Photo taken on February 1, 2021 shows the 3rd Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues held in Beijing.Photo by Li Rui
SunZhen: This is the third press conference we held here in recent months. Today, we are very glad to have Deputy Director General of CPC Publicity Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Xu Guixiang，Spokesperson of Information Office of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Elijan Anayat to be with us. Besides, here are also representatives of Xinjiang textile industries and religious circles, and some former trainees of vocational education and training centers attending today’s conference. Before start, I’d like to invite Mr.Xu Guixiang to share his words.
Deputy Director General of CPC Publicity Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Xu Guixiang answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Xu Guixiang: Good morning, friends from the press. I’m very happy meeting you here again. This is the third press conference on Xinjiang-related issues being held in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China. In the previous two conferences, we have conducted deep communication, many media have given objective reporting, making more people know real Xinjiang. Here, I’d like to extend my respect and gratitude!
I have some personal feeling after attending the previous two conferences, and I’d like to share it with you in this opportunity. First, respecting truths. Fact is the life of news, facts speak louder than words. Based on the questions you raised before, I feel that you wanted to know the real situation in Xinjiang; we also gave you answers with the aim of introducing the facts. On this point, we are interlinked. This is the staring point for both of us to communicate Xinjiang-related issues. Second, seeking common points while reserving differences. Though communications, we are glad to see that we have reached consensus on many issues with less and less doubts and misunderstandings. I can be said that we have gained valuable achievement. While, since people have different realization of Xinjiang and different angles of observing things, there may be different opinions to same topics. I hope that we could understand each other and continue our discussion. Third, communicating and exchanging. Issues like anti-terrorism and deradicalization is more than a problem that Xinjiang is facing with, it’s also a worldwide problem. In recently years, Xinjiang has taken great effort to realized the fact that there’s no terrorist attacks in four consecutive years in Xinjiang. It’s uneasy. It’s proved that many actions in Xinjiang are active and effective with referential values. I’d like to suggest to some media that, rather than picking thorns with color glasses, you can calm yourselves and think, how Xinjiang realized stable development and what effective actions have conducted. I hope the cameras of yours spreading Xinjiang’s experience to the whole world, as well as share that of the other countries’ to us. Thank you!
CNN: “forced labor” is one of the reasons why Mr. Pompeo, the former US Secretary of State, claimed that China committed “genocide” and “anti-humanity” crime. His successor, Mr. Blinken, has approved of his claim, and Mr. Biden, the new president of USA，also has expressed similar views. Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week that the officials of the new government of USA were welcome to visit Xinjiang for field investigations which would help them see clearly “the falsifications” of Pomeo and his likes. Will (or how will) Xinjiang government prepare to welcome US government officials of high rank to visit Xinjiang for field investigations free from any interference instead of a publicity tour, to change the identification with Xinjiang-related issues in USA that has transcended party politics? USA officially recognized that China committed “genocide” in Xinjiang and it is estimated that this will incur a larger scale of boycott of Beijing Winter Olympic Games. What is your response？
Xu Guixiang: Pompeo claimed that Xinjiang commited “genocide”and “anti-humanity” crime on the grounds “forced labor” in Xinjiang. This is sheer nonsense, a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law and the basic norms of international relations. His so-called recognition is just a piece of waste paper!
As a former US Secretary of State, Pompeo should have showed his concern to the image of a big power and showed his grace as a high-ranking official of a big power. However, it is shocking to see that he openly acknowledged “we lie, we cheat, we steal” as his life credo, of which he is rather ashamed than be proud. Guided by such evil belief, Pompeo fanned the flames, exerted pressure, and engaged in bullying, which brought too much trouble to the world. Pompeo pursued his own selfish interests, turned a blind eye to the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States, which ranks first in the world, turned a deaf ear to the American people’s angry cry of “I can't breathe”. He has brought too many disasters to the United States. Pompeio maliciously fabricated lies, falsely accusing Xinjiang of persecuting the Uygurs people”, “forced labor”, “persecuting Muslims”, “forced sterilization” and “genocide” etc., and has discredited Xinjiang excessively. People all over the world scoff at such a politician who doesn’t even understand the basic principles and common sense, and who is afraid that the world will not be in chaos. The American people hate him, and the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang also hate him. Recently, the indignant masses of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang severely condemned Pompeo and his likes. using the facts of development and prosperity, social stability, and people’s life and work in peace in Xinjiang, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang effectively exposed Pompeo’s ill and ugly behavior. I believe you have seen it on the Internet. Pompeo is totally to blame for the end of such a street mouse that everyone shouts to kill.
As for Pompey's intention of staging the farce of “doomsday madness”, the whole world have watched it clearly. In my opinion, on the one hand, he did not want to see the good situation in Xinjiang, but he was unable to stop it, so he carried out hysterical attacks by all means. On the other hand, his purpose is to set obstacles for the new US government to adopt proper attitude towards China. According to the New York Times, the last thing Pompeo did before handing over power was to make the job of the next Secretary of State as difficult as possible. According to the Financial Times, Pompeo is trying to check Biden’s team through a “diplomatic blitz” to prevent Biden from taking practical action on foreign policy after he takes office. We believe that the international community can see through Pompeo’s sinister intention of his “magical manipulation”.
As a matter of fact, Xinjiang’s Uygur population has been increasing. According to data, during 2010-2018, Xinjiang’s permanent residents increased by 3.0518 million(13.99%) from 21.8158 million to 24.8676 million. Among that, ethnic minorities population increased by 2.8749 million (22.14%) from 12.9859 million to 15.8608 million; Uygur population was up 2.5469 million (25.04%)from 10.1715 million to 12.7184 million; Han population rose by 0.1769 million (2%) from 8.8299 million to 9.0068 million. Uygur’s population growth rate was not only higher than Xinjiang’s population growth rate, but also higher than that of ethnic minorities and even higher than Han’s. Is it also the results of “genocide”?
In a few days ago, I found a piece of hot video in Chinese Tik Tok, showing how a 91-year-old granny telling her opinions on “genocide” claimed by Pompeo. Let’s see it.
The recognition of “forced labor” in a country or region is not based on Pompeo’s subjective assumption. The term “forced labor” has long been clearly defined by the international community. The Forced Labor Convention adopted by the General Conference of the International Labor Organization in 1930 defines “forced or compulsory labour” as “all work or services which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”. However, workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang choose their occupations according to their own wishes. In accordance with The Labor Law of The People’s Republic of China and other laws and regulations, and on the principle of equality and voluntariness, they sign labor contracts with concerning and obtain corresponding remuneration. They also enjoy freedom in choosing employment places. The rights of workers of all ethnic groups, such as the right to remuneration, the right to rest and vacation, the right to labor safety and health protection, and the right to social insurance and welfare, are protected in accordance with the law. No matter in Xinjiang or other provinces, their rights and interests concerning religious belief, ethnic culture, and language etc. are also respected and protected in accordance with law. Where is the “forced labor” fabricated by Pompeo?
Next, I’d like to invite Akbar Abulat, an migrant worker from Aksu Prefecture, to share his opinions.
Akbar Abulat,a migrant worker from Aksu answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Akbar Abulat: My name is Akbar Abulat. I’m 27 years old, I’m from Aksu, now working in a feed factory.
After graduated from junior college, I saw a recruitment information of feed factory online, the payment was decent, then I went to apply for the job. The company and me sign labor contract and I received 5000 yuan of salary each month. Annual fee of five insurances and pensions were paid, which was more than 4000 yuan. The conditions in our company is great, we have heaters in production workshops. In cold winter, the temperature keeps at 26 ℃ and higher. In our dorms, we have water heaters, TVs, separate toilets, it’s just like living in hotel. In our canteen, the meals are delicious, we have mutton, beef, vegetables and eggs. We work eight hours a day with break in weekend. After duty, I will be with my besties to hanging around and watching movies. When I first arrived the factory, I was a normal employee. But I worked very hard, I learned management knowledge in spare time by myself. Now I am the middle-level manager, in charge of daily works and logistics service, I’m kind of a white collar now. I’ve set a goal for myself, to purchase an apartment and buy some jewelries to propose to my girlfriend.
Recently, we’ve noticed that the US former Secretary of State Pompeo claimed that ethnic groups in Xinjiang is going through “forced labor”, this is nonsense. We go to work to earn money in order to make our life better, no one has forced us and we don’t need to be forced. Would you mind taking a message to Pompeo, all the Xinjiang locals dislike him very much, he should not keep on making lies.
Xu Guixiang: As to your question of inviting officials of the new US government to visit Xinjiang. I would like to say that Xinjiang is following the right path in the world. Everything it has done is open and honest. There is nothing that can not be open. We welcome US officials, including the officials of new US government, to take a walk and have a look in Xinjiang, so as to understand the real situation in Xinjiang in case that you would be blinded by Pompeo’s lies. But we also have the bottom line of our principle, and we will never accept any so-called “investigation” of presumption of guilt. We’ve been constantly working on the definited visits to Xinjiang of EU ambassadors to China, keeping close contacts with them and arranging considerately to show our greatest sincerity. We hope they will come to visit as possible.
Associated Press: Officials have said that the labor transfer program is voluntary, but on visits to one of the factories involved in the program - Nanchang O-Film in 2019, we discovered that the Uygur workers are restricted from praying or leaving the factory compound, which according to the International Labor Organization is a clear violation of labor rights and an indicator of forced labor. This is according to our first-hand eyewitness information and is not based on second-hand testimony. Can you please explain to us why these Uygur workers were not allowed to leave the factory grounds and why they are having their freedom of movement restricted in this way?
Spokesperson of Information Office of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Elijan Anayat answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Elijan Anayat: In the implementation of the labor transfer program, Xinjiang government has always been complying with the principle of voluntariness, and has never imposed this program on anyone. In practical work, governments at all levels actively build employment information platforms, contact employers in the inland provinces, and collect and sort out job information, timely publishing it through human resource market, public employment service institutions, public employment service network platform, radio, television, village community bulletin boards and other channels, so as to provide information and other services for workers’ voluntary employment and free choice of employment. Workers of all ethnic groups can learn about recruitment information through the human resource market and basic labor security stations, including the climate of the construction site, the types of work, accommodation conditions and salaries of the employing enterprises. After understanding the information, they will sign up voluntarily according to their own situation, including where to go, which enterprise and position to choose. I can tell you responsibly, Xinjiang employees working in mainland enterprises, including Nanchang O-Film, their labor rights and interests are fully protected in accordance with the law, and their personal freedom has never been restricted. They have signed labor contracts with enterprises in accordance with the law, established labor relations protected by law, and enjoyed legal rights such as labor remuneration, rest and vacation, labor safety and health protection, and social insurance and welfare. At the same time, the Federation of Trade Unions of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has also established a two-way legal rights protection mechanism with the Federation of Trade Union of relevant inland provinces and cities to effectively protect the rights and interests of Xinjiang migrant workers in the inland regions, actively guide them to join local trade union organizations, and timely help solve difficult demands. Xinjiang employees work and live well in the inland, and the employment enterprises give them care in all aspects.
As far as this question is concerned, Yusupujiang Yasen who used to work in Nanchang O-Film will talk to us.
Yusupujiang Yasen who used to work in Nanchang O-Film answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
A migrant worker: Hello, everyone. My name is Yusupujiang Yasen. I come from Akto County, Kizilsu Prefecture. In October, 2017, through a friend’s introduction, I went to work in Nanchang O-Film, mainly doing mobile phone accessory assembly. We signed up labor contract with the company and all our rights and interests got legal protection. The company provided us with free accommodation, electronic appliances and house hold appliances, such as a fridge, an air-conditioner, a washing machine, a hot water heater, a bed of super quality, sofa etc.. The condition is much better than that at my home. The company also gave us free toilet articles, bed sheet and quilt cover. I lived with 3 guys from Kashgar. They happily commented “We are enjoying the accommodation of a Star Hotel”.
When I first arrived at the company, I took part in a 10-day pre-employment training. Through the training, I mastered the assembly skill of mobile phone accessories and learned some dos and don’ts for the job. At the same time, my coach taught me his work experience with demonstrations. At work, I asked others for help whenever I met something that I couldn't understand, and practiced over and over again what I was not skilled at. My coach and my colleagues were very enthusiastic to help me. In less than three months, I turned into a skillful worker. Later, I became a team leader, and my salary increased from 4500 RMB to 5500 RMB. In the company, we work 8 hours a day and we can ask for leave if we think it necessary. In October 2018, when a relative of mine visited Nanchang, I asked for a leave of two days to accompany them to visit Prince Teng Pavilion and other scenic spots. After work, I chatted with my family through weichat video, showing them new clothes and shoes I bought and listening to my parents talking about the household affairs. At weekends, I often asked my colleagues to go shopping and watching movies together. We enjoyed a home leave every year. We took advantage of the home leave to travel, or go back home to accompany our family, and the company covered the travel expenses. The company respected our dieting habits very much. There was a halal canteen in the company and two chefs from Urumqi were hired to cook for us. The company respected our religious beliefs very much. We all know that there is a mosque in Nanchang. After work or during weekends, Muslim colleagues usually went to the mosque to pray and no one has ever interfered.
In August, 2019, I left the company with reluctance and returned home to take care of my parents. In my home town, with the capital of over 90,000 RMB I earned in Nanchang, my father and I started our decoration and renovation business.
XinHua News Agency: Recently, German scholar Adrian Zenz issued an article: “the forced labor in Xinjiang: transferring labors and mobilizing minorities to pick cotton”. The article claimed that “hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority laborers in Xinjiang are being forced to pick cotton by hand through a coercive state-mandated labor transfer and “poverty alleviation” scheme”; “government implemented a massive scheme to meet ongoing manual labor needs by replacing Han migrant cotton pickers with local ethnic minority pickers”; “labor transfers involve coercive mobilization through local work teams, transfers of pickers in tightly supervised groups, and intrusive on-site surveillance by government officials and (in at least some cases) police officers”; “while cotton picking is paid work, it is grueling labor from dawn to dusk and requires full relocation for the harvesting months, and average earnings can be below Xinjiang’s minimum wage level and below publicly stated wages for lowskilled factory work”; “trainings were to adopt a strictly disciplinary management style with an even stronger focus on intrusive political indoctrination and thought education efforts. A key aspect is transforming the minorities’ “backwards” work attitude from ‘I am wanted to work’ to ‘I want to work’”. Are these true? Adrian Zenz also claimed that “coercive labor related to all cotton produced in Xinjiang”, and “the U.S. government should put a Withhold Release Order on any product that contains cotton from any part of Xinjiang, not just cotton produced in XPCC regions”. what’s your opinion on this?
Xu Guixiang: As we all know, although Adrian Zenz is touted by some western media as an "authoritative expert" on the Xinjiang issue, his real identity is an anti-China backbone supported by US intelligence agencies. We have exposed his background many times, and the independent news website "gray zone" and other media have also disclosed that his Xinjiang related reports and lies and fallacies have been repeatedly "beaten in the face" by the facts and the truth. The issue of "Xinjiang's forced labor: transfer of labor and mobilization of ethnic minorities to pick cotton" is not true!
It is not only the basic right of the masses of all ethnic groups, but also the good wish of the masses of all ethnic groups to become rich through labor. There is no such thing as “forced mobilization”. A few years ago, every autumn when cotton was ripe, many Han migrant workers in Henan, Sichuan and other places arrived by train to Xinjiang. They are known as the "cotton picking army", and migrant workers of all ethnic groups will spontaneously go to cotton producing areas to help pick cotton. They worked together, cared for each other and forged a profound friendship. On the basis of equality, voluntariness and consensus, these cotton pickers signed labor contracts with cotton growers and received corresponding remuneration. In the nearly 50-day cotton picking season, the average picker can earn tens of thousands of yuan per person. Why not? It needs to be emphasized that the government has never implemented "cotton pickers". There's no need at all for the inoculation to the attitude from "ask me to work" to "I want to work".
These years, with the development of science and technology, the cotton production of Xinjiang has been highly mechanized, even in the busy picking season, there is no need for a large number of "pickers". For example, starting in 2015, most of the agricultural cotton output in Bayingol Mogolian Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang has been machine-picked.
Adrian Zenz agitated "the US government should issue suspension order on all the cotton products from Xinjiang ". The purpose is to incite sanctions, restrictions and repression of Xinjiang’s cotton production, disrupting the stability and prosperity of China's economy. This is a naked attempt to deprive the cotton farmers and picking-workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang of their right to live a better life through legal labor! Such rumors and slander of Adrian Zenz hurt the feelings of cotton farmers and pickers, and also affected their income. Finally, I want to warn Pempeo and other anti-China groups: No matter how you make rumors, you can't erase the fact of sustained stability, prosperity and development in Xinjiang. Every despicable practice of throwing dirty water on Xinjiang issue is doomed to be futile!
Today, we have also invited a cotton farmer in Kuqa, Xinjiang. Now, let him talk about his own views.
Baikeli Suwuer，a cotton farmer in Kuqa talks about his own views at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
A Cotton farmer: my name is Baikeli Suwuer, 40 years old and I live in a small village in Kuqa, who is a native farmer. My family has 200 acres of land, mainly planting cotton. Over the years, my family's annual income from planting cotton is about 200,000 yuan.
A few years ago, when it came to the cotton picking season, our family was short of manpower. We would spend money to ask relatives and friends and some cotton pickers from the mainland China to help us pick cotton. At present, the management of cotton planting in our village has developed from canal irrigation and manual picking to the modern management mode of high-efficiency water-saving drip irrigation and mechanical picking. The cost of machine picking cotton is lower and the efficiency is higher. Now the cotton in my family is picked up in less than one day, and there is no need for so many people to pick it by hand.
Recently I've heard some media reports abroad say that Xinjiang forces farmers to work or plant cotton, which is nonsense! Because the income of planting cotton is relatively high and stable, we are willing to plant cotton, and no one forces us to do so. We grow our own land, collect our own cotton, earn our own money, get rich through our own hands and live a good life. How can it be called forced labor? We invited relatives and friends and cotton pickers from the mainland to pick cotton. Each of them could earn more than 10000 yuan for picking cotton for more than two months. There is no need to force. Some people are slandering us, not to protect our rights, but to let our farmers' cotton rot in the field. They want to destroy our farmers' income sources, so that we have no work or food, and return to the previous days of poverty. We firmly refuse!
Reuters: How many trainees have been trained in the vocational education and training centers?
Elijan Anayat: On the issue of vocational education and training center in Xinjiang, we have repeatedly introduced the relevant situation at the Xinjiang press conferences on Xinjiang related issues. The number of people who take part in vocational skill education and training is dynamic with recruitment and graduation. In October 2019, all the trainees who participated in the “Three studies and One Eradication” program have completed their studies. With the help of the government, they have achieved stable employment, improved the quality of their life and led a normal life. At present, there is no vocational education and training center in Xinjiang.
Photo taken on February 1, 2021 shows the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing.Photo by Li Rui
CGTN: Certain foreign organizations and media quoted “evidence” from “the judicial archives of Uygurs” saying that the relatives of some overseas Uygurs have been detained or persecuted in Xinjiang. In the meantime, after browsing “the judicial archives of Uygurs”, we found that there were many photos and videos of a number of “witnesses” listed by the “archives”. Some of the witnesses couldn’t be contacted by their relatives, and some have been put into prison. What’s your comment on “the judicial archives of Uygurs” ? Are the cases in the “archives” real?
Elijan Anayat: The so-called “judicial archives of Uygurs” are full of false information. In its essence, it is the tool of anti-China forces in the US and western countries and of the “East Turkestan” forces in their efforts to smear Xinjiang. According to what I know, this so-called “archives” is funded by “the National Democratic Fund” of the United States with “ help” from the separatist organization “the World Uygur Congress” coercing some overseas Xinjiang natives publishing the so-called “testimony”, claiming their relatives in Xinjiang are “missing”, got “persecuted”. Through these malicious acts, they want to mislead the international community and achieve their ulterior purposes.
We have verified relevant information on those in this “archives” and the conclusion is that the real situation of most of these people is completely opposite to what has been published in the “archives”. For example, the doctor Tayier Aisan from the digestive department of the People’s Hospital of Kuqa County, the kindergarten teacher Gulibahaer Maimait from the Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture, the retired editor and writer Tayier Talifu from the Daily Newspaper of Kashgar, Anwaier Dawuti, Wumaier Aili, Abudukaiyoumu Dawuti from Pishan County, Hotan Prefecture, they are all having a normal life in Xinjiang. One more example, football player Yerfan Yezimujiang is taking winter training with Ningbo Suning Football Club. Another example, Yishake Paizula, former editor at Hami Daily Newspaper and Zaoranmu Talifu and his wife, who are retired officials of the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Hami have attended the previous News Conference on Xinjiang Related Issues. False information of this kind is too many and I will not list them all. Next, please watch a short video.
Today we have also invited a Uygur intellectual named Gulinaer Wufuli who had been referred to as “detained” by this “judicial archives”. Let her brief us with some information.
Gulinaer Wufuli，a Uygur intellectual who had been referred to as “detained” by this “judicial archives”attends the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Gulinaer Wufuli: My name is Gulinaer Wufuli, a Uygur woman. I was born in 1966 in Kashgar City, Xinjiang. I’m working at the Agricultural Machinery Management Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Since last year, I have seen my names appeared on different “list” fabricated by external anti-China forces. They claimed that “ I had been detained” or even started rumor “I had been persecuted to death”. These rumors have brought about numerous psychological trauma to my family and distractions to my work. Therefore, I have refuted these rumors on many occasions. What I didn’t expect was that these rumors related to me were once again used by the “World Uygur Congress” and put into their so-called “archives”. From my perspective, it’s not “archive” at all, but a total “ database of lies”. I am having a wonderful life. And I want to represent a serious warning with “ the World Uygur Congress” and “ the Three Forces” that do not lie to the world in my name or with my image again, and stop hurting my family, my country and me. Or I will start legal process to defend my reputation and my country’s dignity.
【Spokesperson continued】In this so-called “ archives”, there were some people committed crimes such as organizing terrorist activities, homicide, rape, drug trafficking, robbery or prostitution and were indeed punished by law. For example, Saimi Barui from Turpan was sentenced to life imprisonment for organizing, leading and engaging in terrorist organization, intentional homicide. For another example, Aikebaier Yiming from Urumqi was sentenced 25 years in prison for the crime of organizing and leading criminal-syndicated natured organization, forced transaction, robbery and illegal detention. For another example, Aiheti Wuji from Baicheng County of Aksu Prefecture was sentenced 20 years in prison for the crime of intentional homicide(attempted) and provocation. Still, Abudureheman Abudukeremu from Zepu County of Kashgar was sentenced 4 years in prison for child molestation. The United States and other Western anti-China forces are “crying out wrongful treatment” for these criminals and purposefully alleging that they were detained in “the concentration camps” and “ were persecuted”. They are completely reversing right and wrong and indulging crimes. Let me ask you, Duolikun and Rebiya, if your family members were killed, your property stolen, or your daughter molested, would you allow the criminals to run at large? Or is it normal for criminals of murder, robbery or rape not to be punished by law in the United States?
What need to be emphasized here is that China is a country ruled by law. Chinese citizens’ rights of personal liberty and corresponding freedom are protected by law. The government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region adheres to the principle of cracking down on terrorism and protection of human rights, fully guarantees various rights and freedom of people of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law and ensures the normalcy of social life. In the work of counter- terrorism and deradicalization, the government resolutely prevents all that may damage the fundamental rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups. I can inform you responsibly that people of different ethnic group in Xinjiang can correspond with their overseas relatives and friends freely and normally. As for the so-called some overseas Xinjiang natives “lost contact” with their relatives in Xinjiang, it may due to the following reasons: Firstly, certain overseas Xinjiang natives have participated in “ the East Turkestan” organization outside the Chinese territory and their relatives in Xinjiang do not want to contact with them. Secondly, certain relatives of those overseas Xinjiang natives are criminal suspects who are under criminal custody by the police. They are not allowed to contact anyone according to law. Thirdly, certain overseas Xinjiang natives and their relatives and have the wrong telephone numbers of each other or due to frequent change of telephone numbers, their contacts were suspended. Fourthly, certain overseas Xinjiang natives are bewitched or coerced by “ the Three Forces”and they deliberately made up lies about the so-called “losing contacts”.
I can frankly tell all the overseas Chinese nationals from Xinjiang that if you cannot get in touch with your relatives in Xinjiang, you may contact the Chinese Embassy and Consulate. We will work with them to give assistance.
Independent Television: Can you detail, with dates and years of possible, the specific terrorist attacks and threats which prompted the government to round up hundreds of thousands of Uygur Muslims as part of its anti extremism re-education programme in Xinjiang?
Xu Guixiang: First of all, in the fight against terrorism and extremism, Xinjiang has always insisted on taking facts as the basis and laws as the criterion, and has always insisted that the fight is not linked to specific regions, ethnic groups, and religions. There is no case of “rounding up thousands of Uygur Muslims” as you said. What we have cracked down on according to the law are a few heinous and obstinate leaders and backbones of terrorist and extremist groups. What we have rescued are those who have been infected with religious extremism and committed minor crimes. It has nothing to do with whether they are Uygurs or not, whether they believe in Islam or not.
Secondly, there is no so called“re education camp” in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training center we set up in accordance with the law is essentially the same as the DDP (transformation and separation program) established in the UK and the extremism eradication center established in France. They are both preventive efforts of beneficial attempts and positive explorations for anti-terrorism and extremism eradication. The purpose is to eliminate terrorism and religious extremism from the source, which is fully in line with the principle and spirit of a series of anti-terrorism resolutions, such as the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. As for the issue of the vocational education and training center, we have introduced it many times. You can read the white paper Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang issued by the Information Office of the State Council of The People’s Republic of China in August 2019 and now I will not repeat this issue .
Details of the terrorist attacks. According to incomplete statistics, from 1990 to the end of 2016, the “three forces” at home and abroad carried out thousands of violent terrorist cases (incidents) in Xinjiang and other places, which brought great harm to the social stability of Xinjiang and caused great pain to the people of all ethnic groups. They killed the ordinary people in a mad way. For example, on May 22, 2014, five terrorists drove two off-road vehicles, breaking through guard fence in the morning market located in Gongyuan North Street, Shayibak District, Urumqi City. They rammed and crushed the masses, and detonated explosive devices, causing 39 deaths and 94 injuries. They also brutally killed religious people. For example, on November 6, 1997, under the command of the overseas “East Turkistan” organization, a terrorist group shot and killed Mawla Yunusi Sidik on the way to the mosque for worship. Yunusi Sidik was member of the Chinese Islamic Association, President of the Aksu Islamic Association in Xinjiang, and chairman of the mosque in Baicheng County. On January 27, 1998, the terrorist group shot and killed Abulizi Aji, the leader of the Great Mosque in Baicheng County, on the way to the mosque to pray. They seriously endangered public safety. For example, on June 29, 2012, on the flight of GS7554 from Hotan, Xinjiang to Urumqi, six terrorists attempted to hijack the plane and planned to follow the example of the US “9.11” incident to launch a terrorist attack. They openly attacked government agencies. For example, on July 28, 2014, a group of terrorists attacked the government and police station of Alixihu Town, Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture with knives and axes. Some of them rushed to Huangdi Town Shache county, chopped down the masses and smashed and burned passing vehicles, causing 37 deaths, 13 injuries, and 31 smashed and burned vehicles. They deliberately created riots. For example, on July 5, 2009, the “East Turkistan” forces at home and abroad cooperated with each other, organized and planned the shocking violent crime of smashing, looting and burning in Urumqi. Thousands of terrorists acted at the same time in many parts of the city, killing people madly, attacking government departments, public security police, residents’ apartments, shops, public transport facilities, etc., resulting in 197 deaths, more than 1700 injuries, 331 shops and 1325 vehicles were smashed and burned, and many municipal public facilities were damaged.
As for the violent terrorist cases (incidents) in Xinjiang and other regions of China, the white paper The Fight against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang issued by the Information Office of the State Council of The People’s Republic of China, and the three anti-terrorism documentaries Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, The Black Hand--ETIM and Terrorism in Xinjiang, and Tianshan Still Standing--Memories of Fighting Terrorrism in Xinjiang broadcast successively by CGTN also introduced in detail. We will send all of them to you.
Now we will play a short video. Let’s watch it.
People's Daily: We are concerned about A Report on Social Responsibility of Cotton Textile Industry of Xinjiang, in which, cotton textile industry of Xinjiang fulfills the social responsibility of the "decent work" and employees’ right protection, can you please introduce it?
Liu Yanning,honorary President of Xinjiang textile industries answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Liu Yanning:On January 31, A Report on Social Responsibility of Cotton Textile Industry of Xinjiang was published by Textile Industries Association of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Tianshan net, brieding on the building of a harmonious labor relationship, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of workers and achieving decent work are the main responsibility and important goal of the cotton textile industry of Xinjiang. In the investigation, we really feel that the government departments protect the basic rights of workers in accordance with the law, the cotton textile industry conscientiously fulfill its social responsibility, and the employees of all ethnic groups have obtained decent work.
First, the labor rights of employees are protected by laws and regulations. In addition to the implementation of national laws and regulations, Xinjiang has also promulgated a series of local regulations and policies such as the regulations on the protection of the labor rights and interests of workers in the autonomous region, formed a sound policy system for the protection of labor rights, and effectively guaranteed the equal employment rights, the right to remuneration, the right to rest and vacation, the right to occupational safety, the right to participate in social insurance, the freedom of religious belief and the right to use the national language and other rights of workers of all ethnic groups . At the same time, we should constantly strengthen the protection of workers' rights and interests and the construction of relief mechanisms. We will fully implement the labor contract system and clarify the rights and obligations of employers and workers. We also pay attention to the role of trade unions in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of workers, all textile and garment enterprises of Xinjiang above designated size have set up trade unions.
Second, the employees of the enterprise get better labor remuneration. In 2019, the minimum wage standard in Xinjiang varied from 1,460 to 1,820 yuan, while the average monthly wage of employees in cotton textile enterprises is 3,463.2 yuan, which is far higher than the minimum wage standard in various other places. Many employees' families have got rid of poverty, and the days are better. For example, during the investigation, An Uyghar employee, Maieryemu. Yimaier, told us that three years ago, he was still a farmer in Wushi County, working everywhere, and had no stable income. Now we can get a fixed salary of 3,500 yuan a month, and the factory also provided free board and lodging. The living conditions at home are getting better and better. For example, the net income of the couple of Tuerxun.Aili and Ayiguli. Jiamingke working in a textile factory is about 10,000 yuan per month. After working for three years, the couple paid a down payment of 300,000 yuan from their wages and bought a building of more than 100 square meters in Yining City.
Third, enterprises pay attention to provide a good working environment and pay attention to the physical and mental health of employees. All enterprises in strict accordance with the relevant standards to maintain a clean and safe, environmentally efficient, harmonious working environment. Regular occupational safety education should be carried out to ensure the health and safety of employees at work. Employees can receive medical treatment before payment, and enjoy occupational health examination. Enterprises also give special care and assistance to sick employees to ensure that employees can get timely and affordable medical treatment. For example, a female minority employee of a textile company, Guli. Rehemaiti, was diagnosed cancer in the physical examination organized by the company in the second year of employment. The company arranged for her to be hospitalized at the first time and organized donations. Most of the medical expenses in the treatment were borne by medical insurance. After discharge, according to her wish to continue to work, the company specially arranged for her to work in the human resources position with less workload to help her reduce her financial burden and mental pressure.
Fourthly, the living environment of employees is comfortable and harmonious. The enterprise provides dormitories for single employees. Each dormitory generally houses 2-5 people, with a per capita living area of 5-20 square meters. The dormitory has complete facilities. Most enterprises also provide "revolving houses", which are convenient for both husband and wife to live in. The dormitory is equipped with barber shop, supermarket and other supporting services. The enterprise also provides free shuttle bus for employees living outside the factory. The company provides muslin restaurants and organizes celebrations on New Year's day, Spring Festival, Corban Festival, Roza Festival and other traditional festivals. Many enterprises also set up activity centers for employees, equipped with entertainment and fitness facilities, and regularly organize employees to participate in sports meetings, skill operation competitions, entertainment parties and other recreational and sports activities. The employees of all ethnic groups who communicated with us said that the living conditions provided by the factory are very good, and their spare time life is also very rich. They feel very comfortable.
Fifthly, the self-development of employees is well reflected. The skills training independently carried out by enterprises not only enables employees to master technical expertise, but also cultivates many "textile generalists". In recent years, A total of 409 textile and clothing technology experts and 3300 skilled recruits were awarded in Xinjiang, and the individual development rights of enterprise’s minority employees have been fully reflected. For example, under the cultivation and support of the enterprise, an Uygur spinning worker of a cotton company in Aksu, Rouxianguli. Aximu, gradually grew into a technical expert, mastering special skills, innovating and improving the producing process. She has also won the special award of the organizing committee in the national textile industry "Weiqiao-warp and weft Cup" spinning frame operator professional skills competition, China's cotton textile industry "inheritance craftsman" and other honors.
We also welcome all journalists to visit and interview in the cotton and textile enterprises to have a better understanding of the enterprises’ efforts in fulfilling the social responsibility of "decent work" and the protection of employees' labor rights.
Next, please watch the video.
China Arab TV: We have noticed that the United States, Britain and other countries have recently introduced a series of sanctions against Xinjiang on the grounds of forced labor, including banning the import of cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang, and listing some Xinjiang enterprises in the US “export control list”. What’s your response to this? What’s Xinjiang’s response?
Xu Guixiang: The United States has neither verified the relevant situation nor had any contact and communication with the relevant enterprises and employees. It takes the so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang as an excuse to implement long-arm jurisdiction, enforce illegal seizure and abuse export control. This barbaric act seriously violates the rules of international trade, seriously damages the global industrial chain and supply chain, and seriously infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises and employees in Xinjiang. We express our strong indignation and severe condemnation for this! This practice of the United States not only damages the interests of Xinjiang enterprises and workers, but also damages the interests of American enterprises and the American people.
Xinjiang has a large planting area of cotton and tomato, a long chain of downstream industries, which has attracted a large number of employments. In recent years, many poor families in the deep poverty-stricken areas of Southern Xinjiang rely on planting cotton and tomatoes, or voluntarily go to cotton textile and tomato deep processing enterprises to work, so as to get rid of poverty and become rich. However, the United States, by virtue of the so-called “forced labor” fabricated by itself, imposed a ban and unlawful seizure on the cotton, tomato and cotton textile industries in Xinjiang. Its fundamental propose is to contain the stable development of Xinjiang and deprive the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang of their rights to subsistence, employment and development by suppressing these important industries in Xinjiang. As a matter of fact, these enterprises that have been sanctioned by the United States are all legally registered and operated in accordance with the law. They strictly abide by China’s laws and regulations, scrupulously observe the code of business conduct, faithfully perform their social responsibilities, and fully protect the rights of employees. There is no so-called “forced labor” at all.
In view of the unreasonable sanctions imposed by the United States, we will firmly support the relevant enterprises to safeguard their own rights and interests through legal channels and resolutely recover their losses in accordance with The Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-territorial Application of Foreign legislation and Other Measures issued by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. The world is a big market, and so is China. The enterprises in Xinjiang have a large space for foreign trade and many partners. They will never go bankrupt without the United States. We will actively help these enterprises to open up overseas emerging markets and promote their development to provide Xinjiang products with high quality and reasonable price for the world.
Now, please watch the video and listen to what these enterprises and employees say.
China News Service: on Jan 19th, the former US Secretary of State-Mike Pompeo claimed in a statement saying that “religious freedom is restricted in Xinjiang”. What comment do you have on that?
Mamat Mamatmin,the Imam of Konashehar Mosque in Chinebagh Street of Moyu County answers questions at the 3rd press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing,February 1, 2021.Photo by Li Rui
Mamat Mamatmin: My name is Mamat Mamatmin,Uyghur. I am the Imam of Konashehar Mosque in Chinebagh Street of Moyu County. As a religious staff, I want to use my life experience to tell you the true situation of religious beliefs Xinjiang, oxposing Pompeo’s lies.
In 2018, I graduated from Xinjiang Islamic Institute and was in charge of Imam in the mosque. Konashehar Mosque in Chinebagh Street was built in 1905, covers an area of more than 7200㎡, with construction area of over 3000㎡. It was renovated for twice in 1997 and 2007 respectively. The Muslims living adjacent to our mosque would come to pray 5 times a day, on Jumah Day, Id al Fitr, or Corban Festival. During Ramadan, whether to fast or not is totally a private matter without other people or authorities intervention. Governments at all levels in Xinjiang, while regulate religious affairs in accordance with the law, attaches great importance to providing support for us and actively assists the religious sector to solve practical problems such as improving the environment of religious activities and eradicating potential safety hazard in public places of religious activities. What’s more, government of Xinjiang cared the personnel working in the religious sector a lot. All the people in religious sector have been included in the social security system. When Covid-19 broke out, the government arranged medical workers to provide medical service at the mosque, organized routine nucleic acid test for free, distributed face masks, took our body temperature and provided us with medicines. All these services were in place to guarantee we could have normal religious services without interruption and in a cozy environment. In Xinjiang, I have never heard of anyone who had been discriminated or got unfair treatment because he or she believes in Islam.
There are 3 aspects I would like to say concerning the reality of the respect for and protection of the rights in the freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang. First of all, normal religious activities of Muslims of all ethnic groups are guaranteed. Muslims of all ethnic groups may have recitation, praying, Koran teaching, fasting, celebrating Islamic festivals according to the religious teaching and customs both at home or at mosques. The religious activities are all conducted voluntarily and without any interference nor restrictions. Secondly, the religious demands of Muslims are satisfied. The Guiding Committee of the Xinjiang Islamic Affairs has translated and published a series of classical religious books such as Koran and Essence of Buhari’s Sermon in Chinese, Uygur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages, thus Muslims’ demands for acquiring religious knowledge are met. Thirdly, the inheritance of professional Islamic personnel are guaranteed. Xinjiang Islamic Association has found the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and the other 8 branch institute in Ili, Changji, Urumqi, Turpan, Aksu, Kizilsu Kyrgyz Prefecture, Kashgar and Hotan. A number of undergraduate students and junior college students are enrolled every year, preparing them to become professional religious personnel.
We have a saying in China which goes “only you yourself can tell whether the shoes are fit or not”. Only the religious personnel and Muslims of all ethnic groups have the right to say whether China’s religious policies are good or not, or the real truth about the religious affairs in Xinjiang. We all know that Mr. Pompeo has repeatedly smeared at the situation of Xinjiang’s religious freedom with a sinister intention to mislead the international community, foment the harmony among different ethnic groups, disrupt the hard-won stability in Xinjiang and impede the social and economic development in Xinjiang. There is a line from Koran “ you will know whom the insulting punishment will befall and whom the liar is.”(11:93)
We are sternly informing Mr. Pompeo again that do not defile the sacred name of religion. Your so-called “statement” is destined to be a piece of waste paper!
ANSA Italy: Why do you think there is a such international campaign against Xinjiang on human right violations? How many vocational camps are working right now with how many people?
Elijan Anayat: The achievements in the development and progress of human rights in Xinjiang are obvious to all. For people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, their political, economic, social rights and right to freedom of religious belief are all guaranteed unprecedentedly. Since the end of 2016, the situation in Xinjiang has taken a welcome turn through the fight against terrorism and extremism in that unprecedented achievements have been made in socio-economic development, improvement of people’s livelihood and protection of human rights. Xinjiang present a good situation of social stability and people’s living and working in peace and contentment. There is no the so-called “human rights violation” at all.
The changes in Xinjiang these years has been widely praised by many countries and people of insight in the world. By the end of 2018, 1200 people of 80 groups has visited Xinjiang, including UN officials, foreign diplomatic envoys to China, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Geneve-based senior diplomats of various, media reporters and religious groups. They generally appreciated China’s achievements in fighting against terrorism and extremism and safeguarding human rights. Many countries speak highly of Xinjiang’s achievements in combating terrorism and extremism, guaranteeing people’s freedom of religious belief, promoting the economic development and improving people’s livelihood by sending joint letters to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights and by making joint speeches on virous international occasions.
However, there are still politicians in some countries and anti-China forces who turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the progress in the cause of human rights in Xinjiang. They have never been to Xinjiang and do not know the real situation of Xinjiang, but on the pretext of alleged “human rights violations”, they unscrupulously splash dirty water on Xinjiang, instigating the media and think tanks they control to concoct eye-catching false evidence and spread sensational fallacies. What they do in essence is trying to undermine the overall stability in Xinjiang, obstruct its development and progress, pull Xinjiang back to the past of frequent violence and terrorism, and realize their conspiracy of “controlling China with Xinjiang” and “suppressing China with fear” under the guise of human rights.
On the issue of vocational education and training centers, I would like to emphasize once again that in October 2019, all the trainees on the vocational training program (learning the national common language, law and skills and receiving deradicalization education) graduated. With the help of the government, they have achieved stable employment, improved the quality of life and led a better life. At present, there is no vocational education and training center in Xinjiang.
China Daily: Recently, some foreign media reported that the government of Xinjiang asked “Uygurs and people of other ethnic minorities to have “forced sterilization”. What’s your comment on that?
Xu Guixiang: The so-called “forced sterilization against Uygurs and other ethnic minorities and the implementation of genocide” are completely malicious slander. In the process of carrying out Family Planning Policies according to the law, illegal 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. The “forced sterilization” accusation was created from thin air.
Next, I’d like to invite Hotan ethnic female Turanisa Rehman, to talk about her opinion.
Turanisa Rehman: My name is Turanisa Rehman, 32 years old. I live in Lop County in Hotan Prefecture. Some foreign media’s reports on the “forced contraception and compulsory sterilization are sheer lies. There are no such kind of things at all. It was vicious of them to make these rumors although I have no idea why they did that.
The Family Planning Policy in our country is more loose in Xinjiang. Each rural family can have 3 children. Take me as an example. My husband and I have 3 children. Big daughter 12 years old, elder son 8 years old, younger son 6 years old. These years, the government cares about our reproductive health very much. Female cadres in our village often tell us knowledge on pre-pregnancy care. I received free health care products like folic acid tablets during my pregnancy. My children enjoy medical insurance. In our southern Xinjiang, 15-year free education is carried out. I didn’t spend a penny when my three kids were at school. In our village, many families are same like mine, we all have two to three kids. If we were “forced to have contraception and compulsory sterilization”, how come there are so many lovely children in the village?
TV Tokyo: With regard to the vocational education and training center of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, can the Chinese government accept the investigation of the human rights situation by the United Nations and other international organizations?
Elijan Anayat: The vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang are educational and training institutions established in accordance with the law under the situation of frequent violence and terrorism in the past period. Its purpose is to eliminate terrorism and religious extremism from the source. It is a useful attempt and active exploration of preventive anti-terrorism and deradicalization. The vocational education and training centers strictly implement the basic principles of respecting and protecting human rights in china’s Constitution and laws, fully protect the human dignity of the trainees from infringement, forbid any form of personality insult and abuse; fully protect their personal freedom and freedom of communication (boarding management is implemented, and trainees can ask for leave and go home); fully guarantee the right to use their own language, respect the customs and habits of the trainees of different ethnic groups, and provide various nutritious Muslim food free of charge; fully respect and protect the freedom of religious belief of the trainees (they can decide whether to participate in legal religious activities on their own when they return home). In August 2019, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China issued the white paper Vocational Education and Training Centers in Xinjiang, expounding in detail the practical background, legislative authority, teaching and training content, management measures, human rights protection and remarkable results of Xinjiang’s teaching and training work. On August 24, 2020, the Chinese International channel of CCTV released a special document named Lies and the Truth: Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang, vividly presenting the learning and living conditions of the trainees in the vocational education and training centers with real characters and scenes.
Now let’s invite two graduated trainees Saderjiang Sabir from Kashgar Prefecture and Nurmanguli Ublikasmu from Hotan Prefecture to talk about their feeling of studying and living in the vocational education and training center.
Saderjiang Sabir: My name is Saderjiang Sabir, graduating from Shule County Vocational education and Training Center in Kashgar Prefecture. Now I am a deputy manager of a catering company.
In the past, influenced by extreme thoughts, I strongly rejected the non-religious people, regarding them as “heretics”, did not work with them and prevented my family and relatives from communicating with them. I also strongly resisted the singing and dancing performances of my relatives and friends at the wedding, and even tore up my niece’s books and forced her to drop out of school. My mother was very sad to see me like this and advised me to study in the vocational education and training center. It was there I felt like I am back to campus life. I studied the national common language, legal knowledge, professional skills, deradicalization and other contents every day, and participated rich extracurricular recreational and sports activities. On weekends and national holidays I could go home to rest. No trainees’ freedom, including mine, was restricted and no one was persecuted, either.
After graduation, I saw the information in the community job board and applied for the job in this company. Under their careful guidance, I became a mid-level manager from a technical worker step by step. Now I have become the deputy manager of the company. With a considerable income, my family’s conditions are getting better and better. Without the vocational education and training center, I would not have all this. I have heard that some people outside China say that the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang are concentration camps and prisons with ethnic oppression and religious oppression. This is pure slander. Come and see whether our life is good or not. Is there anyone more credible than ourselves?
Nurmanguli Ublikasmu: My name is Nurmanguli Ublikasmu, from Hotan County, Hotan Prefeture. Graduating from Hotan County Vocational Education and Training Center, I am now the woman director of our village. In the past, I met some people, who gave me a book of spreading extreme ideas to read, and kept saying to me, “Muslims should act according to the religious rules and doctrines, not obey the laws of the country,” “Real Muslims should draw a line with non-Muslims,” “Women shouldn’t show up, and must stay at home.” I listened to them and asked myself to act according to their “standards”, as if being possessed. My behavior scared the relatives and friends around me. They all advised me to study in the vocational education and training center.
As a graduate from there, I have the most say in the condition of the vocational education and training center. The center is a school, it has spacious and bright classrooms, each of them equipped with multimedia teaching equipment, which made it convenient for us to study in class. The dormitory conditions are good, equipped with television, air conditioner and bathroom. There, we have six classes a day from Monday to Friday to learn the national common language, legal knowledge, vocational skills and deradicalization and other contents. We can communicate with our family and friends, have a normal rest on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, and take part in legal religious activities when we go home every week. The vocational education and training center respects our customs very much. The canteen provides us with various nutritious halal meals free of charge every day. The teachers care for us like relatives. Pompeo’s so called “persecution of trainees” is a sheer slander. He has never visited the training center, nor had a face-to-face communication with our trainees. How can they fabricate these rumors? It’s really ridiculous.
After graduation, the school introduced me to work in village committee, in charge of organizing entertainment activities of women, helping them to find jobs and mediating family quarrels. Through my efforts, I am now the representative of women affairs in village committee, females in our village get me as long as they are facing with problems. They respect me, I feel proud. In these years, there’s great changed taken place in my hometown, people are living a better life. Taking me as an example, the old house has turned into new house with new furniture, I also bought refrigerator, washing machine and other electric appliances. Me and my husband enjoy our works, our daughter is at school happily. I feel great. To tell you the truth, it was the vocational education and training enter that pulled me from the edge of the cliff, turning me from a housewife to a well respected village cadre. If I didn’t go to the center, I can’t imagine what kind of person would I become. Today, I want to tell Pompeo and his followers, do not lie again, we will never allow you to insult our school!
【Spokesperson continued:】 The facts have proved that the education and training work carried out in Xinjiang conforms to the spirit and requirements of China’s rule of law, the principles and spirit of a series of anti-terrorism resolutions such as the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, and has achieved remarkable results, providing successful experience for the international community to carry out the fight against terrorism and deradicalization. We welcome the international community, including the United Nations and other international organizations, to further understand, summarize, draw lessons from and promote our useful practices. We are also ready to contribute to the international fight against terrorism and deradicalization. However, we do not welcome and we firmly oppose those who come to Xinjiang with prejudice to carry out so-called “verification” activities and presumptive investigation of guilt, and to interfere in China’s internal affair including Xinjiang affairs, and interfere with the development of Xinjiang by taking advantage of the so-called “Xinjiang-related issue”.
Associated Press of Pakistan: The western countries have been criticizing China over the issue of so-called forced labor in Xinjiang. How may new rules and regulations were formulated for protection of labor rights during the last five years in Xinjiang? Will you like to share?
Xu Guixiang: The Chinese government has always adhered to the concept of “respecting citizen’s right to work, paying attention to the protection of workers’ rights and interests, and realizing citizens’ decent work” has always actively fulfilled the obligations of international conventions. The Chinese government has ratified 26 international labor conventions, including 4 core conventions, namely, Equal Remuneration Convention, Minimum Age Convention, Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, actively absorbed and transformed international labor and human rights standards. Through legislation, policy formulation and implementation, the Chinese government has effectively protected the rights of workers, strictly prohibited the use of child labor, opposed forced labor and employment discrimination, carried out in-depth rectification and crackdown on illegal employment and other special actions, and prevented and punished all kinds of illegal and criminal acts in the labor field.
Xinjiang adheres to the principle of governing Xinjiang according to law, actively absorbs and transforms international labor and human rights standards, strictly abides by relevant laws and regulations of our country, and effectively protects rights of workers through local legislation, policy formulation and implementation. It has successively formulated and implemented series of local laws and regulations, including Measures for the implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Employment Promotion in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Measures for the implementation of the Regulations on labor Insurance and Supervision in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Protection of Workers’ Labor Rights and Interests, Measures for the implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Measures for the implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of Chia on the Protection of the Disabled in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Collective Negotiation of Enterprise Wages. Through these laws and regulations, the basic rights of workers of all ethnic groups, such as the right to equal employment, the right to remuneration, the right to rest and vacation, the right to occupational safety, the right to participate in social insurance, the right to freedom of religious belief and the right to use their own language, have been effectively guaranteed, and the whole process of the establishment, operation, supervision and mediation of labor relations has been legalized.
Antara News Agency: The Indonesian people actually didn’t care about the issue of forced labor. However, in last week’s Webinar attended by Indonesian and Chinese academics, the Xinjiang issue was still a major problem in the grassroots level of relations between the two countries. What is your response?
Xu Guixiang: We appreciate the objective and fair position of the Indonesian people on the issue of employment in Xinjiang. On Xinjiang-related issue, we have many exchanges and consensus with the Indonesian people. For example, in July 2010, the Xinjiang religious delegation participated in the “Chinese Islamic Culture Exhibition” held by the China Islamic Association in Indonesia, introduced the real situation of Xinjiang’s economic and social development and freedom of religious belief to Indonesian society, and enhanced mutual understanding and friendship. In 2019, more than 100 people from seven groups, including Indonesians parliament, political parties, media and Muslim groups, visited Xinjiang. They spoke highly of Xinjiang’s achievements in anti-terrorism and extremism, safeguarding citizen’s freedom of religious belief, promoting economic development and improving people’s livelihood. Here, we also welcome you and your team to visit Xinjiang to experience the prosperity and development of Xinjiang and the happy life of people of all ethnic groups.
Global Times: Recently, a book named Survivor from Chinese Gulag depicts that a Uygur woman living in France named Gulibahaer Maihamuti, was detained when she returned to Xinjiang and got persecuted in the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. Media like Le Monde and Le Figaro have reported on that. What comment do you have?
Elijan Anayat: Gulbahar Mahmutjan, female, Chinese nationality, Uyghur, 55 years old, from Karamay city in Xinjiang. She has been in absence of her work for a very long time, she was once a early retirement employee of engineering and technological company of the Xinjiang Oilfield Company. She’s complete secessionist and extremist. Her self-claimed experience in Xinjiang is total nonsense.
It has been verified that: Gulbahar Mahmutjan is a member of World Uyghur Congress, and has taking separatism and terrorism as her career for a long time. In 1985, together with her husband Abuduklim Hatwaji, answering the call of separatist Dolkun Asa and taking part in separatism parade in Urumqi. Then they joined the World Uyghur Congress which is an organization of separatism, secretly conducting separatist activities and plotting terrorist attacks.
On May 26, 2006, she brought her two daughters Gulhumar Abuduklim and Gulnigar Abuduklim, crossing the boarder holding Chinese passports, living with her husband Abuduklim Hatwaji (Vice President of France Branch in World Uyghur Congress) who has settled in France in guise of political asylum. Then with her husband, she clutches closedly with heads of East Turkistan Organization, plotting series of separatist activities that echoes the “7`5” anti-China parade. Her daughter was also induced to join World Uyghur Congress, wearing flag of east turkistan demonstrating her stance in the parade.
In the meantime, Gulbahar Mahmutjan and her husband kept contacts with liaison in domestic, planning to instigate terrorist attacks. In 2009, she went home with the excuse of visiting her families and attended the instigation of Urumqi “7.5” incident, and she also wanted to make similar thing in Karamay. During July to August in 2012, February to March in 2014, April to May in 2016, she and her husband and daughters made multiple entries in China and attempted to conduct terrorist activities.
In November 2016, Gulbahar Mahmutjan alone went home in disguise of dealing with formalities of retirement, again, she wanted to instigate terrorist activities. Since she had long been engaging in separatism and extremism activities, her acts were rigorously investigated by public security organs after she came home, and then she was arrested according to law.
On Jan 29th 2017, the public security department started an legal investigation against Gulbahar Mahmutjan and held her under criminal custody on the same day. During the investigation, she first hid the truth and attempted to sheild the sin of her family members and gave false testimony. After she was exposed of her guilty, she changed her attitude and kept on hiding her terrorist crimes, alleging that she had realized the seriousness of the criminal acts and the harm caused by her husband and her eldest daughter and pled guilty. Given her pleading of guilty and repentance, the judicial department made the decision with leniency not suing her. During her criminal detention, all of her legal rights and interests were protected.
Then, she live a normal life in Xinjiang, travelling and visiting in Urumqi, Karamay, Yili, Altay and many other placed for times. In addition, she also wrote a letter of repentance, in which she wrote her husband’s role in “the World Uygur Conference” and the separatism and extremism activities of her daughter were all illegal. She persuaded them to stop those criminal acts. Relevant domestic departments considered that her elder daughter needed care because of the coming delivery, though Gulbahar Mahmutjan was suspected of crime, she was allowed to apply and to leave the country for humanitarian reasons.
After going abroad, instead of being grateful for leniency, Gulbahar Mahmutjan returned to her separatist and terrorist nature and fabricated all kinds of so called “encounters” in China.She claimed that she was “coaxed to return to China and got arrested”, but in fact, she return to China voluntarily on the pretext that she had to return to China to sign the Early Retirement Contract of the Xinjiang Oilfield Company after the expiration of the time limit for leaving her post.She said she has been sentenced to 7 years of “re-education”. In fact, the judicial authorities never investigated her for criminal responsibility, moreover, there is no such thing as “re-education”, so where does 7 years of “re-education” come from?As for her claims of “detention abuse and sterilization” ,which is even not worth refuting, she has been visiting relatives and friends and traveling in Urumqi, Karamay, Lli, Altay and other places, so where does the “detention and abuse” come from? What is even more ridiculous is, does she need to be “ sterilized” at age 55?
In the meantime, the friends and colleagues of her all know about her poor morality, habitual lies and her turbulent personal life. When she lived in domestic, she fornicated with other people and was exposed by her neighbor. After her going abroad this time, in order to gain favour from the anti-China forces, she colluded with “the World Uygur Congress” and made up all those lies, which once again exposed her immorality and that she is a person without any sense of integrity and shame.