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The Spotless Cotton Lifted Me from Poverty

Maimaitiyiming Tudi,cotton farmer from Yutian County

My name is Maiaitiyiming Tudi. I am 36 years old and have a family of four people. My wife and I make living by growing cotton in Korla, Xinjiang. Each year, about 100,000 yuan can be made from our cotton field.

A few days ago, I read relevant news on the Internet. Taking the so-called “forced labor” as an excuse, some foreign enterprises attempted to stigmatize and smear Xinjiang’ cotton, along with boycott against cotton from Xinjiang. This was such an overt slander that enraged people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. As a Xinjiang native full of love and respect for this land and as a cotton farmer in Xinjiang, I express my strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition !

Didn’t foreign enterprises say we were “forced” to pick up cotton? As a former cotton-picker, I can share with you my own experience to testify what you have said were lies and I wasn’t forced to work.

In order to improve living standards, I began to pick up cotton in Korla in 2005. The owner of the cotton field provided us with comfortable and clean accommodation, and hired professional chefs to cook so that we can have different types of food as we usually had back at home. At that time, we set our own goal of picking cotton every day. The more we picked, the more money we earned. Every day in the clean cotton field, we “competed” with other cotton-pickers to be the winner. We got our wages of the day at every night. With the money earned by our own hard work, we all felt contented and slept solid.

A few years ago, as I had displayed my diligence and competence in cotton-picking, the boss proposed to sign a long-term contract with me and to let me help him manage cotton fields. Because of the decent salary and familiarity with the working environment, I signed a three-year contract after consulting my family. Through my own efforts, I mastered the cotton planting technology within one year. I grew into a professional who can manage the cotton fields from a ordinary cotton-picker.

Now, our income is getting higher. I built a new house in my hometown and have some savings. I had already said “good bye” to the old impoverished life. Recently, I am planning on buying a car. I often told friends around us that the happy life I have now is brought by the spotless cotton. It was cotton that lifted me out of poverty.

We live a happy life through our own hard work. Why are we “forced” to work in the eyes of some foreigners? Why do they force such an accusation on us?Why do we need to be forced to make money? I want to ask all of you who stigmatized China don’t you need cotton to make the clothes and quilts? What qualification and rights do you have to slander Xinjiang’s cotton and my hometown? Please stop your accusation immediately. Lies cannot conceal the truth!