Photo taken on March 29, 2021 shows the 6th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Wang Zhen
Bi Haibo: Good morning, friends from the press. Welcome to the Sixth Press Conference by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang-related Issues held at the foreign press center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As we know, last week, the European Union, the United States, Britain and Canada put sanctions against relevant Chinese individuals and entities with “human rights” problem as an excuse. Their acts have aroused the concern of the international community and the indignation of the Chinese people. China has something to say about this, and so has Xinjiang. Today, we are here to hold a special press conference on Xinjiang related issues. We hope that through today’s exchanges, we can further understand the truth about the Xinjiang issue. Now let’s invite Xu Guixiang, Spokesperson of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to give introductions of related situation.
Spokesperson of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Xu Guixiang answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021. Photo by Wang Zhen
Xu Guixiang: Recently, based on lies and false information, the European Union, the United States, Britain and Canada have imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant individuals and entities in Xinjiang China under the pretext of the so-called “human rights in Xinjiang”. This act has seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations, seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs, and seriously hurt the feelings of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. In view of this, The People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has made a solemn statement to express the firm opposition and strong condemnation. Some sanctioned people concerned also expressed their position and attitude through media. To further make clear the truth, clarify the vague understanding, expose lies and fallacies, and safeguard justice and conscience, we hold the press conference on Xinjiang-related issue today. At first I would like to make comments on the ugly conduct of EU, USA, Britain and Canada.
I. Collective violation of law. Respect for national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity is the basic norm of international law and international relations. Xinjiang affairs are purely China’s internal affairs, and no external force is qualified to gossip, let alone implement long arm jurisdiction and abuse sanctions. Some anti china forces from EU, USA, Britain and Canada maliciously slandered China’s measures to govern Xinjiang as “concentration camp”, “large-scale monitoring”, “forced labor”, “forced sterilization”, “suppression on religion”, and “inter-generational isolation”, in an futile attempt to correspond them to the terms stipulated in Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide issued by UN in 1948, imposing the label “genocide” on Xinjiang. This abominable act is a serious defiance of the norms of international law and international relations, and runs counter to the efforts of the international community to punish the crime of “genocide”. It can be called the largest case of frame up in the history of mankind.
II. Collective loss of justice. As we have repeated on many occasions, Xinjiang follows the right way in the world and what Xinjiang has done is open and aboveboard and is to bring benefits to people of all ethnic groups. Over the years, Xinjiang has achieved great economic and social development and made great progress in the cause of human rights. From 2014 to 2019, the GDP of Xinjiang has increased from 919.59 billion yuan to 1359.71 billion yuan, with an average annual growth of 7.2%. According to the current standards, 3.0649 million rural poor people have been lifted out of poverty, 3666 poor villages have shaken off poverty, 35 poor counties have been removed from the lists of poverty-stricken counties, and the Millennium absolute poverty problem has been solved historically. The average life expectancy of Xinjiang has increased from 30 years in the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China to 72 years now. The Uygur population has increased from 5.55 million 40 years ago to 12 million. In accordance with the law, people of all ethnic groups enjoy various rights conferred by the Chinese Constitution and laws. These ideas and achievements contain “Tao” and “righteousness”, which are in line with the common value pursuit of human society. However, Anti-china forces from EU, USA, Britain and Canada label all of this as “genocide”, anti-humanity” and “violations of human rights”. They are talking about nonsense!
III. Collective loss of memory. Anti-china forces from EU, USA, Britain and Canada claimed themselves as “the judge of human rights”, in an futile attempt to serve as “human right master”. But they all forget the crimes they committed in the past. Their history is full of human rights violations, absolutely the arch-criminal of “genocide”. As is known to all, In the 400 years of slave trade, the American, British and French colonists transported more than 12 million people from Africa to America as slaves, and another 10 million people died in the transportation. In America today, Freuds still can’t breathe. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has long pointed out that African American and African British are facing systematic racism.
USA, in nearly a hundred years after its founding, vigorously expelled and slaughtered Indians. By the beginning of the 20th century, the population of American Indians had drastically dropped from 5 million in 1492 to 0.25 million, accounting for only 2% of the total population of the United States. In the process of British colonization, they burned, killed and looted all the way, and rounded up the local indigenous residents. The colonial history of Britain is a brutal and despicable history of blood and tears. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, the German colonists killed the indigenous people of Namibia in Africa. From 1904 to 1908, the German colonial army killed more than 100,000 indigenous people, which was called “the first genocide in the 20th century” by the report of the Human Rights Committee of the UN Economic and Social Council. During World War II, Nazi Germany massacred nearly 6 million Jews, including more than 1 million children, committing serious war crimes and anti-humanity crimes. During the French colonial period, 5.5 million people were slaughtered in Algeria, which constituted an anti-humanity crime. Algerian president said that Algeria will not sacrifice history and memory. In the 1870s, the Canadian government put the assimilation of aborigines on the official agenda, openly advocating that the strangulation of Indian descent begins with their children, and implemented the policy of cultural extinction to aborigines by setting up boarding schools. According to incomplete statistics, more than 150,000 Aboriginal children were forced to be sent to school, of which more than 50,000 were abused and killed. It’s shameless of those to keep quiet about the crimes they themselves have committed but accuse Xinjiang of “genocide”.
IV. Collective loss of reasoning. Anti-china forces from EU, USA, Britain and Canada would rather believe the nonsense fabricated by a handful of people than listen to the common aspiration of more than 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They would rather connive at the awkward performance of “three forces” than face up to the basic facts of Xinjiang’s development and progress. They would rather form cliques and engage in small circles than believe in the just words of many countries and people of insight in the international community. In order to intervene in Xinjiang’s affairs and interfere in China’s affairs, they have lost reason, conscience and basic moral principles, being keen on political manipulation and indulging in “sanctions” tricks to a hysterical extent.
The purpose of a joint political manipulation through Xinjiang related issues initiated by the EU, USA, Britain and Canada is to disrupt Xinjiang and curb China by playing the “human right card”. As Wilkson, the director-general of the General Affair Office of Powell, the former Secretary of State, publicly acknowledged that the CIA thought that the best way to destabilize China was to create unrest in China and to use the Uyghurs to stimulate Beijing constantly, so that China could be destroyed from the internal of China without external efforts. Such sinister intentions will certainly arouse great indignation and resolute counterattack of the Chinese people, including the masses of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
Bi Haibo: Now we start taking questions from the floor. Let’s start from Xinhua News Agency.
Xinhua News Agency : On the fallacy that The Chinese government, using anti-terrorism as an excuse, has conducted massive violations of human rights, violated UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and committed “genocide” crime. What’s your response to it?
Xu Guixiang: Elijan Anayat, spokesperson for people’s government of XUAR answers this question.
Spokesperson of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Elijan Anayat answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021. Photo by Wang Zhen
Elijan Anayat: We have clarified many times that Xinjiang related issues are not issues of human rights, ethnicity and religion, but issues of anti-terrorism, anti-splittism and de-radicalization. At present, the overall social situation in Xinjiang is stable, the people live and work in peace and contentment, and unprecedented achievements have been made in economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. The rights of survival, health and development enjoyed by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been fully guaranteed. Many countries in the world, through joint letters to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for human rights and joint speeches on various multilateral occasions, have highly praised Xinjiang’s achievements in anti-terrorism and de-radicalization, protection of citizens’ freedom of religious belief, promotion of economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. At the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, more than 80 countries expressed their support for China’s legitimate position on Xinjiang related issues in the form of joint or separate statements. What the Anti China forces from EU, USA, Britain and Canada are concerned about is not “human rights” or the truth at all, but political manipulation under the guise of “human rights” in an attempt to artificially create the so-called “genocide” problem, undermine Xinjiang’s security and social stability, and hinder China’s development and growth.
It is extremely absurd to say that there is “genocide” in Xinjiang. In fact, the population of ethnic minorities including the Uyghurs in Xinjiang has been continuously growing. According to statistical data, from 2010 to 2018, the permanent population of Xinjiang grew from 21.8158 million to 24.8676 million with an increase of 3.0518 million and 13.99%. Among them, the population of ethnic minorities grew from 12.9859 million to 15.8608 million with an increase of 2.8749 million and 22.14%; the Uygur population grew from 10.1715 million to 12.7184 million, with an increase of 2.5469 million and 25.04%; the Han population grew from 8.8299 million to 9.0068 million, with an increase of 0.1769 million and 2.0%. The growth rate of the Uygur population is not only higher than that of the whole Xinjiang population, but also higher than that of the other ethnic minorities, obviously higher than the Han population. If “genocide” were committed in Xinjiang, would the Uygur population have increased so greatly?
More and more people of insight in the world have seen more clearly the lies related to Xinjiang concocted by the western anti-China forces including those in America. French journalist Maxime Vivas published a book, The End of False News about the Uygurs in Xinjiang, pointing out that there is not a word of truth in the anti-China reports of Uygurs in the West. Recently, the US website Foreign Policy released an article, stating that although both Trump and Biden government identify that the act of Chinese government in Xinjiang constitutes “genocide”, the Legal Consultation Office of the State Department believes that there is insufficient evidence to support this identification. Neither the Senate nor the house of representatives of Australia passed the motion on Xinjiang.
Bi Haibo: Now let’s invite journalists to raise your hand and ask questions. The question is from Reuters of Britain.
Reuters: I’m a Reuters reporter and I want to ask a question about H & M. Recently, H & M has made statements on the cotton issue in Xinjiang, but these statements have caused trouble. I would like to ask, if other enterprises in China make similar statements, will they also cause similar trouble?
Xu Guixiang: H & M is an enterprise, so it should carry out its own business activities instead of politicizing its economic behavior. Why should they participate in political activities? There is no other reason but the reason that they are influenced by some rumors and think that there is “forced labor” in Xinjiang cotton industry as a result. Some Western anti-China forces also imposed sanctions on the cotton industry in Xinjiang. But I suggest that we can think about this issue together and don’t act blindly. First, what is the basis of sanctions? The sanctions imposed by the EU, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada on relevant individuals and entities in Xinjiang, including the previous sanctions imposed on some enterprises in Xinjiang, lack the most basic factual basis. It is extremely unscientific for them to make such a decision only by virtue of the so-called research reports of some anti-China think tank scholars, the so-called propaganda reports of some anti-China media, and the so-called “witness testimony” of some “East Turkistan” terrorists and separatists. Second, what is the purpose of sanctions? It is nothing more than to suppress the enterprises in Xinjiang, force a large number of people to lose their jobs, increase social instability factors, and make Xinjiang return to the quagmire of turbulence and frequent violent and terrorist activities, so that the western anti-China forces can fish in troubled waters and achieve the purpose of curbing China’s development. Third, what is the significance of sanctions? Nowadays, the world is a global village, and the links between countries are getting closer and closer. The industrial chain, supply chain and value chain closely link the enterprises of various countries, forming a inseparable relationship of common gains and common loss. When the big stick of sanctions is waved to other countries, it will also hit its own head, which is harmful to others and not beneficial to oneself. As an international enterprise, they should see this.
Of course, China today is not China in 1840. Gone are the days when the Chinese people were bullied by western powers. All the Chinese people, including the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, can not be annoyed. Some countries are advised to recognize reality and return to rationality. If they insist on going their own way and make more mistakes, the Chinese people will surely answer blows with blows and resolutely answer them to the end. Our anti-sanctions against the EU and the UK are clear evidence. China’s counter-measures are justifiable, reasonable and moderate. We also hope that more enterprises will be able to distinguish right from wrong. Of course, some enterprises have expressed their attitude of continuing cooperation, which we appreciate very much.
Bi Haibo: Next question is from China Daily.
China Daily: Some countries, overseas institutions and media claimed that Chinese government has held over one million Uyghurs and ethnic minority Muslims in detention in detention camps, and part of the detainees have been tortured and some died of the torture. What’s your comment on it?
Xu Guixiang: let’s invite Elijan Anayat, the spokesperson of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Tahiljan Tohti, a graduate from vocational education and training center in Hotan answer this question.
Elijan Anayat: Anti-China politicians and media from EU, USA, Britain and Canada discredited the vocational education and training center as “concentration camp” in Nazi period. It is totally a slander that wantonly confuses the right and wrong. Actually, 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 de-radicalization center established in France. They are both preventive efforts with beneficial attempts and positive explorations for anti-terrorism and de-radicalization, fully in line with the principle and spirit of UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and UN Action Plan against Violent Extremism. 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.
The vocational skill education and training work carried out in accordance with the law in Xinjiang is not linked with specific regions, ethnic groups and religions. The purpose is to save people infected with religious extremism, which has nothing to do with whether they are Uygur or believe in Islam. So called claim that “over one million Uyghurs and ethnic minority Muslims have been held in detention in detention camps” is a groundless slander and false accusation. The US independent news investigation website Grayzone has issued articles to expose the lie and even Adrian Zenz himself also acknowledged the uncertainty of his estimate.
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 personal insult and abuse, and fully protect their personal freedom and freedom of communication. In the vocational education and training centers, boarding management is implemented, and trainees can ask for leave and go home. The trainees’ right to use their own language is fully guaranteed and the customs and habits of the trainees of different ethnic groups are respected. In the vocational education and training centers, various nutritious Muslim food is provided free of charge. Trainee’s freedom of religious belief is fully respected and protected and they can decide on their own whether they participate in legal religious activities or not when they return home. Is there any “concentration camp” like this in the world?
Today we have invited Tahiljan Tohti, a graduate from vocational education and training center in Hotan, to tell us his personal experience in the vocational education and training center.
Tahiljan Tohti answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Tahiljan Tohti: My name is Tahiljan Tohti. I am a graduate trainee of vocational education and training center in Hotan city, Hotan Prefecture
The vocational education and training center is a school. From Monday to Friday, we had six classes every day, learning the national language, legal knowledge, vocational skills and de-radicalization knowledge and so on. We had rich life in our school. We often held basketball games, sports competitions and other activities. Our class once won the first place in a basketball game. There is a clinic at the school and doctors are on shift 24 hours. When we had headache and cold or didn’t feel well, we could go there for diagnosis and treatment at any time. The school respected our customs very much. The canteen provided us with many kinds of nutritious halal food free of charge every day. We lived in a dormitory with a TV, an electric fan and a bathroom. The teachers in the school cared about us like our family members. When we got sick, they were busy taking care of us. At school, we could contact our family and friends at any time and ask for leave at any time. We had regular rest on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. The religious trainees could participate normal religious activities at mosque or at home.
After I finished my education and training, I opened a restaurant and a property company. I use what I have learned about enterprise management, laws and regulations in the vocational education and training center in the operation and management of my restaurant and company. Now there are over 60 employees working in my restaurant and property company, and I have a monthly income of 20,000 yuan. In the future, I plan to open several more branches of my company to lead my employees to earn more money and live a better life.
Those people abroad say that our vocational education and training center is “concentration camp” and “trainees have been tortured. It is totally a lie. My classmates and I are very grateful to the vocational education and training center. It is the vocational education and training center that helped us get rid of religious extremism and return to the normal life. Thank you.
Bi Haibo: Let’s invite the journalist from CHANNEL A from South Korea ask next question.
CHANNEL A: ①In February this year, BBC reported that women who had studied in Xinjiang Education and training center suffered from sexual violence. Can their speeches be regarded as the core basis of fabrication? Has anyone on the Chinese side contacted the women in the report and confirmed that this is a false statement? ②Now some western enterprises have announced that they will no longer use cotton on the ground of extracting labor from cotton production. What is the current situation of cotton plants and manpower in Xinjiang? How are cotton growers selected? Has it nothing to do with forced labor? ③The Washington Post reported that the authorities used face recognition technology to monitor and test Uyghurs. What do you think of this? Has China ever tried using face recognition technology to recognize the Uyghurs? What is China’s position on the media’s criticism of suppressing the freedom of the Uyghurs?
Xu Guixiang: Let’s invite Elijan Anayat, the press spokesman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Dilnar Kahar, a graduated trainee from the vocational education and training center of Zepu County Kashgar Prefecture and Almire Tursun, a textile worker from Bole City, to answer these questions.
Elijan Anayat: On the first question. We have introduced many times that the BBC report of “sexual violence” suffered by female trainees is purely groundless and sensational. The vocational education and training centers strictly implement the basic principles of respecting and protecting human rights in china’s Constitution and laws, and fully protect the human dignity of the trainees from infringement, and forbid any form of personal insult and abuse, so there is no so called “rape” and “Sexual assault” suffered by female trainees at all.
According to investigation, the real name of Tursunai Qiyawudun, mentioned in a BBC report, is Turxunnayi Ziyaoden, a female, 43 years old, a Uygur from Xinyuan County Yili Prefecture. She left China on September 26th, 2019. After she left China, to defraud refugee status, she willingly fell into a “pawn” and an “actress” for the anti-China forces and shamelessly fabricated her “bad experiences” many times, but her lies have been laid bare before the facts. For example, she claimed that women held in vocational education and training centers either received surgical sterilization or medication to stop menstruation. She said she had been forced to undergo tubal ligation and sterilization in an irreversible way. In fact, she has never had birth control surgery at all, and her relatives knew that she was not fertile. This time, she concocted the fallacy that “she has suffered from torture and rape.” It is sheer nonsense. For another example, in an interview with BBC this year, she said, “in the education and training center, the police knocked her down and kicked her in the stomach, and she almost fainted.” But a year ago, in an interview with the US buzzfeed website, Turxunnayi Ziyaoden said, “I have not been beaten or abused.” Prior to her arrival in the United States, Turxunnayi Ziyaoden had been interviewed by foreign media and institutions for many times. In these interviews, she never mentioned the existence of “sexual assault” in the education and training center, let alone that she was the victim of “sexual assault”. Strangely enough, a few months after his arrival in the United States, Turxunnayi Ziyaoden changed her view after being “trained” by some forces. It can be seen from this that Turxunnayi Ziyaoden’s technique of fabricating lies is not very good. However, what is puzzling is that the BBC deliberately ignores these doubts, reports the lies without verification, and even throws out the conclusion that women in detention camps in Xinjiang suffer from systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture. This practice fully exposed BBC’s sinister political intention of fabricating slanders and discrediting Xinjiang.
Xu Guixiang: I would like to add some words. The so-called systematic “sexual assault” in the education and training center is a malicious imagination. The education and training center is a school, and the staff are teachers. How can there be large-scale “rape” and “sexual assault”? This is not in line with the basic common sense. I would like to ask Turxunnayi Ziyaoden, how did you come to such a conclusion? Did other female students tell you, or did you suffer from “sexual abuse”, who sexually assaulted you? Can you tell me the name of this person? Please tell us what the truth is? Otherwise, don’t lie blindly with your eyes open and cheat the world.
Elijan Anayat: Today we have invited Dilnar Kahar, a graduated trainee from the vocational education and training center of Zepu County Kashgar Prefecture to be here. She will tell her experience and views.
Dilnar Kahar answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Dilnar Kahar: My name is Dilnar Kahar. I am a graduated trainee from the vocational education and training center of Zepu County. Now I am a guide working in Yarkant River Folk Heritage Museum of Zepu County.
During our study in the vocational education and training center, all the rights of us female trainees have been fully protected. Teachers are all kind to us and we have developed a deep friendship with each other. I still keep contact with them. When we heard of the dirty slanders, my classmates and I were very indignant. As a witness with experience in the vocational education and training center, I am very clear that no female trainees have ever experienced sexual assault. Those reports are insults to us female trainees. If they were your sisters, would you slander and smear like this?
Here, I want to say to those slander makers. Don’t you feel ashamed of talking nonsense all day long and achieving your ulterior goal by smearing the reputation of female trainees? Don’t you feel guilty? Good will be rewarded with good and evil with evil. Your ugly words and deeds will be severely punished sooner or later!
Xu Guixiang: Thanks to Dilnar Kahar. Elijan Anayat go on please.
Elijan Anayat: On the second question. Cotton is white, but some people’s hearts are black. Then, whether there is ‘forced labor’ in Xinjiang’s cotton industry, let’s make some analysis together.
First, in terms of cotton planting. Most areas of Xinjiang have long sunshine time, large temperature difference between day and night, drought and less rain, and the water supply of alpine snow melting is stable, which is suitable for cotton growth. The cotton produced under this condition has big boll, long fiber, white color and high monomer value. Farmers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, especially in southern Xinjiang, are willing to plant cotton because of its high profit and wide market. At the press conference on Xinjiang related issues held in Beijing in the early stage, Mijit Yimit, a cotton farmer from Kuqa city in Aksu Prefecture, once introduced his case to journalists. His family has 300 mu of farmland, mainly for planting cotton, and his annual income is about 150,000 yuan.
Second, in terms of cotton picking. From the past to the present, there is no “forced labor” in cotton picking in Xinjiang. A few years ago, in every autumn when cotton was mature, many migrant workers in Henan, Sichuan and other places went to Xinjiang by train to pick cotton. Although picking cotton is very hard, some ethnic minorities are willing to join in the work of picking cotton because the growers provide food and accommodation and income from cotton picking is also high, On the basis of equality, voluntariness and consensus through consultation, these cotton pickers signed labor contracts with cotton growers to obtain corresponding remuneration. In recent years, a high degree of mechanization has been achieved in cotton production in Xinjiang, even in the busy picking season, there is no need for a large number of “pickers”. According to the 2020 data released by Xinjiang Agricultural Department, the cotton mechanical picking rate in Xinjiang has reached 69.83%.
Third, in terms of cotton processing. The cotton textile enterprises in Xinjiang are all legally registered and operated in accordance with the law. There is no problem of “forced labor”. In accordance with The Labor Law of The People’s Republic of China, The Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China and other laws and regulations, these enterprises sign labor contracts with employees of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law, and fully guarantee their rights of labor remuneration, rest and vacation, labor safety and health protection, social insurance benefits, religious belief, national culture, language and other rights and interests.
On the basis of the above analysis, we can see that there is no “forced labor” problem in Xinjiang’s cotton industry. Some anti-China forces in the United States and the west concocted this slander in order to suppress the cotton textile industry in Xinjiang, deprive migrant workers of all ethnic groups of their right to employment and destroy their happy life.
Now, let's invite Almire Tursun, a textile worker from Bole City, to talk about her experience and views.
Almire Tursun answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Almire Tursun: My name is Almire Tursun. I am a citizen of Kuqa City, Aksu, and now I am employed by a textile company in Bole City, Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture. Today, I’d like to tell you about the fact about our work and life in Bole City.
In April 2020, on the billboard of the village committee, I saw the recruitment information of a textile company in Bole City. I felt that the salary was good, so I applied for the job and signed a labor contract with the company. As soon as we joined the company, we took part in a training for employment for a week. After taking up the post, the company also arranged a teacher for each new employee. The teacher who taught me was from Hotan. She has been in the company for three years and she is very nice. Whenever I met what I didn’t understand, she always told me over and over again and instructed me in person. With her help, I became the outstanding employee of the company for my technique in less than half a year, and now I can get 4,800 yuan a month.
In the company, we are offered good accommodation, and the company provides us with free dormitory, sofa, wardrobe, air conditioning, television and other furniture and appliances, as well as the internet, making our life very convenient. The company has a halal canteen and employs Uygur chefs to cook for us. Every week, we can have pilaf, ramen, fried spicy chicken, thin skin steamed bun, flat noodle soup and so on. The company also holds a dinner party every half month, and the company will buy some mutton for us to make kebabs.
In the company, we commute every day. After work, we can have video chat with family and friends, or online shopping and listening to music. On Saturdays and Sundays, when I have a rest, I will go shopping, and watching movies with my friends. We can also ask for leave. Last year, when my parents came to Bole City to see me, I asked for three days off to accompany them to Sayram Lake. During the traditional festivals such as Corban Festival, Rouzi Festival and so on, the company also hold recreational parties. We are enjoying musical instruments playing, singing and dancing, which is very lively.
After working in Bole City, I sent money to my family every month. My family’s life was getting better and better. The food, clothing and daily necessities were much better than before. Last year, several sisters from our village also came to the company through my introduction. We all cherish this job and intend to continue to work in the company.
The purpose of going out to work is to earn more money and live a better life, which has nothing to do with the “forced labor” called by those people abroad. Those overseas people have never been to our company, and they don’t understand our real situation at all. What they said is made up. They just want to destroy our earnings, destroy our happy life, and make us lose our work or food. Their conspiracy is very shameful and hateful.
Elijan Anayat: Unfortunately, some western enterprises, such as HM, Nike and Adidas, blindly made decisions to boycott Xinjiang cotton based on false information. What happened? The loss of Chinese market and their reputation. We Chinese are reasonable and have a clear sense of love and hate. These enterprises boycott Xinjiang’s cotton, and naturally we are not willing to buy your products. Of course, some enterprises can distinguish right from wrong. For example, the US leisure sports brand Skecher pointed out clearly in Skecher’s Statement on Uyghurs issued in March that after its independent investigation of Chinese suppliers, the company did not find the so-called forced labor. For such an enterprise, I believe it will be appreciated by Chinese customers, and it will also get a bigger market. We welcome enterprises from all over the world to visit the cotton producing areas and cotton spinning enterprises in Xinjiang, chat with cotton farmers and cotton spinning workers, and make wise choices.
Now let’s watch a short video.
On the third question. China is a country ruled by law. Citizens’ personal freedom, freedom of communication and other rights are protected by law. In the process of social governance, we always adhere to the principle of ruling Xinjiang according to law. No matter who, what ethnic group, or what religion he believes in, as long as he is not suspected of committing crimes, he is free.
As for the so-called “using face recognition technology to monitor and test Uyghurs”, it is even more puzzling. Using modern scientific and technological products to improve the level of social governance is a common practice in the international community. The purpose of installing cameras in urban and rural public areas, main roads, transportation hubs and other public places in Xinjiang is to improve the level of social governance and effectively prevent and combat crime. For example, in 2014, Juma tayi’er, vice president of Xinjiang Islamic Association and Maulvi of Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar City, was brutally killed by terrorists after hosting the morning ceremony. The documentary Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, produced by China International Television (CGTN) showed the picture of the tragedy. If there were no picture recorded by the camera, it would not only increase the difficulty of solving the case, but also make it difficult to make the brutal acts of violent terrorists known to the world! It should be emphasized that these measures are not targeted at any particular ethnic group, and the monitoring facilities themselves will not automatically identify and target a particular ethnic group. They deter bad people and protect good people. These measures have enhanced the sense of social security and won the general support of the masses of all ethnic groups.
On the fourth question. There are clear legal basis and legal procedures for vocational education and training in Xinjiang, which are introduced in detail in the white paper Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang. The trainees of the education and training center are all those who are infected by extreme ideas, have minor criminal acts or illegal acts, and should receive vocational education and training according to law. In our specific work, they came to the education and training center to study after persuasion from their parents, relatives, friends, etc. , not through coercion.
On the fifth question. I haven’t seen the video you said. Can you provide it for me? I’ll check it and give you a reply at the next meeting.
Bi Haibo: Next, the journalist from China News Agency ask question please.
China News Agency: Some countries, overseas institutions and media claimed that “Xinjiang authority implement regular checks on the marriage and bearing status of ethnic women, and forces them to have birth control (abortion) or be sterilized”. What’s your response to it?
Xu Guixiang: Munawar Ahmat, the chairwoman of the village’s Women’s Federation, Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture, and I will answer this question.
The so-called “regular checks on the marriage and bearing status of ethnic women who are forced to have birth control (abortion) or be sterilized” is a malicious accusation. The policy of family-planning in Xinjiang is proceeding under the guidance of the law. The induced labor of late stage pregnancy, forced sterilization and mandatory pregnancy checks are prohibited. Whether to have birth control, or what contraceptive method they choose are completely their own wishes. No one nor any agency shall interfere. Let alone the “forced sterilization” or “mandatory sterilization”.
Next, let’s welcome Munawar Ahmat, the chairwoman of the village’s Women’s Federation, Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture to share her thoughts in this.
Munawar Ahmat answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Munawar Ahmat: I’m Munawar Ahmat, the chairwoman of the village’s Women’s Federation , Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture. As the chairwoman of the Women’s Federation, I have interactions with the women in village every day. No one is clearer about how many children each family has than I am. The accusations made by the external forces are nonsense. Lots of families in my village have 2-3 children. Moreover, the cost of pregnancy checks are all covered by the country. Much of the child-bearing costs can be reimbursed from medical insurance. After the birth of the child, the vaccinations are free of charge and nutrients for the baby are distributed by the country. Children are all in good health condition. The tuition from kindergarten to senior high school are all free. We don’t really have to worry about the diet, clothing and tuition of the kids.
Nowadays, the ideas on child-bearing have changed among us village women. Many of them told me that people were poor in the past because they gave birth to too many children. They had to take care of the children and therefore cannot go out to make money. Things are changed now. They have time to do what they like because of the sound prenatal and postnatal care. Take me as an example. My husband and I have 2 kids. We are living a perfectly happy life as we both have stable jobs and work hard enough. Everything is better now. Thank you.
Xu Guixiang: I notice this reporter has been raising his hand to ask questions. Please ask a question.
Bloomberg: I’m a reporter from Bloomberg. I’d like to ask a question about graduated trainees. Do you earn salary in the vocational education and training center? If you earn money, is it paid in cash? Can you save money?
Xu Guixiang: Tahiljan Tohti, a graduated trainee from the vocational education and training center, will answer this question.
Tahiljan Tohti: We are mainly educated and trained in the vocational education and training center and do nothing concerning making money.
Bi Haibo: Journalist from Global Times, please ask your question.
Global Times: Some countries, overseas institutions and media claimed that “Xinjiang government restricts people’s freedom of religious belief, and demolishes mosques and other Islamic religious places in large scale in Xinjiang”. What’s your response to it?
Xu Guixiang: Elijan Anayat, the news spokesman of the people’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Mamtyiman Reshat, Imam of the Xiangfeiyuan Mosque, Haohan Township, Kashgar City will answer this question.
Elijan Anayat: The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that Chinese citizens enjoy the rights to have religious belief. No government organizations, social groups or individuals shall force them to have or not to have religious beliefs. Nor shall they discriminate against people having or not having religious beliefs. All legitimate religious activities are protected by the country. Judging from the daily works, there are four key points needed to be pointed out. Firstly, the legitimate religious activities of Muslims of all ethnic groups are protected. Muslims of all ethnic groups can have normal religious activities according to the teachings, regulations or traditional customs of the religion either at mosque or at home based on their own wish. The government also arranges chartered plans for Muslims’ hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia each year and provides services along the trip except in the year of 2020 when the hajj had to be canceled for the outbreak of Covid-19. Secondly, the issue and publication of Islamic classics are guaranteed. The Xinjiang Islamic Affair Steering Committee, specially set up by the government, organized the publication of many classics including the Koran, the Essence of Buhari's Sermon in Chinese, Uygur, Kazakh and Kirghiz. The access to religious knowledge for Muslims have been expanded. Thirdly, the professional Islamic staff have increased significantly. There are 10 Islamic schools in Xinjiang: the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and its 8 branch schools all over Xinjiang together with Xinjiang Islamic School of Scriptures. These institutes enroll undergraduates, junior college students and secondary school students on the basis of demand. Thus the sound inheritance of Islam are guaranteed. Fourthly, we have over 1,000 religious personnel deputy to the National People’s Congress or members of the Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference at different level, playing their role in democratic supervision and deliberation of state affairs.
The groundless accusation of “large-scale demolition of mosques” is even more ridiculous. In Xinjiang, as long as places holding religious activities register according to the law, they will gain legitimate status and their rights and interests will be protected thereby. What needs to be emphasized here is that the majority of mosques in Xinjiang were built in the 1980s-1990s or even before. Some of them were built of adobe, some were narrow and some were in a state of disrepair. Thus, whenever a gale or rain strikes, normal religious activities would be disturbed. Not to mention, in case an earthquake occurs, the safety of Muslims would be threatened. Moreover, some of the mosques were laid out improperly, bringing inconveniences for Muslims in carrying out religious activities. In recent years, as urbanization and rural revitalization accelerate, in response to the appeal and application of local Muslims, combining with renovation of urban shanty areas, regulation on human settlements in rural areas, and relocation for poverty alleviation, relevant governments have well solved the problem of dilapidated mosques through building, relocation and extension of the mosques. All these measures were taken in line with the plan on urban and rural development. Muslims are content with the safer and better laid out mosques. Up till now, mosques in Xinjiang can totally satisfy the need of Muslims.
Next, let’s welcome Mamtyiman Reshat, Imam of the Xiangfeiyuan Mosque, Haohan Township, Kashgar City to talk about his view.
Mamtyimin Reshat answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Mamtyiman Reshat: My name is Mamtyiman, Imam of the Xiangfeiyuan Mosque, Haohan Township, Kashgar City.
Xiangfeiyuan Mosque where I work was built in 1873, covering 4,800 square meters land area with 1,800 building area. The Mosque can accommodate 1,500 people having religious service in it. It is equipped with running water, electricity, paved-road, gas, telecommunication and broadcasting television as well as medical service, electronic screens, computers, air-conditioners, fire extinguisher. Muslims in the village come to the Mosque to pray five times a day, gather on Juma Day and the two festivals of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. When Muslims get married, they will invite me to their home holding Nikah Ritual for them after they got their marriage certificate. If some passed away, I would hold a funeral ceremony for the deceased according to the religious customs and then bury the deceased in public cemetery.
The channels for us Muslims to acquire Islamic knowledge are smooth. We can study at mosques, religious schools or through reading religious classics, magazines, for example, Chinese Muslims or study on-line. As far as I’m concerned, I studied at the Xinjiang Islamic Institute and learned about how to recite the Koran, the sermon, Islamic teachings and regulations. I also read lots of Islamic classics in my spare time and increased my religious knowledge.
Truth cannot be distorted nor can lies come true. If what some people abroad said or the overseas media reported were true, how could we have mosques with such good conditions? How could we carry out regular religious activities? Was it possible for me to study at Xinjiang Islamic Institute? Thank you.
Bi Haibo: Let’s continue our question and answer session. The journalist from Jiji Press from Japan, please ask your questions.
Jiji Press: At present, foreign media can sometimes interview in Xinjiang, but there are various restrictions on the choice of interviewees and reporting places. Why can’t foreign media freely choose their interviewees and reporting places? At present, the interviews in Xinjiang are basically collective interviews organized by the Chinese government, and the number of invited foreign media is also limited. Why can’t foreign journalists freely go to Xinjiang alone? Why are there restrictions on the opportunities for foreign media to be invited to interview?
Xu Guixiang: I don’t think this problem exists. Xinjiang is an open area. We always hold an open and welcome attitude towards foreign journalists’ coverage in Xinjiang. The regulations of The People’s Republic of China on the coverage of foreign news organizations and foreign journalists stipulates that the legitimate rights and interests of permanent offices of foreign news agency and foreign journalists shall be protected in accordance with the law, and the convenience for them to engage in news coverage business in accordance with the law shall be provided. Permanent offices of foreign news agency and foreign journalists shall abide by Chinese laws, regulations and rules, abide by professional ethics of journalism, conduct interviews and reports objectively and impartially, and shall not engage in activities inconsistent with the nature of their organizations or the status of journalists.
However, as far as I know, a very small number of foreign media reporters in Xinjiang have done things that do not comply with Chinese laws and regulations and violate professional ethics, engaging in so-called “verification” and “touch porcelain” activities.
For example, when shooting the Xinjiang related anti-China Film China undercover, some media found a “stand in”, carried a handbag with hidden cameras, and secretly filmed in Xinjiang Leong Technology Co. Ltd., under the guise of “business negotiation”. without the staff’s knowledge, they asked induced questions. In the film, they took the interview content out of context and falsely claimed that “Leong technology helped Chinese government completed the most complete surveillance system in the world”. This kind of covert and so-called “interview” method, as well as the distorted reports that seriously violate the facts, making people scoff.
For example, when a reporter from a broadcasting company did interviewing at a cotton processing plant in Aksu region of Xinjiang recently, he just went around the plant and did not enter the plant to learn about the situation. He falsely claimed in the report that “China is forcing hundreds of thousands of Uygurs and other ethnic minorities to engage in hard physical labor in the cotton field.” When doing interview in Kuqa pomegranate seed Clothing Co. Ltd. Aksu Prefecture, without the consent of the interviewee, the reporter from the broadcast company forcibly filmed and had a dispute with the staff of the Kuqa pomegranate seed Clothing Co. Ltd.. The report was even rigid, and even said that the staff of Kuqa pomegranate Seed Clothing Co., Ltd. were “government officials”, falsely claiming that “they were blocked by officials of different identities for many times”.
These behaviors don’t have any professional ethics, professional morality, sense of responsibility, and quality, seriously deviating from the professional ethics of journalism, seriously deviating from the objective, balanced and fair position. Which country can tolerate such media reporters’ wanton accusation and slander?! Here, I solemnly declare that we have a bottom line of principle on this issue. If someone tries to come to Xinjiang under the banner of “human rights” to carry out the so-called “verification” and “touch porcelain” activities, to carry out investigation with the presumption of guilt, to interfere in the stable development of Xinjiang and China’s internal affairs, we are firmly opposed to it! Of course, we hope that all media adhering to an objective and just position and abiding by professional ethics can let the world know the real Xinjiang through paper and pen, lens and microphone.
Bi Haibo: Journalist from People’s Daily, please ask question.
People’s Daily: Some countries, overseas institutions and media claimed that “Uygur language and culture are under systemic discrimination and that their customs are restricted such as women are banned from wearing facial veils, men from keeping their mustaches and names with religious connotations are prohibited”. What’s your comment?
Xu Guixiang: Elijan Anayat, the press spokesman of the people’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Professor Batur Balat from College of Music Xinjiang Normal University, will answer this question.
Elijan Anayat: the groundless accusation “Uygur language and culture are under systemic discrimination and that their customs are restricted” is made with ulterior motives.
The rights to use and develop languages and characters of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are protected in accordance with the law. The languages and characters of all ethnic groups are widely used in fields including education, judiciary, administration and social and public business. For instance, courses on Uygur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Mongolian and Xibo are set up in elementary and middle schools in Xinjiang, which fully protects the right of ethnic minority students to learn their ethnic language and character and have facilitated the inheritance and development of ethnic languages and cultures. Another example, signs of different languages and characters can be seen in public places like postage and telecommunication, healthcare system, commercial stores and transportation. Government agencies at all levels can use national standard language and characters as well as the languages and characters of the autonomous region when performing their duties. For example, the Xinjiang Daily has four editions, Chinese, Uygur, Kazakh and Mongolian. The Xinjiang People’s Broadcasting Station has 12 sets of broadcasting programs in 5 languages, which are Chinese, Uygur, Kazakh, Mongolian and Kyrgyz. The Xinjiang Television Station has 12 sets of television programs in 4 languages. All these arrangements have brought about conveniences to people of all ethnic groups substantially.
Xinjiang fully respects the social customs of different ethnic groups. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Regional ethnic Autonomy stipulate that “ All ethnic groups enjoy the freedom to maintain or reform their own social customs”. We abide by the Constitution and relevant laws strictly. The social customs of different ethnic groups on dietary, festivals, wedding ceremonies and funerals are fully respected. Xinjiang government has adopted concrete measures to make sure people who have the demand for Halal food, especially the supply of specially needed foods for Muslims. Halal restaurants should be ensured in large-small sized cities where Muslims live and on major traffic artery. In work units that have Muslim employees, “halal canteen” or “halal kitchen” should be set up. The beef and mutton provided for Muslims are processed and stored according to their customs. Among ethnic minorities who have the custom of burying the deceased, the government has allocated specially used land and reserved exclusive public cemetery for them. The government does not have restrictions on ethnic folklore and customs such as weeding and funeral ceremonies, circumcision and giving religious names.
Xinjiang attaches great importance to the protection and development of fine traditional cultures of different ethnic groups. The promulgation of 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 Twelve Muqam have dramatically promoted the inheritance and development of the cultural and artistic cream of different ethnic minorities. So far, the Uygur Muqam and the Kyrgyz epic Manas have been enlisted on UNESCO’s List of Representative Works of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Another 83 intangible cultural heritage have been included in the country’s list and 315 in the autonomous region’s list. We translated and published Kutadgu Bilig, which was on the verge of losing heirs. We also sorted and published oral literary works such as the Mongolian epic Jangar. There were 3 national productive protection demonstration base of the intangible cultural heritage, which are Uygur musical instruments, the weaving of carpets and Etles Silk.
Now let’s welcome Batur Balat, professor from School of Music, Xinjiang Normal University to share his thoughts with us.
Batur Balat answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Batur Balat: Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially after the reform and opening up to the outside world, the Party and the Country have been giving substantial support for the development of cultural and artistic fields. Policies and measures have been made to vigorously promote cultures of ethnic groups. I have been teaching for 27 years and I myself have witnessed the development of Uygur Muqam in person. The art has gone through excavation, rescue, sort-out to protection and inheritance.
At the beginning of the founding of New China, the Department of Culture organized a professional experts team to perform the special task of rescuing the Uygur Twelve Muqam. Two volumes of music score of Twelve Muqam were published by People’s Music Press in 1960. In 1989, the Xinjiang Muqam Troupe was founded to continue to solicit and sort out Uygur folk dance and music represented by Muqam. The troupe performed many artistic works. The Muqam Research Workshop, established along with the troupe, accomplished the recording of Twelve Muqam of Southern Xinjiang and published the first version of audio cassette (2 discs in each set, 24 discs in total). Based on my calculation, over 100 volumes of academic works, compiled works, teaching materials, music score and essay collections were published since the 1980s. On 25, Nov, 2005, the Uygur Muqam passed the selection of UNESCO’s third batch of “ Representative Works of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” with all members voting in favor. On 28, Jul, 2010, the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Protection of Uygur Muqam was passed at the 19th Session of the 11th National People’s Congress Standing Committee of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with all votes, which was the first regulation promulgated by provincial administration in terms of “ Representative Works of Intangible and Cultural Inheritance of Humanity”.
Along with the success of applying for world class Intangible Cultural Heritage, government of XUAR adopted effective and targeted measures in the protection and inheritance of Uygur Muqam in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. Muqam inheritance centers of national and autonomous region level were set up in Shache County, Maigaiti County, Bachu County, all under Kashgar Prefecture, as well as Awati County in Aksu City, Shanshan County, Turpan and Hami City. The heirs of Muqam under different protection level can be seen all across Xinjiang. The Muqam Troupe was also established in the School of Music, Xinjiang Normal University, where I work. The troupe has performed in the US, Singapore, Pakistan and other countries in the past decade. “Across Time and Space: Concert on the Silk Road” was jointly displayed with Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and much acclaimed by people from all walks of life.
Last but not least, I want to stress that culture is the blood of a nation’s continuity. If “culture genocide” were implemented, why would the government invest so much money and labor in protecting and inheriting the Uygur Muqam? All the external anti-China forces, please open your eyes and extend your ears. If you have any conscience left and basic morality, stop fabricating all the lies.
Bi Haibo: The journalist from The Associated Press of Pakistan, please ask questions.
APP: Xinjiang has been plagued by poverty and violence for a long time, but with the efforts of the Chinese government, it has got rid of poverty and curbed violence and terrorism. Why are the United States and other countries still criticizing Xinjiang China?
Xu Guixiang: Xinjiang has made unprecedented achievements in economic and social development and people’s livelihood. Why are some American organizations or officials still criticizing Xinjiang? This is because, in the past, the state of frequent violence and terror is the “most beautiful scenery line” in their hearts. Now, Xinjiang has achieved social stability and prosperity, people’s lives are stable and peaceful. However, the anti-Chinese forces of the United States the west are getting impatient owing to their failure to achieve their goals. So they try to criticize Xinjiang and say blind words with their eyes open. We can see clearly about this dark side of their mentality. Xinjiang has done nothing to blame, and practice has proved that Xinjiang is successful. We don’t follow their path. We will firmly and confidently follow the strategy formulated by the Party Central Committee, being frank and unswervingly doing good for the masses of all ethnic groups, so as to help people live a better life. This is the best answer to the slander and false accusation of the anti-Chinese forces of the United States and the west.
Bi Haibo: Now the press conference has been going on for two hours. The last two questions are for Chinese journalists and foreign media journalists. Let’s invite CGTN reporter to ask questions first.
CGTN: Some countries, overseas institutions and media claimed that “Xinjiang forces ethnic minority children to attend boarding schools, resulting in the separation of parents and children.” What’s your comment on it?
Xu Guixiang: Elijan Anayat, the news spokesman of the people’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Mahat Abdreyim, a parent of boarding school student in Bachu County of Kashgar will answer this question.
Elijan Anayat: The so-called claim that “Xinjiang forces ethnic minority children to attend boarding schools, resulting in the separation of parents and children" is sheer nonsense. Xinjiang is a vast region with a long distance between villages and towns. It is very inconvenient for students to go to school. It is a very heavy job for parents to pick up their children to and from school. In order to solve this problem, nearly 400 boarding primary and secondary schools were built in Xinjiang as early as the 1980s. In recent years, the country has made arrangements to strengthen the construction of boarding schools. According to the requirements, Xinjiang should make scientific and reasonable planning in combination with the development of new urbanization, the implementation of Rural Revitalization Strategy, the changing trend of local school-age children, as well as factors such as geography, transportation, environment and safety. Boarding school construction strictly abides by the relevant national and regional construction standards, and all kinds of learning and living facilities are very complete. The teaching staff in boarding schools are guaranteed through recruitment, training, supporting education program from the inland provinces, and government purchase services. In the stage of compulsory education, students in boarding schools are free of tuition and textbook fees, like students in other schools. Rural boarding students are free of board and lodging fees, and enjoy special living subsidies. Each student in primary school is given 1,250 yuan per academic year, and each student in junior middle school 1,500 yuan per academic year, which effectively reduces the financial burden of students’ families. As for whether students are boarding, it is entirely up to the students themselves and their parents to choose voluntarily. There is no so-called “forced boarding”.
Boarding schools in Xinjiang have never restricted the connection between students and their parents. Boarding school students go home on weekends they get to school every Monday morning and go back home after school on Friday afternoon. They stay at home on holidays, winter and summer holidays. If it is necessary, students can ask for leave at any time. In order to facilitate the contact between parents and students, each dormitory of the school is equipped with a telephone, and students can call their parents at any time. The telephone number of every head teacher of every class is known to all students’ parents, the parents can call the head teachers if it is necessary. There is no so-called “separation of parents and students” at all.
Next, let’s invite Mahat Abdreyim, a parent of boarding school student in Bachu County of Kashgar to talk about his experience and feelings.
Mahat Abdreyim answers questions at the 6th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing, March 29,2021.Photo by Wang Zhen
Mahat Abdreyim: My name is Mahat Abdreyim. My wife is a middle school teacher. We have two kids. Because I often go out to work, my wife has to teach alone and take care of my children who is in primary school, so when my son went to middle school, my wife and I discussed and decide that he would go to boarding school.
At boarding school, we do not pay tuition fees, textbook fees, board and lodging fees, which has reduced our daily expenses. Boarding schools provide children with sufficient learning time, effectively using the time which might have been spent on their trip from their home and school and on their playing with mobile phones at home. At the same time, the school has a set of scientific work and rest schedule, with morning reading, afternoon reading and evening self-study arranged every day, which helps children develop good living and learning habits. During the period of residence at school, teachers and classmates also help them with their homework. My son’s academic performance has been greatly improved.
As our children are learning in boarding schools, we are very relieved and do not have worries on them. Here, I would like to tell those overseas slander makers that since my wife is a teacher herself, we are very clear about that the boarding school is very good. If what you said is true, do you think we will send our children to boarding school?
Bi Haibo: let’s come to the last question. Just now, the word “camp” was used by the Bloomberg. We don’t think we can accept it. There are only vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. The spokesman, Mr. Xu Guixiang, also made a correction just now. Next, the journalist from Bloomberg, please ask a question.
Bloomberg: I’ve heard that foreign journalists will meet the police on the flight to Xinjiang when they go to Xinjiang to interview. When they arrive in Xinjiang, they will be followed by the police. But you said Xinjiang is open. How do you explain that?
Xu Guixiang: Is this your own experience?
Bloomberg: I heard it from others.
Xu Guixiang: This situation does not exist. In the past, violent and terrorist activities occurred frequently in Xinjiang. After you arrived in Xinjiang, we were worried about your security, because terrorists did not know who they were. Another situation is that the interviewees are unwilling to accept the interview, but some reporters made forced interviews, and the masses might have called the police. You can go to Xinjiang by yourself or contact us for help. If you encounter this kind of obstruction as you said, you can directly report it to us.
Bi Haibo: A journalist from Reuters is still raising his hand. Please ask your question.
Reuters: I heard that some organizations and people in Xinjiang plan to sue the BBC? What’s your comment?
Xu Guixiang: On this issue, I made an introduction at the last press conference on Xinjiang related issues. A few days ago, we made another introduction at the video exchange meeting with the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia. These contents are recorded on Tianshan net. You can have a look at them. If you need, I can also provide them to you. I won’t repeat it here.
Bi Haibo: Now the press conference is over. We will hold such press conferences in due course in the future. We welcome friends from the press to attend it again. Thank you.