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The scenery here is so beautiful that Pompeo’s malicious remarks would no longer be tolerated

Batur Balati,Xinjiang Normal University

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arbitrarily criticized the policies of governing Xinjiang with his unfounded and noxious clichés. As a Uygur scholar born and bred in Xinjiang, I was filled with outrage when I heard Pompeo’s nonsense. I wrote this article overnight in order to expose Pompeo’s lies, hypocrisy, and ulterior motives with my personal experience.

I was born in a family of ordinary intellectuals in Hotan, Xinjiang. I graduated from Xinjiang Normal University as a Music Education major and worked in the university in 1994. I finished my master program in 2008, and in 2009, benefited from the "Program for High-Caliber Personnel from Ethnic Minorities", a preferential policy in education, I got a chance to further my education for PhD degree in China Conservatory of Music, the highest educational institution in Chinese music circle, majoring in Xinjiang Muqam. Since then, my teaching and research focus has always been on the exploration, protection and inheritance of Xinjiang Muqam art.

During the 27-year teaching years, I have witnessed the whole process of exploration, sorting, inheritance and development of Xinjiang Uygur Muqam art. In order to carry on the art of Muqam, the state has carried out interviews with 60 senior Muqam artists, made 2,200-minute video recordings and 18-hour audio recordings, and collected thousands of pictures. On November 25, 2005, the Uygur Maqam of Xinjiang was proclaimed as one of the third batch of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by unanimous votes by UNESCO. On July 28, 2010, the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region passed the “Protection Regulations of Uygur Muqam Art of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region" unanimously, which is an Individual legislation at the provincial level in China specifically for protecting the masterpieces of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

Xinjiang has also established Muqam Art troupes and Muqam theaters to promote and inherit Muqam art. The Music School of Xinjiang Normal University where I work has also established a Muqam Art troupe. Over the past 10 years, it has visited the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and other countries and regions for performances and exchanges. Working in concert with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the troupe held “Time Travel--the Silk Road Concert” in both Hong Kong and Urumqi, which was highly praised by people from all walks of life. The Music School of Xinjiang Normal University also offers a "Uygur pronunciation class" for Han students, teaching them to sing Muqam. The students from all ethnic groups sing and dance on the stage, uniting as one. In the research of Uygur Muqam Art of Xinjiang, I have also made many academic achievements, including over 10 research programs at various levels, a scholarly book, and about 20 journal papers, half of which are written in Uygur. I myself grow up to be a professor and doctoral supervisor during the process of research and inheritance of Muqam. The reason why I list the above achievements is not meant to show off myself, but to tell everyone that we are living a very good life in Xinjiang, and we are dedicating ourselves to the study Uygur Muqam of Xinjiang, one of the cultural treasures of the Chinese nation. I want to say that culture is the continuation of the blood of a nation. If, as Pompeo says, "genocide" and "cultural extinction" are implemented in Xinjiang, why does China spare no effort to protect, inherit, and carry forward Uygur Muqam art?

As a scholar who lives and grows up in Xinjiang, when hearing Pompeo’s line of lies, I couldn’t help standing up to denounce his hypocrisy. Mike Pompeo, since your lies, fallacies and sinister intentions have been exposed by the facts and people’s conscience, stop sowing discord and stop mouthing your malicious remarks!