the number, age, gender, education level, and employment status of the workforce in their respective jurisdiction, and formulated employment plans in line with local realities. Second, keeping track of the job preferences and needs of workers. The local government conducts regular surveys of the job preferences of workers, to keep track of their expectations in terms of location, position, salary, future prospects, and working and living environment, so as to increase effectiveness of employment services.
Third, building employment information platforms. The local authorities have built an extensive contact network with employers to collect and collate job information, which is released timely through the human resource market, public placement agencies and online platforms, radio, TV, village and community bulletin boards, updating the laborers with information for voluntary and free choice of employment. Fourth, bolstering public employment services. The local authorities have built a well-defined, dynamic, five-tiered public employment service system for employers and employees, which is well-coordinated at all levels and covers every part of Xinjiang. It has also expanded its services in areas such as policy advice, employment and unemployment registration, career guidance and recommendation, and skills and business startup training.
By the end of 2019, there were 144 human resource markets at the county level or above and 8,668 primary-level labor offices across Xinjiang, providing employment services to more than 21.73 million people that year, and winning extensive praise from all ethnic groups.
Relocation of urban and rural surplus laborersfor employment in Xinjiang adheres to the principle of voluntariness. There is no designated targets imposed nor any forced relocation. Laborers of all ethnic groups can get recruitment information from human resources markets or primary-level labor offices, such as weather conditions of the working place as well as type of work, accommodation and salaries that the employer offer, etc. After being well-informed, they could sign up for a job voluntarily according to their own conditions. Where to go, which enterprise to work for, and what post to take, all are their free choice.
Associated Press of Pakistan: How many students have graduated from vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang? How many of them have started business or got jobs ? Can you update us on it?
Ilijan Anayat: With regard to your first question, as I’ve explained before, the number of people participating in the vocational education and training program was not fixed, with some coming while others going. By October 2019, all trainees participating in the courses of “standard spoken and written Chinese, law, vocational skills, and deradicalization” had all graduated.
On your second question. As far as I know, some of the graduated trainees have chosen to go to technical secondary schools or higher vocational colleges for their further study; some of them have got jobs in enterprises, and signed labor contracts with the employers like other employees, so their basic rights are protected in accordance with laws; some of them have started their own businesses and set up good examples in shaking off poverty.For example, Ablikim Dawut who graduated from the vocational education and training center in Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture, has been employed in an electrical company by virtue of his vocational skills acquired in the training center. Now he is a leading employee of the company, and earns a monthly salary of more than 5,000 yuan, making his whole family much better-off. Another example. Abaydulla Omur, a graduated trainee from the vocational education and training center of Turpan City, has opened ane-commerce company to sell local specialties through livestreaming with the help of the local government. He has sold raisins and red jujubes from the foot of the Flaming Mountains to all parts of China, which has greatly increased his income fora better life.
UAE China Arab TV: Some reports accused that China forced the Uyghur workers to work and restricted their freedom of action, and pointed out that they were paid lower salary than the Han employees. Are those reports true?
Shirali Memtimin (worker): My name is Shirali Memtimin and I am from Moyu County, Hotan Prefecture. Now, I work in a clothing company in Ili Prefecture with a monthly salary of more than 4,000 yuan.
I used to do farm work,raise sheep and do odd jobs with very low wages in my hometown. At the beginning of 2017, my friends who often worked outside our hometown persuaded me to go out and see the outside world. They told me that as long as you work hard when you go out, you would definitely live a better life than at home. I was moved by these words. In fact, my wife and I also wanted to earn more money with our hard work and let our family live a better life.
In June 2017, the village committee posted some companies’ recruitment information on the bulletin board, and my wife and I thought one of the clothing company offered jobs that were suitable for us. We went to the company after succeeded in the job application, and signed labor contract with the company.
Since we joined the company, we have met many friends like us, who are also employed through recruitment. Some colleges came to the company several years earlier than me. I’ve never heard that there is any “forced labor.” The company offers nice conditions and pays the “five social insurances”(endowment insurance, medical insurance, work related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and personal accidental insurance) for us. Out of genuine care, our boss, who got to know that my wife came with me, has also arranged for us an apartment with two bedrooms and a living room, which is also furnished with sofa, wardrobes and TV. Both my wife and I are very satisfied. The company has a halal restaurant that specially hires a Uygur chef to cook for us. Three meals are provided for free from Monday to Friday. There are many varieties of food, including Xinjiang-flavored noodles, pilaf and lamb dumplings. My favorite is mutton pilaf.
The company institutes an eight-hour working day system, and we can ask for leave if we have other important things to handle. At weekends, we usually go out for shopping, watching movies or dinning with friends. I like Ili ,where the climate is more humid with no sandstorms and local residents are hospitable. During annual leave, we can go home for family gathering in Hotan or go out for tours.
I work hard with dedication and have become core staff and got promoted a group leader. Our salary is calculated on the basis of performance. The more I work, the more I get paid. Salary is paid regardless of ethnicity, so there is no such thing as Han workers earn more than workers of other ethnic backgrounds. My wife and I have savings of more than 100,000 RMB now. When I went back to Hotan to visit my parents on vacation, I was very happy to hear that the government encourages us to start our own businesses by offering interests-subsidized loan for entrepreneurship. I have a plan to start a garment factory at my hometown and realize my dream of being a boss when I save enough money and with the help of the government.
Seeking for jobs outside hometown for those of my kind is nothing like the forced labors as some foreigners said. Does it need to be forced that we villagers work for more salaries, learn more skills and change our lives with our own hands? Would those foreigners give money to us if we did not go out for work? They also said that our freedom is restrained and work with low pay, these are all totally nonsense. They did not come to visit our factory, nor did they talk with us face-to-face to know the truth. They slander us because they don’t actually want us to live a good and happy life. I would like to say that nobody can abridge us of the rights to pursue happiness.
Paziliya Tursun：My name is Paziliya Tursun, 23 years old and from Wushi County, Aksu Prefecture.
My father passed away years ago, my mother falls ill for long time, and my little brother needs to go to school. Our relatives help to manage the farmland of my family. We don’t fave any stable income. So, in order to help my family out, I came to an local company in Aksu City introduced by friends.
At first, I was worried that I might not be able to adapt myself to the work and life at the company. But soon, I found my concerns was unnecessary. At the beginning, I wasn’t familiar with my work, but after receiving targeted training in the company, my skills were improved step by step. Meanwhile, I consulted with other co-workers frequently at spare time, who all taught me hand by hand like brothers and sisters. I became a skillful worker and core member within one year, and then was promoted to a group head. My salary has increased from over 3000 RMB to more than 5000 RMB. I am quite satisfied with my current job, not only because of salary, but also the good living conditions the company has offered.
I live in a four-bed dormitory, with all necessary facilities including AC, TV, washing machine, and WIFI provided. We do a lot of online entertainment and shopping through smart phones, which makes our life more colourful. In our halal food restaurant, Uygur chefs cook ethnic specialty food every day, and my favorite is the freshly-baked Naan bread, which reminds me the taste of Naan my father made in my childhood. At weekends, I usually go out with my colleagues for shopping for new clothes and dinning.
The company hosts gatherings at the festivals of Ramadan and Kurban Festival. At the Kurban party last year, I sang a nice song named a joyful dance and performed Uygur traditional dance. During the holidays, I took my mother to bazaar to buy new clothes, gave birthday gift to my brother. I give my mother living allowances that I saved from salary to solve the difficulties at home, and I feel fulfilled. My younger sister graduated in June 2019, and joined the same company on my advise. Now both of us can earn over 8000 RMB monthly and my mother is very happy and pride of us, and she says that we are capable and considerate. We have free and happy lives, for that both of us are quite satisfied.
Russia Today: Western media reported a lot on Uygur-related “forced labor” and “compulsory sterilization”. What is your comment on this? Are there any more introduction on the specific conditions of Uygur people’s work and family life?
Ilijan Anayat:We have already refuted the lies on “forced labor” and introduced facts about laboring and employment in Xinjiang, so I don’t want to repeat it again. When it comes to “forced sterilization” in Xinjiang, it is a groundless fallacy by anti-China forces, meaning to smear China.
China’s Family Planning Policy was rolled out from China’s central and eastern regions to border areas, from urban areas to rural areas, from Hans to ethnic minorities, giving ethnic minorities differentiated yet loose policies as opposed to that on Hans. From 1975, Family Planning Policy was implemented in Xinjiang first in such predominantly Han populated cities like Urumqi. Provisional Regulations on Several Issues of Family Planning Policywas published in 1981, and the implementation started from the Han people. Measures on Family Planning of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was published in 1992, giving ethnic minorities more loose policies compared to Hans, to be specific, urban Han couples could have only one child whereas rural Han couples could have two; urban ethnic minorities can have two children whereas those in rural areas can have three. In 2017, Xinjiang revised its population and family planning regulations, granting the same policy to all ethnic groups: urban couples can have two children, rural couples can have three. As can be seen, family planning policy was implemented towards ethnic minorities 17 years later than Hans, and still with more flexibility compared to China’s other provinces.
Some anti-China forces’ reports of “forcing ethnic minority women to have contraceptive rings implantation, female legation or even induced abortion” are scandalous remarks with malicious purpose. In Xinjiang, illegal medical practices like late pregnancy induced labor, forced birth control and forced pregnancy tests are banned. People of all ethnic groups are free to choose whether or not and how to practice contraception; no organization or individual may intervene.
Xinjiang is witnessing the most prosperous development period in history with people of all ethnic groups living in content, happiness and harmony. Xinjiang’s population has increased steadily. From 2010 to 2018, the population of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang increased from 12.9859 million to 15.8608 million, an increase of 2.8749 million, or 22.14%, higher than the increase of total population of the region, which was 13.99%; the Uygur populationincreased from 10.1715 million to 12.7184 million, an increase of 2.5469 million, or 25.04%; The growth rate of the Uygur population is not only higher than that of the in Xinjiang, but also higher thanother ethnic minorities, especially than Han population, which was only 2%.
As for the work and life conditions of Uygurs, much introduction has been earlier, and I don’t want to wast your time by repetition. But you are welcomed to visit Uygur families here in Xinjiang to learn and understand more about their life and work.
Antara of Indonesia: 1) Given the situation in Xinjiang recently more stable, would the security of mosque and believers be tightened? 2) Are there any plan to meet demands Muslim Uighur have to learn Islamic teaching, the Koran and Hadith?
Obulhasan Tursunniyaz ,Hatip of Jamah Mosque in Hotan Prefecture:To the first question, Xinjiang was exposed to severe threats of extremism and violent terrorist attacks before 2016. The terrorists attacked mosques and Islamic believers as well, regardless of ethnicity and religion.We were always on tenterhooks while walking on the street since we didn’t know when and where we would be caught by terror attacks. But there has been no violent, terrorist attacks in Xinjiang over recent four years or so thanks to cracking down the terrorism crimes with tough measures; social order has been restored and stabilized, we are feeling safer and more convenient now. We all support the measures taken by governments from bottom of our hearts .
On your second question. We, Uygur Muslims, can learn religious knowledge in the following 4 ways: firstly, we learn religious knowledge from religious personnel in Mosque. For instance, I teach Muslim prayers Koran, Hadith and other religious manners, as well as the traditions in Islam of loving the country and the religion. Secondly, we could learn at religious institutes. We have an Xinjiang Islamic Institute in Urumqi and it has eight branches in Ili, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan, Aksu, Kizilsu, Kashgar and Hotan prefectures. Any eligible and qualified Muslim may apply for the institute for higher Islamic study; Thirdly, we learn through reading religious classics. Xinjiang Islamic Religious Affairs Steering Committee (XIRASC) has translated and published the religious classics likeKoran, Sahih al-Bukhari in Chinese, Uyghur, Kazakh, Kirgiz; XIRASC has alsopublished Waez’s Speeches, Xinjiang Islamic Steering Guidelines for religious personnel and believers to study; Fourthly, We learn through media likeprofessional magazines and websites. Religious knowledge is also available on the website of Chinese Islamic Association and ChineseMuslims magazine.
Bangladesh Post: Almost every day we can see propaganda reports on Xinjiang, but we donot see Chinese government initiatives to refute those propaganda. Would you like to explain if you are going to have counter measures to debunk the propaganda? I recently noticed that China’s media are trying to show the world natural beauty and development of Xinjiang, But as a Muslim, I can understand that Muslims around the world want to know if the propaganda reports are true or not. Muslim are interested in watching the Mosques were not destroyed and people are detained in so-called concentration camps. So do you have any plans to show the world those things about what fake news is being disseminated.
Xu Guixiang: On your first question, as you said, there are lots of foreign media reports about Xinjiang. Many media outlets have visited Xinjiang and conducted interviews there, most of them took a neutral and fair position, reporting Xinjiang in an objective, positive and well-intentioned manner. However, there are some institutions and personnel misleading the international community with groundless pictures pieced-together from nowhere and fabricated rumors in order to provoke attention and to serve their ulterior motives.
To rebuke some media’s disgusting acts, we have take a series measures. First, hold press conference on Xinjiang related issues. We have held 20 of such events so far this year, citing numerous facts, data, cases and videos to expose the US and other Western anti-China forces’ lies and falsehoods on Xinjiang, such as the region “establishing camps to intern and persecute a million ethnic minorities,” “demolishing mosques,” “instituting massive forced labor,” “forced sterilization” and “performing genocide.” The press conferences are reported through radio, TV, foreign language websites and news apps in 15 languages, including English, Japanese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Turkish and Arabic, with overall viewership hitting 200 million so far. Second, produce and airtelevision documentary series. CGTN has released three Englishdocumentaries on counter-terrorism: Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang,The Black Hand: ETIM and Terrorism in Xinjiang,Tianshan Still Standing—Memories of Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, which presented a deep analysis on the disasters and chaos caused by the terrorist organizationETIM, and displayed the sufferings brought about by violent terrorism and religious extremism to Xinjiang. The documentaries have been viewed over 100 million times on social media and related readings hit 1 billion times.
The documentary, Lies and Truth-Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang, which was telecast on China Central Television on Aug 24, sheds light on the truth of vocational education and training work with real stories and scenes, showcases the great changes brought about by the vocational education and training to the minds and lives of the trainees, and refutes with facts attacks and slanders by US and Western anti-China forces on the vocational education and training centers. Third, publish a series of white papers on Xinjiang related issues. Since last year, the the State CouncilInformation Office has released four white papers on Xinjiang related issues: The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang,Historical Matters Countering Xinjiang, and Employment and Labor Rights in Xinjiang, offering a comprehensive and systematic exposition on major issues concerning Xinjiang from perspectives of policy background, legal basis, measures and approaches, and substantial achievements. Fourth, publish a series of research reports. As to theso-called “forced labor” claim, we’ve published reports, including The Forced Labor in Xinjiang Claim Violates Legal Principles and Facts, and Decent Work Under the Sun for All EthnicGroups.The Development Research Center of Xinjiang has publishedThe Investigation Report on Employment of Ethnic Minorities in Xinjiang, based on the field surveys by relevant experts and scholars into this issue, exposing the forced labor lies with solid statistics and sufficient evidence.
The press conferences, documentaries, white papers and research reports reflect the real situation in Xinjiang, which is dynamic, developing and colorful.These materials are available multiple media portals and you are advised to refer to if interested.
Lies, as a Xinjiang saying goes, never fool the locals. The feelings of people in Xinjiang are the most direct, real and, of course, trustworthy. If you wish, please turn a willing ear to more of their stories.
Al-ahram Gate Association: From the beginning to the present, how many people have benefited from the training center? What happened to them after finishing the education program?
Graduated trainee Ablajan Ablat: My name is Ablajan Ablat. I am a graduate from the Vocational Education and Training Center in Wensu County, Aksu Prefecture. I now have a car repair shop of my own.
I had fallen into the influence of religious extremism in the past, and wanted to join illegal religious activities with all my heartand even wanted to kill “pagans”. I didn’t find job to do, nor did any farm work.
When I ran out of money, I asked my parents for help, and I would abuse them or use force towards them if they refuse.My father was so worried about me that his hair turned white, and my mother often wept for me. By after studying at the center, my Chinese efficiency has been improved a lot and I learned the skill of repairing automobiles. I have realized the danger of religious extremism and recognized the ugly face of extremists. I got rid of their control over my mind. They just used us to alienate our Uygurs from other ethnic groups, destroy our unity and arousing hatred. They wanted to turn us into demons.
After graduation from the center, I have started my own business and opened a car repair shop, which operates well with some 10,000 yuan profits a month. During the autumn harvest, my parents help me with the business and I managed to provide translation service for agricultural products buyers. With the Mandarin I learned at the center, I help them to contact and purchase local products such as corns, and earned 30,000 yuan. My life is getting better and better year by year.
I got married this year and bought my wife a car worth 120,000 yuan. She drives to work everyday and we live a happy life. I plan to open two more branches next year and employ more young fellows, teaching them automobile repair technology. In this way, I can help them increase their incomes and expand the scale of my business. I want to do a chain operation.
I think I’m lucky and happy enough, so do my classmates at the center. We all agree that if we didn’t go to the center for study, we would be dragged down deeper and deeper and no one would know what kind of person we could change into. It was the government and our teachers who saved us. What we have now would never happen if we hadn’t learn the skills and knowledge at the center. The vocational education and training center is the significant turning point and the new starting point of our life. For me, I will work harder to expand my business, earn more money and let my family live a happier life.
Graduated trainee Tursunnisa Ali: My name is Tursunnisa Ali, I am a graduate from the vocational education and training center of Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture.
Influenced by extremist thoughts,I didn’t go to the government-run school. And I excluded other ethnic groups and didn’t associate with them. I didn’t watch TV or take part in any entertainment activities. Besides, I persuaded my neighbors to do the same. They didn’t listen to me, so I abused them and even fought with them after quarrel. My parents felt very sad about my behaviors. Persuaded by them, I came to the training center.
At the center, our courses were provided mainly on national common language, legal knowledge, occupational skills and deradicalization contents. Studying at the center helped me to realize that my previous thoughts were totally wrong for the extremism was like the virus that would erode my body and soul and the poison that would lead us to death in the end. I must stay away from it and live a normal life. I chose the sewing course at the center because I want to make myself nice clothes, make a living by the sewing and show my filial respect to my mother. Teachers taught us hand in hand. We practiced over and over again until fully grasp it. Later I can sew straight lines, circle lines and square lines, and I can also solve different problems encountered in the process of sewing with craftiness.
After graduated from the center, I found a job in a clothing company through the labor market and signed a working contract with it. Now my salary is 4,000 yuan per month and I am the workshop manager in charge of more than 180 staff. My job is to both manage my staff well and keep a technical quality check, no unqualified product should be taken to the market from my hand. I like making clothes as always, thus I like my job very much. I feel very proud for the progress my fellow workmates made after learning sewing skills from me. When it comes to weekends or holidays, I will get well dressed and enjoy my time with my friends. Now I am a happy Uygur girl.
Questions from domestic media
Xinhua News Agency: Recently, Australian Strategic Policy Institute has issued many reports concerning Xinjiang, what is your response? Some foreign experts and think tanks have published lots of reports on Xinjiang related issues which were false. How did they fabricate such false information?
Xu Guixiang: Australian Strategic Policy Instituteis a puppet for the US anti-China forces rather than a research body. It is notorious in the international community.
Firstly, Australian Strategic Policy Institute is not an independent institution. Evidence proved that ASPI has long been funded by the US and some other governments as well as major weapons makers, which makes it full of anti-China ideology and keen to make and spread anti-China lies. It is loyal to its sponsors and willing to be a vanguard and puppet for the US anti-China forces.The Australian Financial Review exposed the sponsors behind this “institute” and satirized it for being at the disposal of US anti-China forces. Australian Citizens Party also published an article to criticize this institution.Advertising itself as “independent” and “non-partisan” on its official website, the ASPI is actually an agent of intelligence departments in the UK and US to attack China. A report titled China Defence Universities Tracker byASPI analyst Alex Joske, making false accusation that 32 Australian academics participating in China’s Thousands Talents Plan are “giving the Chinese Communist Party access to their technology and inventions where there is the risk they could be used for military or intelligence purposes.” Based on that, the Australian Research Council (ARC) wrote to universities demanding they investigate relevant individual academics, but the investigation did not find anything unusual. Australian independent news agency APAC News revealed that the ASPI report, which the ARC relied upon to launch its investigation, was entirely funded by a $190,000 grant from the US State Department, and there’s not a scrap of evidence to support the relevant accusation. The author Alex Joske was even forced to issue a public apology. This is a powerful example of the ASPI manipulated by anti-China forces and served for its financial supporters.
Secondly, ASPI did not focus on academic research. Its reports on China-related issues are baseless, lacking academic value, and totally against professional ethnics. Their sources and clues are from US anti-China NGOs or unverifiable and untraceable “eyewitness evidence”. They even used interactive maps as satellite images, which is quite absurd and groundless.
Thirdly, ASPI is highly unpopular. Jocelyn Chey, Australia’s former consul-general to Hong Kong, criticized ASPI’s Clive Hamilton for lacking the basic knowledge of China’s political system. Geoff Raby, former Australian ambassador to China, criticized ASPI as very much the architect of the China threat theory in Australia; Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales, accused ASPI of pumping out a one-sided, pro-American view of the world. Australian Citizens Party also published an article on its weekly publication of the Australian Alert Service to criticize this institution.
Its reports on Xinjiang were baseless. The false information fabricated by it was full of vicious lies and illusions, and was overturned by facts and truth multiple times.
Let’s take its report on so-called “Tracing the Destruction of Uygur and Islamic Spaces in Xinjiang” as an example. It claimed that the arch of Jama mosque in Yecheng County, Kashgar Prefecture has been demolished. The fact is that we have never demolished any mosques. On the contrary, we have take effective measures to protect the mosques. In September 2018, detected and identified by relevant organs, the arch and portal of Jiamy mosque in Yecheng County was in a state of disrepair. To protect the life and safety of believers and to guarantee the smooth normal religious activities, the arch and portal of the mosque have been improved and reconstructed in February 2019 with the approval of the religious bureau of Yecheng County. The local religious figures and believers were all satisfied with the improvement.
Another example, its report of so-called “gene supervision” claimed that residents’ DNA data have been collected under the guise of free physical checkup in Xinjiang. Actually, citizens’ privacy is protected by law in China. The privacy of people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang is protected by law at anytime, under any conditions. In order to improve people’s health, the regional government has invested 5.324 billion yuan since 2016 in the health program. Medical and health organizations provide people across the region with annual free physical checkups which could realize early prevention, early diagnosis and early treatment of diseases. It was well applauded. There is no such thing as collecting DNA data or other biological information during the checkup. I wonder how did the ASPI come to the conclusion? And where is the evidence?
For example, it was claimed in the Documenting Xinjiang’s Detention System that Xinjiang has established 380 “detention centers” for holding ethnic minorities such as Uygurs. As a matter of fact, these places they identified are either government offices or civil institutions. The two “detention centers” in Turpan City mentioned in the report are actually the administration buildings of the Industry, Commerce and Information Bureau and the Veteran Affairs Bureau of Gaochang District; the “detention centers” in Kashgar city are high schools and senior colleges.
For example, in its report Uygurs for Sale, ASPI alleged that there is “forced labor issue in Xinjiang. In fact, there is no suchthing as “forced labor” in Xinjiang. On the contrary, employmentandlaborrights protection and practice in Xinjiang is carried out according to China’s constitution and related laws, and in line with international labor and human rights protection standards and the strong aspirationfor better lives of local Xinjiang people of various ethnic groups, which will withstand the investigation from the world. As rightly pointed out by the Grayzone, an independent news website in the US that there is no solid evidence to prove the so-called forced labor in Xinjiang. Ugyur for Saleis another maliciously “public activity” plotted by anti-China forces in the US and Australia, aiming at starting a “new cold war”against China with upgrading tricks to subvert the current regime of China and to maintain the hegemony of the US.
As to the second question, some so called “scholars” and “think tanks” have fabricated many reports on Xinjiang which are laced with lies. Now I’ll take Adrian Zenz as an example to illustrate how has he churned out falsehoods about Xinjiang.
It is known that Adrian Zenz, a member of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, was a far right-wing organization set up by the US government in 1983. As a mainstay in “Research Group on Xinjiang Vocational Education and Training Centers”, he claims he is “led by God” to be against China. He is keen on spreading misinformation about Xinjiang and slandering China which have been proved to be fake. His so-called reports don’t have the slightest of credibility and academic integrity in it. I’d like to name some of his tricks to cook up falsehood for your reference.
First, fabrications out of thin air. Adrian Zenz fabricated a so-called “Moyu List” where the most frequently cited interment reason was a violation of birth control. In fact, most of the people in the list are local residents of the Moyu county, who have been leading a normal life there. only a very small number of people who have been affected by religious extremism and committed minor crimes have received vocational education and training in accordance with the law.
Second, groundless speculations. In his reports, normal police recruitments in Xinjiang were speculated as preparing enforcement personnel for so-called “detention operations;” the “Fanghuiju activity” which is popular among all ethnic groups, was conceived as a decision-making basis for “detention operations;” boarding school and pre-school education was imagined as “means to take care of the left behind children” for “detention operations;” and voluntary employment by ethnic minorities outside their villages was portrayed as “forced labor.” Such far-fetched, ridiculous imaginations have only revealed that he talks nonsense, and exposed his arrogance and unreasonableness.
Third, numbers game. Adrian Zens claimed that the natural population growth of Han ethnicity in Gulbagh Residential District is nearly eight times higher than that of Hotan County in 2018. The comparison of natural population growth rate between a residential district and a county is of no academic value demographically. Actually, in recent years, the total population of Xinjiang has continued to grow steadily; the growth rate of the Uygur population is higher than the average growth ratein Xinjiang. The statistical data show that from 2010 to 2018, the population of ethnic minorities and Uyghurs in Xinjiang has steadily increased, the population of Han nationality in Xinjiang has slightly increased. From 2010 to 2018, the permanent population of Xinjiang increased from 21.8158 million to 24.8676 million, an increase of 3.0518 million, or 13.99%.Among them, the population of ethnic minorities increased from 12.9859 million to 15.8608 million, an increase of 2.8749 million, or 22.14%; the Uygur populationincreased from 10.1715 million to 12.7184 million, an increase of 2.5469 million, or 25.04%; the population of Han nationality increased from 8.8299 million to 9.0068 million, an increase of 176900 people, an increase of 2.0%. The growth rate of the Uygur population is not only higher than that of the in Xinjiang, but also higher thanother ethnic minorities, especially than Han population.
We hope that friends from the media and people in other sectors can distinguish right from wrong, respect the facts, and do not be deceived by people like Adrian Zens.CGTN: According to ASPI’s report, the forced labor implemented in Xinjiang is an extension of “reeducation camp”policy, and what is your comment on that?
Ilijan Anayat:First of all, there is no such a thing as “forced labor”, and the vocational education and training center is nothing like “reeducation camp”, and there is nothing called “re education camp policy”. On December 9, 2019, Mr. Shokrat Zakir, governor of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region had announced to all that the all trainees who received courses including standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law, vocational skills and deradicalization had completed their courses and left the centers. These graduates are the citizens of People’s Public of China protected by law and secured to employment at their free wills. The accusation of “factories in inland China using trainees sent from the reeducation camps” or “forced labor is the extension of reeducation camp policy” is absolutely ridiculous.
There is a clear and precise definition on forced labor commonly accepted by the international community for long. According to the Forced Labor Convention of the International Labor Organization, the term “forced labor” means “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily. Judging from this definition, there is no forced labor in Xinjiang. The white paper Employment and Labor Rights in Xinjiang published by State Council Information Office on September 17 has given out a comprehensive explanation of the general situation of employment in Xinjiang, active labor and employment polices enacted by local governments that have effectively safeguarded the local people’s basic right to employment, and the achievements they have made. Here, I would like to reiterate the following facts:
On safeguarding the basic right of people of all ethnic groups to employment, first all, all their labor rights are under protection of law. Xinjiang has always been abideby the spirits advocated by the Charter of the International Labor Organization and other related conventions, strictly implemented related laws and regulations, such as Labor Law of People’s Republic of China, Implementation Opinions on Labor Law of People’s Republic of China in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Measures on Implementation of Regulation on Labor Security Supervision in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, etc., and put the issues of establishment, operation, supervision, adjustment and treatment of labor relations under the framework of rule of law. Labor inspection of law enforcement has been carried out intensively and regularly to severely prohibit the forced labor through violence, threat or illegal restriction of personal freedom. Secondly, they enjoy total freedom in labor and employment. The principles adopted by Xinjiang to promote employment realize the coordination between voluntary employment of laborers, market adjustment, government assistance and self employment encouragement. the labor force resources are effectively allocated by the market so that labors of all ethnic groups and employers could establish labor relations based on free and voluntary wills and mutual choices. Workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have full freedom to choose what kind of job they would like to do and where they want to go. What the governments dois to create a sound labor and employment environment which could serve as the precondition for people of all ethnic groups to find satisfied jobs with stable incomes, and to ensure that all rights of labors are under protection in maximum. Thirdly, establish actively the employment information platforms. Employers at all sectors are contacted extensively to collect their demands for posts and vacancies, and job opportunity information are publicized through human resources markets, public employment service agencies and on-line platforms, broadcasts and TV programs, village and urban communities billboards, etc., for the reference of laborers.
As for governments at various levels, all measures taken is to create a sound labor and employment environment which could serve as the precondition for people of all ethnic groups to find satisfied jobs with stable incomes. In the first place, understand thoroughly the situation of labor force resource. Based on the fundamental work done by local labor security offices set up at villages and town-ships, and urban communities and districts, general information, such quality, age, gender, educational background, employment status, etc., of labors available at the market are gathered and analyzed, and as a result, targeted employment promotion plans could be worked out based on the actual situation. Secondly, understand promptly the employment wills and requirements of the labor forces. Employment will surveys are conducted regularly to understand in time the labor’s requirements for location, posts, payment, working condition, living environment, career prosperity, etc. to improve the efficiency of employment service. Thirdly, establish actively the employment information platforms. Employers at all sectors are contacted extensively to collect their demands for posts and vacancies, and job opportunity information are publicized through human resources markets, public employment service agencies and on-line platforms, broadcasts and TV programs, village and urban communities billboards, etc., for the reference of laborers.
Fourthly, strengthen continuously the public employment service. A five-level public employment service system of clear goals, complementary functions and coordinated actions has been established in Xinjiang to cover the whole region with products of policy consultation, employment and unemployment registration, professional guide, job opportunity introduction, professional skills training, entrepreneurship training, etc., are provided to serve both the labors as well as the employers. By the end of 2019, there are 144 human resource markets above county level, 8,668 labor security offices at grassroots across the region, providing various employment services to 21.7284 people times in accumulation, which were general well received by people of all ethnic groups.
As a matter of fact, the ASPI is an institute actually involved with forced labor. According to an article published by APAC, an independent news website in Australia, among its founding sources of several million US dollars, a large amount of it comes from a company which profits directly from forced labor. At least 11 financial supporters of ASPI are directly or indirectly related with prison, prison labor, or even human trafficking. Turning a blind eye to its own terrible record, the institute, however, vilifies Xinjiang’s labor employment policies. It is an institute without any sense of shame.