By H.E. Ren Yisheng, Ambassador of China to Liberia
Recently, some Liberian media have reprinted some false information about China’s Xinjiang. In order to help African and Liberian friends know a real Xinjiang, it is necessary to clarify the truth so that it can be viewed and heard squarely.
For a period of time, out of prejudice, ignorance and even malice, some politicians, media, and scholars in some Western countries including the United States have spared no effort to fabricate the so-called “genocide”, “forced labor”, “re-education camps” and other lies about Xinjiang. These smearing attacks without a bottom line and a convincing basis seriously violate international law and the basic norms of international relations, and blatantly violate justice and conscience.
Putting the hat of “genocide” on China is the biggest lie of the century. Over the past 40 years, the …Uyghur population in Xinjiang has doubled from 5.55 million to more than 12 million. The average life expectancy has increased from 30 to 72 years. Is there any kind of “genocide” in the world with a huge population increase?
There is no “forced labor” problem in Xinjiang at all. It is completely out of nothing. In Xinjiang, workers of all ethnic groups freely choose occupations and locations according to their own wishes, and sign labor contracts with enterprises in accordance with the law on the principle of equality and self consent, and are completely free from any discrimination and coercion. According to data from the Xinjiang Agricultural Department, the harvesting rate of cotton machinery in Xinjiang in 2020 has reached 70%. Growers can order machine picking services through mobile apps without leaving home. It can be said that cotton picking has entered the “Internet +” era. Isn’t it ridiculous that some people are still making up stories about the so-called “forced labor” at this time?
There is no “re-education camp” in Xinjiang at all. It is completely fabricated out of thin air. The essence of Xinjiang-related issues is the issue of countering violence and terrorism, de-radicalization, and anti-separatism. From 1990 to the end of 2016, thousands of violent and terrorist cases (incidents) occurred in Xinjiang, which brought serious disasters to people of all ethnic groups. Can any government tolerate this without doing anything? The Chinese government launched the fight against terrorism in accordance with the law, and at the same time, by drawing on the experience and practices of other countries including the Western countries to establish de-radicalization centers and other preventive counter-terrorism practices, set up vocational skills education and training centers in accordance with the law to save and help people who have committed terrorism, extremism, illegal or criminal acts to achieve stable employment, improve the quality of life, and achieve de-radicalization. This is fully in line with the principles and spirit of a series of counter-terrorism resolutions such as the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The Xinjiang education and training center is of a school nature, and it is strictly forbidden to insult and abuse students in any form. The so-called “beating and torture”, “sexual assault and sterilization against women” and other accusations are simply nonsense. By October 2019, all trainees of the centers had completed their studies, and most of them achieved stable employment and lived a peaceful life. There have been no cases of violence and terrorism in Xinjiang for more than four consecutive years, and the rights to life, health, development, and national security interests of all ethnic groups have been maximized.
Over the past 60 years, Xinjiang’s economic aggregate has increased by more than 200 times. From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.2%. As of the end of 2019, a total of 2,923,200 people had been lifted out of poverty in Xinjiang, and the incidence of poverty dropped from 19.4% in 2014 to 1.24%. By November 2020, the last 10 poverty-stricken counties of Xinjiang had all completely eradicated absolute poverty. Unprecedented achievements have been made in economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood in Xinjiang.
Anyone who respects the facts will give a fair evaluation. Recently, the international media including the “Grey Area” of the American independent news website have disclosed that the so-called “Uyghur victims” have been proved to be lying, and they have been reduced to tools for anti-China forces to spread rumors about Xinjiang and smear China’s image. In recent years, more than 1,200 diplomats, officials of international organizations, journalists, and religious figures from more than 100 countries have visited Xinjiang. They believe that what they have seen and heard in Xinjiang is completely different from the reports of some Western media and the accusations of some politicians. The French writer Maxime Vivas wrote a book titled “Uygurs, to Put an End to the Fake News”. He used his two personal experiences in Xinjiang to tell the prosperous and stable real Xinjiang, and pointed out that it is those people who have never been to Xinjiang that are making fake news and disseminating the falsehoods. At the recent 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, more than 80 countries expressed their support for China’s legitimate position on the Xinjiang issue in the form of joint or individual statements. This fully demonstrates that justice is in the hearts of the people.
At the regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry of China held not long ago, spokesperson Hua Chunying shared with the press a short video which screened the remarks by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and a retired US Army Colonel, at a forum organized by the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity in August 2018. He was speaking on the threefold purposes of the US presence in Afghanistan, one of which is to contain China. He said undisguisedly that “the third reason we were there [in Afghanistan] is because there are 20 million Uyghurs [in Xinjiang]. The CIA would want to destabilize China and that would be the best way to do it to foment unrest and to join with those Uyghurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external”. This is what the US has said and done.
Facts have proven time and again that the West has meticulously concocted the so-called Xinjiang issue. It was not concerned with the “human rights of the Uyghur people” or the truth, but with the use of the so-called human rights issues to undermine China’s security and stability and to impede China’s development and growth. Seeing is believing. The door to Xinjiang is always open. In 2019, Xinjiang received more than 200 million tourists. We welcome friends from all over the world to have the opportunity to visit Xinjiang to learn more about and experience a real and beautiful Xinjiang without being deceived by the “centenary lies”. We also call on all media that uphold an objective and fair stand and abide by professional ethics to respect the truth and refrain from spreading false information on Xinjiang-related issues.