Photo taken on July 15, 2021 shows the 13th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zhou Peng
Bi Haibo: Good morning, dear media friends! Welcome to the 13th press conference on Xinjiang-related issues jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region(XUAR). As we know, the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council was closed yesterday. Today, we have invited people from all walks of life in Xinjiang to introduce the development and progress of human rights in Xinjiang with the help of this press conference, and further expose the lies and fallacies related to Xinjiang, including the hegemonic acts of these anti-China forces interfering in Xinjiang affairs under the pretext of so-called “human rights”.
Now, let’s invite Xu Guixiang, spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and other relevant people to introduce the relevant information.
Xu Guixiang: Good morning, dear media friends! Welcome to the Press Conference by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang Related Issues. I’m Xu Guixiang, spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. First of all, I would like to introduce the people from Xinjiang present at today’s press conference. They are Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Gulnar Obul, vice chairman of the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology. We have also invited some grassroots representatives to tell their stories through live online video. First of all, I would like to make some comments on the relevant issues.
For some time, the US and western anti-China forces have ignored the great efforts made by the Chinese government to protect the equal rights of all ethnic groups and the historical progress made in the undertaking of human rights in Xinjiang. They distorted the facts, made things out of nothing, and wantonly hyped up Xinjiang- related issues in an attempt to tarnish China’s image, interfere in China’s internal affairs, curb China’s development, and destroy the prosperity and stability of Xinjiang. At the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council which has just concluded, Canada and other western countries ganged up to make so-called anti-China joint speeches, attacking and smearing China, and labeling Xinjiang’s just actions against the “three forces” as “violating human rights” and “forced labor”, and staged a crazy political farce and lie show, which has not only aroused great indignation and resolute opposition of all Chinese people, including the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also been condemned by the justice forces of the international community.
Yesterday, the Information Office of the State Council issued a white paper entitled Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang, which comprehensively explains the basic rights enjoyed by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang in accordance with law, such as civil rights, political rights, economic rights, cultural rights, social rights, rights of women and children, freedom of religious belief and so on, and shows the true situation of the continuous development and progress of human rights in Xinjiang. At present, the masses of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang despise the attacks and sanctions of hostile forces, and the stability and peace around Tianshan Mountain has been achieved. We are very delighted to see that the machines in the factory are running fast, the cotton in the fields is growing vigorously, students are reading aloud at schools, a wide range of goods are in arrays in the shopping mall, and the tourists in the scenic area are in an endless stream. So we think this kind of sanction is futile and is a piece of waste paper.
However, the human rights crimes committed by the anti-China forces in the United States and western countries have become a hot topic in this session of the Human Rights Council. Recently, we have learned through various channels that thousands of remains of indigenous children have been found in boarding schools in Canada. Western countries systematically discriminate against Asian, African and other ethnic minorities. Large scale violations of human rights have been committed in immigration detention centers. Civilians have been killed indiscriminately in overseas military operations. Military involvement has led to a large number of civilian casualties and homeless people. Unilateral coercive measures have seriously damaged human rights. It’s outrageous that there are too many of them. However, some western countries turn a blind eye to these problems and avoid talking about them. On the contrary, they use human rights as an excuse to put pressure on other countries. How ridiculous it is!
We are glad to see that many insightful people in the international community have come forward to speak out. In particular, at this session of the Human Rights Council, 68 countries jointly supported China and spoke together. More than 20 countries supported and echoed China’s position by means of individual speeches and joint letters, and made a just voice praising China’s great progress in the undertaking of human rights, and opposing the interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. This is not only a strong support for China’s policy of ruling Xinjiang, but also a vivid embodiment of adhering to the basic norms of international relations and safeguarding the fairness and justice of human society.
Truth is advancing and fallacy is dissipating. The solid facts show that the so-called “violations of human rights” in Xinjiang are all nonsense, the so-called sanctions against Xinjiang are all futile, and the pace of stable development in Xinjiang can not be blocked by those anti-China forces and scoundrels. We strongly call on some people in US and western society to return to rationality, facts and morality and justice, take off their tinted glasses, abandon narrow prejudice. We appeal to them to listen to the vivid human rights stories in Xinjiang, face up to the remarkable human rights achievements in Xinjiang, learn from the beneficial human rights exploration in Xinjiang, and jointly make contributions to the cause of human rights in the world.
Now we will introduce the human rights undertaking and human rights stories in Xinjiang by means of live narration and online video. First of all, I would like to invite Mr. Elijan Anayat to speak.
Photo taken on July 15, 2021 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region answers questions at the 13th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zhou Peng
Elijan Anayat: Xinjiang has been a multi-ethnic place since ancient times, and there are 56 ethnic groups at present. Regardless of population, development level and religious beliefs, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy the same social status, the same rights and perform the same obligations in accordance with law. With the full implementation of the rule of law in Xinjiang, the breadth and depth of the political rights of the masses of all ethnic groups have been continuously expanded and extended, the political rights of the masses of all ethnic groups as masters of their own affairs have been fully protected, and the undertaking of human rights has burst out with vigor and vitality.
Now let’s invite Ms. Gulnar Obul, vice chairman of the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology, to speak.
Photo taken on July 15, 2021 shows Ms. Gulnar Obul, vice chairman of the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology speaks at the 13th Press Conference Press Conference on Xinjiang- related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zhou peng
Gulnar Obul: As for the protection of the political rights of the masses of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, here I mainly talk about it from four aspects as follows. First, implementing the system of regional ethnic autonomy. The system of regional ethnic autonomy is a basic political system in China. It is a system that under the unified leadership of the state, regional ethnic autonomy is implemented, autonomous departmental organs are established and autonomy is exercised in accordance with law in the regions inhabited by ethnic minorities.Regional ethnic autonomy is not the autonomy only enjoyed by a certain ethnic group and the regional ethnic autonomy is not the region exclusively inhabited by a certain ethnic group. Xinjiang has implemented the system of regional ethnic autonomy and established Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Yanqi Hui Autonomous County, Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County, Mulei Kazak Autonomous County, Hoboksar Mongolian Autonomous County, Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County Barkol Kazak Autonomous County. All autonomous localities fully exercise their right of autonomy, independently manage local affairs and equally participate in the management of state affairs. In accordance with the Constitution and laws, the legislature of the autonomous region enjoys not only the local legislative power of the ordinary provincial administrative region, but also the legislative power to formulate autonomous regulations and specific regulations according to the actual situation of the region. Since 1979, the People’s Congress of the autonomous region and its Standing Committee have formulated 669 local laws and regulations, of which 161 are currently in force; 54 decisions on regulatory and major issues were made; 239 specific regulations and local regulations were formulated by cities with subordinate districts, autonomous prefectures, and autonomous counties. Secondly, effectively exercising the right to vote and stand for election. According to the Constitution and the law, citizens of all ethnic groups have equal rights to vote and stand for election. The election adheres to the principles of universality, equality, the combination of direct election and indirect election, and margin election. Citizens of all ethnic groups directly elect deputies to the People’s Congress of counties (cities, districts) and townships (towns). On this basis, deputies to the People’s congress of prefectures (cities), the autonomous region and the National People’s Congress are elected step by step. In Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 61 deputies have been elected to the 13th National People’s Congress, of which 38 are from ethnic minorities, accounting for 62.3%. Among the members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, there are deputies of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang. There are 548 deputies to the 13th People’s Congress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, of which 353 are from ethnic minorities, accounting for 64.42%. At present, there are 2488 deputies to the People’s Congress at prefecture and municipal level in Xinjiang, of which 1349 are from ethnic minorities, accounting for 54.22%; There are 16,960 deputies to the People’s Congress at the county (city, district) level, including 10,025 deputies from ethnic minorities, accounting for 59.11%. There are 43,204 deputies to the People’s Congress of townships (towns), of which 31,739 are from ethnic minorities, accounting for 73.46%. Thirdly, fully realizing the right to political participation and consultation. Xinjiang is the only autonomous region in China with three-level autonomy (autonomous region, autonomous prefecture and autonomous county). The People’s Congress and the people’s government at all levels in autonomous localities exercise their power to manage the affairs of their own localities. The governor of autonomous region, the head of an autonomous prefecture and an autonomous county are all citizens from the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy. Within the institutional framework of deliberative democracy, the CPPCC at all levels in Xinjiang actively absorbs people from all walks of life of all ethnic groups to participate in the discussion of state affairs, timely, accurately and effectively reports the social situation and public opinion, and effectively guarantees the participation of the masses of all ethnic groups in joint consultation and democratic oversight. Among the members of the 13th CPPCC, 34 live in Xinjiang, of which 18 are members of ethnic minorities, accounting for 52.9%. There are 502 members of the 12th CPPCC of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, including 236 members of ethnic minorities, accounting for 47%. By March 2021, 2,588 proposals have been submitted by the 12th CPPCC of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, involving politics, economy, culture, education, science and technology, people’s livelihood and other fields. Fourthly, promoting grassroots autonomy in accordance with the law. Grassroots mass autonomy is the main form of grassroots democracy and the most effective and extensive way for the people to be masters of their own affairs. The formulation and the Implementation of Measures of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for the Implementation of Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Organization of Urban Residents’ Committees, Measures of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for the Implementation of Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Organization of Villagers’ Committees and Measures of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for the Implementation of Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Election of Villagers’ Committees and other local laws and regulations provides legal guarantee for the realization of grassroots democratic rights. At present, Xinjiang has set up 3,389 residents’ committees and 8906 villagers’ committees in urban and rural areas respectively, which are responsible for handling the public affairs or public welfare undertakings of residents (villagers) in their own residential areas, mediating civil disputes, assisting in maintaining public order, and reporting the opinions, demands and suggestions of residents (villagers) to the people’s government or other agencies. The grassroots organizations in urban and rural areas of Xinjiang have generally formulated citizen’s conventions and village rules and regulations, and the self-management, self-education, self-service and self supervision of grassroots autonomous organizations have been continuously improved.
Xu Guixiang: Thanks to Gulnar Obul. Now we will invite the grassroots representatives to tell their stories through online video.
First of all, I would like to introduce the representatives of the masses who will communicate with you through video link today. They are: Talaiguli Ke’erman, a village official of Kunlun Jiayuan Community, Akto County, XUAR; Mikelayi Yibulayin, deputy director of the Composing and Research Department of Xinjiang Art Theatre and deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress; Alimujiang Apusaimaiti, an guide of Museum in Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture, XUAR; Maimaiti Maimaitimin, Imam of Daokuonaxiehai’er Mosque, Qinaibage Street, Moyu County, Hotan Prefecture, XUAR; Li Li, an orthopedic doctor from Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital Affiliated to Xinjiang Medical University; Selimanmu Amuti, parent of a student from a boarding school in Xinhe County, Aksu Prefecture, XUAR; Aizimaiti Tu’erxun, a migrant worker from Baicheng County, Aksu Prefecture, XUAR.
For a long time, the “three forces” have posed a serious threat to the development and stability of Xinjiang and seriously violated the basic human rights to survival and development of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Adhering to the people-centered development philosophy, Xinjiang has made effort to push forward rapid socioeconomic development, striving to implement the improvement of people’s livelihood, the benefit to the local people and enhancement of ethnic unity. Xinjiang actively promotes the common sharing of development achievements, effectively protects citizens’ rights, and universally improves people’s living standards.
Now we will connect Talaiguli Ke’erman, a village official of Kunlun Jiayuan Community, Akto County, XUAR through online video and invite her to share with us some information.
Talaiguli Ke’erman: Hello everyone, my name is Talaiguli Ke’erman, a village official of Kunlun Jiayuan Community, Akto County, Xinjiang.
Mazawozi Village is located in the depth of the Pamir Plateau, more than 300 kilometers away from the county seat of Akto County. It is a remote, cold and high-altitude area, with an average altitude of more than 2600 meters. The natural environment is extremely poor, and the education, medical, transportation, communication and other facilities are very backward. It is not convenient for herdsmen to get schooling for their children, get medical treatment and travel. The villagers lived in stone houses and yurts for generations. They couldn’t get shelter from rain in summer and cold in winter. They drank water from rivers and dams. Limited by the natural environment and living conditions, the development of people in this area were seriously restricted. Growing up in the mountains, I always dreamed of going out of the mountains and living the life of people in the city.
In 2017, the government implemented the overall relocation policy to help Kirgiz villagers living in the depths of the mountains get rid of poverty and out of the mountains. We also organized herdsmen to pay visits to the relocation site and helped them really feel the superior living environment and infrastructure of the relocation site. After they saw it, they were very happy and expressed their home to move out of the mountain early and live a happy life.
In October 2017, the first group of herdsmen in Mazawozi Village moved to the poverty alleviation relocation site of Kunlun Jiayuan, 7km away from the county seat. They lived in spacious and bright buildings, used tap water, watched cable TV, used mobile phones, and cooked with natural gas. There are kindergartens, schools, health centers, libraries, cultural activity rooms, cultural squares, people’s big stage, leisure corridor, employment service center, bus stops and other infrastructure facilities in Kunlun Jiayuan. This kind of living environment was beyond the imagination of the villagers in the past. By August 2019, 1523 people from 357 households in our village had moved to Kunlun Jiayuan in batches, lived in new houses and started a new life.
In order to increase the income of herdsmen, the government provide each household with vegetable greenhouses free of charge, and hire agricultural technicians to teach villagers how to grow vegetables scientifically. The rent is reduced or remitted for herdsmen engaged in business and skills training is provided free of charge for young people who want to go out to work but have no skills. Now every family has a stable income, with an annual income of more than 50,000 yuan. Many families have bought cars. Here, villagers also enjoy free physical examination, cooperative medical care and other policies. Children study in spacious and bright classrooms, and their lives are getting better and better.
Now, what the villagers say most is that their good life now comes from the government’s good policy of relocation for poverty alleviation, which enables them to walk out of the mountains and have a happy new life.
Xu Guixiang: Thank you. We have also visited the residential area where you used to live. The conditions were very difficult. We have seen the situation of the Kunlun Jiayuan residential area where you live now. Great changes really have happened dramatically. We felt very happy about the changes. Here, I also wish the residents of Kunlun Jiayuan Community enjoy increasingly wonderful days and a more and more prosperous life. I also hope you work harder and harder to provide better services for the residents.
Xu Guixiang: Over the years, Xinjiang has continued to improve the level of equalization of basic public cultural services, widely using ethnic languages, made great efforts to protect cultural heritage, and effectively safeguarded citizens’ cultural rights.
Now, let’s connect Ms. Mikelayi Yibulayin, a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress and deputy director of the Composing and Research Department of Xinjiang Art Theatre, and invite her to introduce some relevant situation to us.
Mikelayi Yibulayin: My name is Mikelayi Yibulayin. I work in the Composing and Research Department of Xinjiang Art Theatre. For a long time, the Party and the state have attached great importance to the protection, inheritance and development of the traditional culture and art of all ethnic groups, and given strong policy and finance support, so that the traditional culture and art of all ethnic groups have been fully protected and developed healthily. Xinjiang has formulated the Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Protection of Uygur Muqam Arts, which has effectively promoted the inheritance and development of cultural and artistic treasures of all ethnic groups. Uygur Muqam art, Kirgiz epic Manas and other intangible cultural heritage have been listed in the national and UNESCO “representative list of human intangible cultural heritage”. Xinjiang has also translated and published Kutadgu Bilig which is on the verge of loss, collated and published Mongolian epic Jianger and other folk oral literature works, and established three state-level demonstration bases that produce Uygur musical instruments, carpets and Etles silk for the preservation of these intangible cultural items. the Uygur’s Meshrep, the Kazak’s Aytes, the Kirgiz’s Kobuz Ballad Singing Fair, the Mongolian Nadam Fair, the Xibe “Westward Migration Festival” Han people’s Lantern Festival and other ethnic traditional cultural activities are widely carried out. A number of excellent plays with strong ethnic characteristics and regional characteristics reflecting the great changes of the times, such as the Uygur Ailifu and Sainaimu, the Kazak Aytes, the Kirgiz Manasqi playing and singing of Manas, have been put on the stage one after another. A large number of facts show that our splendid Chinese culture is created by all ethnic groups. In the garden of Chinese culture, ethnic cultures in Xinjiang have been inherited and protected and prospered and developed with new brilliance radiating.
Xu Guixiang: The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are good at singing and dancing, and the culture of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang is also very rich and colorful. In the video just now, we introduced the protection and inheritance of the Uygur Muqam in Xinjiang. In order to introduce this situation more clearly, we have prepared a short video for you to watch.
Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your watching. In recent years, the vocational education and training in Xinjiang has attracted the attention of the international community. The anti-China forces in the United States and the west spread a lot of rumors and lies about the vocational education and training in Xinjiang. However, from the actual situation, the establishment of the vocational education and training center--a key measure, has effectively cracked down on terrorism and eradicated the soil of religious extremist ideas. In particular, it has saved a large number of people who are infected with religious extremist ideas and have minor criminal or illegal acts, helped them get rid of the mental control of terrorism and religious extremism and truly get personal freedom and live a happy life.
Now let’s invite Alimujiang Apusaimaiti, a graduate of vocational education and training center of Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang, to tell us his story.
Alimujiang Apusaimaiti: Hello, everyone! My name is Alimujiang Apusaimaiti. I’m an guide of Museum in Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture, XUAR.
Although I am very sunny and happy now, I used to be weak in legal consciousness and lack the ability to distinguish right from wrong. At that time, some of my friends gave me a lot of illegal books to spread religious extremist ideas, and sent pictures and audio and video to my mobile phone. Soon, my mind was occupied by such heresies as “Jihad martyrs will enter heaven”. Just like being bewitched, I rejected other ethnic groups, hated non believers, didn’t watch TV, and didn’t participate in entertainment activities. I didn’t go out to work to support my family myself, what’s more, I didn’t allow my wife to work for my false belief that it is not halal for women to make money. My mind was occupied by the idea of engaging in illegal religious activities and even “killing heretics”. Later, under the persuasion of my family, I went to the vocational education and training center to study.
The vocational education and training center adopted a boarding system and provided free food and free accommodation. We had six classes a day from Monday to Friday, mainly learning the standard spoken and written Chinese language law and regulations, vocational skills and the content of de-radicalization. The school fully respected the customs and habits of us trainees and provided free halal meals such as pilaf, noodles and baked buns. After class, we could contact our family and friends and had a normal rest on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Our trainees’ right to freedom of religious belief was also fully respected and protected. When we went back home, we could independently decide whether to participate in normal religious activities or not. The extracurricular life in our school was very rich and colorful and there were library, entertainment room and interest classes. Through the study at the vocational education and training center, I have understood what is right and what is wrong. I gradually turned into a cheerful and energetic person.
After graduation, I took the recruitment examination of the Museum of Zepu County for guide. With good competence of the standard spoken and written Chinese language and solid comprehensive knowledge, I successfully passed the examination and became a professional guide. The Museum organized professional training for us, and at ordinary times, I also studied hard myself so that I mastered the professional skills for guides at the museum. Through continuous learning, I have a clearer understanding that Xinjiang is an integral part of China’s territory, that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are an integral part of the Chinese nation, that all ethnic cultures in Xinjiang are an integral part of the Chinese culture, and that Xinjiang has always been a region where many religions coexist. Now my guiding performance is very vivid and popular and easy to understand. I have won popularity from the visitors, which gives me a strong sense of achievement.
I am very satisfied with my life now! Thanks to the vocational education and training center. With their help, I have got rid of the shackles of religious extremism, lived a normal life, and become a useful person to the society.
Xu Guixiang: Respecting and protecting citizen’s rights in religious belief is a long-term basic ethnic policy practiced by the Chinese government. Safeguarding legitimate religious activities, restraining illegal ones, containing extremism, defending external infiltration and combating crimes have been underpinning Xinjiang’s policies in religious belief. Policies in protecting people’s religious belief have been implemented across Xinjiang with solid proofs. Normal religious activities are under the protection of laws, facilities in avenues for religious activities are in continuous improvement. People’s rights in religious belief are guaranteed in accordance with the law.
Next, we will be on line with Maimaiti Maimaitimin, Imam of Kuonaxiehai’er Mosque in Qinaibage Street, Moyu County, Hotan Prefecture. Let’s welcome him to brief us with some of the realities in the protection of religious freedom for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
Maimaiti Maimaitimin: My name is Maimaiti Maimaitimin, Imam of Kuonaxiehai’er Mosque in Qinaibage Street, Moyu County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang.
Kuonaxiehai’er Mosque was built in 1905, over 110 years ago. With the acceleration of urbanization, the Mosque was renovated after local Muslims’ appeal. The Mosque now covers 7,200 square meters land area with more than 3,000 square meters construction area, the service hall alone occupying more than 2,000 square meters. Facilities in the mosque are well established. It has not only basic necessities such as tap water, electricity, paved road, telecommunication and broadcasting and televisions, but also provides medical service, air conditioner, fire-fighting facilities, drinking water equipment, cleansing rooms and flush toilets. These facilities have brought great conveniences to local religious people. For the daily five prayers, the gathering on Juma day, and on Eid al-Fitr and Corban, neighboring Muslims would come to the Mosque praying.
In Xinjiang, people enjoy equal political, economic, social and cultural rights in accordance with the law. It’s entirely their own choice to have or not have religious beliefs. All the normal activities in line with religious practices including pray, fasting and celebrating religious festivals are protected by law, whether they are conducted in avenues for religious activities or at their dwellings.
There are various channels for Muslims to acquire knowledge on Islam. We can study in mosques, religious institutes or acquire knowledge through reading religious classics, magazines and study online. From 2013 to 2018, I systematically studied Koran citing, holy teachings and Islamic doctrines in Xinjiang Islamic Institute. Whenever I hold Juma gathering, or Eid al-Fitr and Corban festival, I would disseminate Islamic knowledge to local Muslims.
Some overseas people say that “religious personnel whom the government doesn’t approve of are being detained in Xinjiang”. This is sheer stigmatization and slandering of Xinjiang. As far as I know, the so-called “religious personnel detained by government” are not religious teaching staff at all. They are in fact criminals spreading religious extremism, engaging in splitting and violent terrorism activities under the guise of Islam. They have committed serious crimes by taking advantages of Muslims’ plain affection for the religion. They propagate extremist thoughts, wantonly distort Islamic doctrines and teachings, negate all the secular ideas and modern achievements, advocate “Jihad Martyrs will enter heaven”, persecute the so-called “heretics” and “traitors of religion”. Some of the upright religious staff are isolated, even persecuted by them. The extremist doings have caused colossal disasters for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, Muslims included and have damaged the image of Islam in the meantime.
China is a country ruled by law. Chinese government crack down on illegal activities in accordance with the law. Taking advantage of religion to commit crimes is no exception. In fighting crimes, no religion has ever been the specific target. Religious extremism is not religion, but the malignant tumour of anti-human, anti-society, anti-civilization, anti-religion. In my perspective, to combat religious extremism is to better protect legitimate religion. There have been zero incidence of violent terrorism for more than 4 years in Xinjiang, thus we all resolutely support all the measures adopted by the government.
Xu Guixiang: On April, 30, 2021, a seven years old boy’s arm was severed by a tractor pulley and was in urgent need to have reattach surgery in Urumqi. The golden time for the surgery is within 8 hours after the accident. While the journey from Hotan to Urumqi by plane is 1, 400 kilometers, not to mention the time on the way to Hotan airport and hospital in Urumqi. On the one hand, the boy is unfortunate and we were all concerned about him; on the other hand, he is lucky for the care and assistance he have received. During the life relay, governments at different levels and government officials as well as ordinary people of various ethnic groups raced with time and made every possible effort rescuing the boy. They paved a passage with their love and displayed a touching story of life-saving.
Now, please watch a short video-clip on the boy’s rescuing.
Next, we will connect line with Li Li, orthopedist at the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital Affiliated to Xinjiang Medical University. Let’s welcome him to talk about relevant process.
Li Li: Hello, everyone. I’m Li Li, orthopedist at Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital Affiliated to Xinjiang Medical University. After the successful completion of the first surgery, we carried out the second operation on May 12. During the operation, the wound was repaired and the fracture was stabilized, and the elbow joint was not fixated any more. The postoperative fracture alignment was good. The child entered the rehabilitation after the operation. Rehabilitation physicians will give him a series of treatments such as traditional release of large joint adhesions, large joint loosening training, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, etc. At present, the boy’s healing is quite well. X-ray shows the new callus at the fracture end has formed and electromyogram suggests that the biceps of the elbow joint can detect weak action potential, and can observe some elbow flexion function and his finger is red and the blood supply is normal. The boy eats regularly, in stable emotion and walks normally. In the later stage, based on the recovery of the broken limbs, we will prioritize the treatment of traditional Chinese medicine of bone injury, rehabilitation exercise, psychological counseling and balanced nutrition to let him return to campus as soon as possible.
Xu Guixiang: This story embodies the people-centered development philosophy in Xinjiang and explains the value of putting life and people first and demonstrates the brotherhood and blood ties among different ethnic groups. I’d like to express my utmost respect for all those who have helped the boy along the way and wish him an early recovery.
Xu Guixiang: Xinjiang upholds the combined employment policies of self-employment, market allocation employment, government assistance employment and entrepreneurship. The market’s role of allocating human resources is fully exercised. Labor relations have been established through voluntary and two-way choice between workers of all ethnic groups and enterprises. Workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy the full rights in choosing their employment. Where to work and what to do are their own wishes, and their personal freedom is not under any restriction. The role for government is to forge a sound working environment and assist people of all ethnic groups to find satisfying jobs with stable payment and safeguard their rights in employment to the utmost.
Next, we will be on line with Aizimaiti Tu’erxun from Baicheng County, Aksu Prefecture, to hear about his story.
Aizimaiti Tu’erxun: My name is Aizimaiti Tu’erxun from Baicheng County, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang. I’m now working as equipment maintainer at a company in Korla City, Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture.
In June of 2019, the company went to our school for recruitment. Since the company offered sound benefits with monthly salary of 4, 500 yuan and also paid for the five insurances and one fund (pension insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work injury insurance, maternity insurance, housing provident fund), I signed up for interview. I signed the labor contract with the company after the enrollment. Before we undertook the post, the company held a week-long safety production training for us and arranged a master for each new employee after the training to familiarize us with the maintenance work as soon as possible. Brother Alimu of Korla City became my teacher in the company. He often taught me how to repair machinery in person and explained the principle of mechanical maintenance to me. I mastered most of the maintenance technologies in the workshop with his help. I have grown into a key technician myself.
We work eight hours on working days and rest on weekends. If there is indeed a relatively urgent task for us to work overtime, the company will pay for our overtime work in accordance with national laws. The company also offers free dormitories for single workers, and transition rooms for married couples. There are furniture, appliances and separate toilets in the dorms for which we only need to pay water and electricity fees. We also have halal canteen in the company, providing free and delicious dishes, rice, pilaf, noodles served with stir-fries and fruits.
I met my girlfriend in the company in July, 2020. We bought a car together with our saved money--60,000 yuan. I would drive her around or have a short journey together when we are off work or on holidays. We wish to continue working in the company and make more money so that we can buy an apartment in the city.
I find it is ridiculous that some foreigners say that ethnic minorities in Xinjiang are being “forced to work”. We work outside our hometown for better payment and prosperous lives. Why do we need to be forced to do that?
Xu Guixiang: The right to education is a basic right enjoyed by Chinese citizen and its implementation is guaranteed by the State. Government of Xinjiang has been conscientiously implementing the Compulsory Education Law of the People’s Republic of China. They have made continuous investment in education and enhanced the construction of boarding schools and made the building of boarding schools a key aspect in standardization construction of compulsory education school and balanced development of compulsory education. They have coordinated nearby enrollment and centralized education, effectively solved the education difficulties facing children in remote agricultural and pastoral areas and made sure that not a single student is dropped out of school.
We made some introductions to the education in Xinjiang at the press conferences on Xinjiang-related issues in the past. Xinjiang is vast in land, and many students live in rural areas far from the schools in cities. Under this circumstances, boarding school relieves the trouble of students to and from school on the one hand; it reduces the burden of parents for sending children to school and picking them up on the other. More importantly, boarding education gives an enormously favorable policy for rural students in southern Xinjiang. In addition to free eating, living, tuition, the students are granted a certain amount of financial subsidies to ensure their normal study and healthy growth, thus welcomed by many parents. The boarding schools in Xinjiang is not at all what some westerners imagined and there doesn’t exist “parental-children separation”, nor does “inter-generational isolation” exist.
Next, we will watch a video shot in Selimanmu Amuti’s home, whose daughter goes to a boarding school in Xinhe County, Aksu Prefecture. Her daughter should be at home for holiday now. Let’s take a look.
Selimanmu Amuti: My name is Selimanmu Amuti, from Xinhe County, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang and I’m a mother of a boarding school student. I have two daughters, one in junior high school, one in kindergarten.
My elder daughter went to study at No. 2 Middle School of Xinhe County after she graduated from primary school. Lots of time was spent on sending her to and picking her up from school since the school is more than 10 kilometers away form my home. After seeking my daughter’s and husband’s opinion, we decided to let her attend boarding school. Now, she lives at school from Monday to Friday and returns to home on Friday afternoon.
The food and accommodation at boarding school are free of charge and tuition and book fees are exempted. The child is also subsidized with 1,500 yuan per academic year. She eats and lives well at boarding school. During our visit to the school, we found that telephones, water heaters, washing machines and water dispensers are installed in the dormitories, creating great conveniences for students. Three meals are provided at school canteen and the dishes seldom repeat within a week. My daughter’s favorite is the saute spicy chicken in school canteen. The school also arranges teaching staff specially in charge of students’ daily life. Once my daughter had a fever at school. By the time I got to school, a teacher had already sent her to the school hospital having intravenous drip. And the teacher was peeling apple for my daughter. I was extremely moved seeing that. Whenever she has difficulties in study, she can go to teachers for help so that we don’t have worry about her academic performance. During her school time, we often go to the school chatting school life and familial stuff with her. Teachers have established WeChat groups with students’ parents and can contact us if it is necessary.
My daughter has developed a good learning habit since she studied at the boarding school. Her academic performance has improved from the 18th in the original class to the second in the present class. She also learns to care about parents. She comes home every week to help us with some chores and is more sensible than before.
Some people abroad say that we send children to boarding schools because we are “forced” and it has resulted in “parental-children separation”. Thus is a pure lie. It is our own choice that my child attend boarding school. Seeing her eats well, lives well and learns well in school, and grows up healthily and happily every day, my husband and I are truly happy. When it’s time for my younger daughter to attend junior high school, we will also let her study at boarding school.
Xu Guixiang: From the above online video chats, 7 representatives from grassroots level introduced us with cases of different aspects.
Through these stories, we can see that all that government of Xinjiang has been doing is to promote the harmonious coexistence, mutual benefit and coordinated development for people of all ethnic groups. However, certain politicians, institutions and media outlets in the United States and west, accused Xinjiang of setting up “concentration camps”, organizing large-scale “forced labor”, carrying out “forced sterilization” against minorities and implementing “genocide”. When they called white black and made such lies, they ignored the fact that Xinjiang is enjoying harmony and stability, prosperity and development, ethnic unity and progress, and people’s human rights are fully guaranteed. Their ultimate goal is to provoke ethnic relations, create ethnic antagonisms, undermine security and stability in Xinjiang and hinder China’s growth. In this regard, we must express our strong condemnation and resolute opposition!
I believe through these vivid stories, everyone will draw their own objective and correct conclusions on what Xinjiang really looks like. There is a saying in China that “seeing for oneself once is better than hearing from others for a hundred times ”. Now Xinjiang is in peak tourism season with grand and vigorous snow mountains and grasslands, vibrant and exuberant forests and lakes, exotic flowers and rare herbs competing with each other, and the long-lasting taste melons and fruits. The singing and dancing are fascinating and intoxicating, and the brothers of all ethnic groups are helping each other. Charming scene can be seen everywhere as the Silk Road is radiant with glows, making tourists indulge in the scenery. Finally, let’s watch a video together to experience the charming Xinjiang.
Xu Guixiang: Thanks for watching. Xinjiang is a magnificent place and deserves its reputation. The vast majority of the scenery shown in the video is now in the best viewing time. We warmly welcome all of you to pay a visit to Xinjiang. It will be a feast for the eyes.
The above is all we prepared to introduce to you today. Thanks for your patience. Mr. Bi Haibo will take from here.
Bi Haibo: Thank you, Minister Xu and people from all walks of life in Xinjiang for your introduction. Let’s proceed to today’s Q&A.
Bi Haibo: Reporter from CGTN please raise your questions.
CGTN: Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with some Xinjiang locals who are in foreign countries and listen to their so-called “personal experience”, and he said that they would “fully support any activities carried out by the Uygurs”. What’s the comment from Xinjiang?
Elijan Anayat: At the press conferences on Xinjiang- related issues, we have repeatedly refuted and exposed these people from Xinjiang the US Secretary of State Blinken met with. These so-called “witnesses” include not only escaped criminals who are wanted by the police, but also swindlers who have disguised themselves as policemen. Considering their forged identity and false “testimony they offered”, they are actually “actors” who make a living by spreading rumors about Xinjiang. For example, Dorikun Aisha, the leader of the “World Uygur Congress”, was one of the first batch of terrorists China identified, and was also the target of Interpol. For a long time, the “East Turkistan” forces led by the “World Uygur Congress” have packaged them as the so-called “victims” and used them to concoct lies and incite separation, which are evil and contemptible. Recently, the TV feature film titled Lifting the Veil of Perjuries--A Documentary On Investigation of Lies about Xinjiang, was released on Tianshannet, which discloses the hypocrisy of these “actors” in detail. Regardless of the basic facts, Secretary Blinken met with these so-called "victims" and gossiped about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, which is a great irony.
Bi Haibo: Now NBC reporter propose questions, please.
NBC: The question I want to ask is related to China’s neighbour, Afghanistan. Will the situation in Afghanistan bring new challenges to your fight against terrorists, extremists and separatists? How will these challenges or any new security measures affect human rights?
Photo taken on July 15, 2021 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region answers questions at the 13th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zhou Peng
Xu Guixiang: This issue has aroused widespread concern in the international community. The United States intervened in Afghanistan’s internal affairs in the name of anti-terrorism and withdrew irresponsibly, resulting in a serious humanitarian disaster. This war, launched by the United States has not achieved its goal at all. Terrorist organizations still exist and terrorist activities are more rampant. Terrorist activities in these areas will inevitably increase regional tension and bring risks to the international fight against terrorism.
In the face of the threat of terrorism, Xinjiang will adhere to the thinking and implementation of the rule of law to crack down on terrorism and extremism. At the same time, in the process of combat against terrorism and de-radicalization, Xinjiang does not target it to certain area, ethnic minority and religion, fully protecting the rights and freedoms of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law and the freedom of religious belief of all ethnic groups, and normal social life.
Bi Haibo: Reporter from Global Times, please ask questions.
Global Times: Recently, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons of the UK issued a report on Xinjiang related issues, expressing concern about Xinjiang. What’s your response?
Xu Guixiang: Recently, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons of the UK issued an untrue report related to Xinjiang. We believe that it is politically motivated to spread false information, maliciously slander China’s policy of governing Xinjiang, and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs. We express our grave concerns and strong dissatisfaction to this. Through today’s press conference, I believe you all can see economic prosperity, social stability, ethnic unity, and religious harmony in Xinjiang. All Xinjiang locals enjoy their life and work in peace and contentment, and their legal rights in political, economic, and social life and religious freedom of all ethnic groups are fully protected according to law. The accusation made by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons of the UK against the human rights situation in Xinjiang is groundless and a complete lie, which has been exposed by us repeatedly. Xinjiang of China does not accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us and always chatter and distort facts out of bad political intentions. The British government should reflect more on its serious human rights issues in UK, such as racial discrimination, rather than following “double standards” and using “human rights” as a political tool to slander Xinjiang and interfere in China’s internal affairs. Here, we also solemnly point out that Xinjiang affairs are purely China’s internal affairs, and no foreign country or organization has the right to interfere in. We urge the British government to restrain the relevant institutions and members of the British Parliament and ask them to stop anti-China political manipulation, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and not go further and further on the wrong path or make more troubles.
Bi Haibo: The journalist from China Arab Satellite TV asks questions, please.
China Arab Satellite TV: The US Department of State released a report saying that China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. How do you comment on the report? Recently, the US Department of Commerce listed four Xinjiang enterprises on the list of entities and imposed sanctions on them for “forced labor”. What do you think of this?
Elijan Anayat: On the first question, it must be pointed out that the so-called “crime of genocide committed in Xinjiang” is a completely false proposition, a “century lie” deliberately concocted by the anti-China forces in the United States and the west, and can be regarded as the largest framed case in human history. These extremely absurd remarks seriously trample on the basic norms of international law and international relations, seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs, and seriously hurt the feelings of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They have been strongly condemned and resolutely opposed by the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang!
In response to these nonsense and fabrications from U.S.A, many people of insight in the international community generally believe that the so-called Xinjiang related “genocide” is completely based on prejudice and hostility towards China, and is intended to create a negative perception of China through political identification of “genocide”, and carry out propaganda and psychological warfare against China. As we all know, in the history of the United States, 4.7 million indigenous Indians were killed, the cruel slavery system was carried out, and the truth of the Tulsa Race Massacre was covered up by all means. Today, tens of thousands of colored people in America suffer as George Floyd did, suffering from “anti-Asian hatred”, and systematic racism and white supremacy are still rampant, which is the real genocide. On July 13, the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on combating systemic racism submitted by African countries. The resolution calls on the Human Rights Council to establish an international independent expert mechanism to promote the realization of racial justice and equality, in particular to eliminate the effects of colonialism and transatlantic slave trade, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to provide compensation to the victims. There is an old Chinese saying that those who play with fire will burn themselves. We firmly believe that the crimes and evils committed by the United States and the West in the history of mankind will eventually be paid back.
On the second question. After cracking down on the cotton textile industry in Xinjiang, the United States once again used its state force to interfere in photovoltaic industry in Xinjiang. Relevant personnel in the United States even tried to suppress the photovoltaic industry in Xinjiang through legislation. In essence, this is the practice of trade protectionism and bullying in the name of safeguarding “human rights”, which seriously violates the rules of international trade, the principles of market economy and the basic moral principles, and also poses a serious threat to the security of the global industrial supply chain. Their fundamental purpose is to curb the development of Xinjiang’s photovoltaic industry, deepen the damage to Xinjiang's economy, and disturb China’s participation in the value chain cooperation in global photovoltaic industry, so as to help relevant US enterprises gain unequal competitive advantages and achieve the goal of “containing China with Xinjiang related issues”. The measures taken by the United States to suppress the photovoltaic industry in Xinjiang are just as useless as a piece of waste paper. This practice will not only harm the interests of relevant enterprises in the United States, but also the interests of relevant enterprises in other countries in the world. It is totally a behavior of harming others as well as himself.
Bi Haibo: Reporter from Ta Kung Pao, Hong Kong, please ask questions.
Ta Kung Pao (HK): Since the beginning of this year, some western countries have been making rumors and slanders about Xinjiang cotton industry, human rights and other issues. So far, what specific measures have Xinjiang taken to deal with and counter it? What is the current implementation? Will countermeasures be strengthened in the future? thank you.
Xu Guixiang: Some anti-China forces in the United States and the west spread a lot of rumors about Xinjiang. Of course, we will not stay silent and we will unswervingly fight against them. First, we express our severe condemnation. By issuing solemn statements and joint protests from relevant enterprises in Xinjiang, people of all ethnic groups have voiced their strong opposition to the ugly acts of the United States and the West in suppressing related industries in Xinjiang and disrupting the stable development of Xinjiang. Second, to safeguard rights according to law. Relevant enterprises or employees who are harmed turn to law to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests now and future, and investigate who should be responsible for the tort. For example, Esquel Group, a Hong Kong-based textile and garment manufacturer, filed a lawsuit with the District Court of the District of Columbia for the US Department of Commerce including Changji Esquel, a subsidiary of the company in Xinjiang, in the “Entity List”, and sought legal help for the economic and reputation losses caused to the whole group. For another example, on April 2 this year, the intermediate People's Court of Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang accepted the case of Shache Xiongying Textile Co., Ltd. of Xinjiang suing reputation dispute by Adrian Zenz. The company requested the court to sentence Adrian Zenz to stop the infringement, eliminate the influence, restore his reputation, make an apology and compensate for the loss of the enterprise. It is understood that the case is currently in progress. Third, to impose sanctions on the institutions and personnel from United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada that seriously damage China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and false information.
Next, we will, in accordance with the Law on Countering Foreign Sanctions, Provisions on the Unreliable Entities List issued by the Ministry of Commerce and other laws and regulations, firmly fight back against the anti-China forces in the United States and the west, their power politics, bully and knavery.
Bi Haibo: The reporter of MASTV, please ask a question.
MASTV: After the US State Department’s first inclusion of China in the “list of high-risk countries for genocide” on July 12, the US government started to attack its own enterprises, updated a commercial warning against Xinjiang’s supply chain, and then threatened their enterprises under the guise of the existence of so-called “forced labor” and “human rights violations” in Xinjiang, He claimed that “if the enterprises related do not withdraw from the supply chain, joint ventures or investment projects related to Xinjiang, they may face the high risk of violating the laws of the United States.” What is Xinjiang”s response to this? At the same time, we also see that Ryohin Keikaku Co., the parent company of Muji, a well-known Japanese brand, has clearly stated that “no human rights violations have been found” and will continue to use Xinjiang cotton. What is Xinjiang’s response to this? Will it consider strengthening cooperation with relevant enterprises or parties in the future?
Elijan Anayat: the United States fabricated the fallacy of “forced labor” involving Xinjiang, wantonly suppressed relevant industries and enterprises in Xinjiang, seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations, seriously violated the principles of market economy and free trade rules, seriously damaged the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain, and also damaged the interests of all parties, which is naked power politics and bullying. Its fundamental purpose is to “exterminate the industry” in Xinjiang, destroy the cooperation of China’s participation in the global value chain, weaken the international competitiveness of Chinese enterprises, exclude China from the world market, and realize the conspiracy of "controlling China with Xinjiang- related issues" on a larger scale.
We appreciate that the statement made by Japanese Ryohin Keikaku Co., Muji’s parent company, is in line with the objective facts in Xinjiang, which shows that the truth has made the false news exposed itself. As the saying goes: “Seeing is believing, while hearing is unauthentic” We sincerely welcome non biased institutions and enterprises from all over the world to visit and inspect textile and garment factories in Xinjiang, and independently understand and make a judge. We also welcome domestic and foreign enterprises to invest in Xinjiang and strengthen cooperation in various fields to achieve win-win.
Bi Haibo: This is the end of the press conference for today. Thank you.