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The 14th Press Conference by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows the 14th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Xu Guixiang: Good morning, dear media friends! Welcome to the Press Conference of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) on Xinjiang Related Issues. I’m Xu Guixiang, the spokesman of the Government of XUAR.

First of all, I would like to introduce the people present at today’s press conference. They are Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the Government of XUAR, Bahtiyar Bawudun, vice chairman of Federation of Literary and Artistic Circles of XUAR, Yerkesh Kurbanbek, vice chairman of the Writers Association of XUAR, Murat Hiniyat, director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Social Sciences of XUAR, and Mamatjan Mahmut, president of Xinjiang People’s Publishing House. We have also invited some grass-roots representatives who will tell their stories via online video.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region answers questions at the 14th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

First of all, I would like to make some comments on relevant issues.

In recent years, in order to tarnish the image of Xinjiang and disrupt its development, some overseas anti-China forces have tried their best and unscrupulous means to launch attacks via public opinion against China under the banner of “culture”. They have successively concocted a number of Xinjiang related “cultural products” including novels, films, documentaries, cartoons and video games, which give off bursts of rotten smell and have a bad impact on the international community.

These so-called “cultural products” are completely imaginary rubbish. In terms of content, they have pieced together a large number of shocking false stories full of false lies, which are beyond ordinary people’s imagination. From the perspective of tricks, they have ganged up a group of “actors and actresses”--criminals of moral corruption and bad deeds, who have been packaged as so-called “parties”, “victims” and “key witnesses”. Those “actors and actresses” have fabricated so-called “education and training experience” and “painful experience”, in a vain attempt to confuse the false with the true. Logically, they often adopt “presumption of guilt” against Xinjiang through preconceived methods, and even deliberately change concepts to confuse the public.

Behind these so-called “cultural products”, there are a number of special “directors”. Among them, there are so-called “scholars”, so-called “think tanks”, so-called “non-governmental organizations” and news agencies. Although they are from different fields, they are all engaged in the same despicable activities with the same anti-China purposes. For example, the notorious Zheng Guo’en (Adrian Zenz), Australia Strategic Policy Institution, The National Endowment for Democracy in USA, BBC and so on. These people and institutions are nominally “producers”, but, dressed in the cloak of “human rights” and under the banner of “culture”, they are actually acting as the “vanguard” of western anti-China forces and attacking Xinjiang.

Cultural works are originally the treasure house of the spiritual culture of human society, loading the changes in people’s production and life in different eras. However, the anti-China forces in the United States and the west even resorted to political manipulation in the form of cultural works to wantonly attack and slander Xinjiang, regardless of cost and consequences. This is a blasphemy against cultural works and a big provocation to the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Those “cultural products” are worthless and have no readability at all.

At present, Xinjiang has made unprecedented achievements in socioeconomic development and achieved the improvement in people’s livelihood. Social stability characterizes around Tianshan Mountain, where people are living and working in peace and contentment. The people of all ethnic groups have a growing sense of gain, happiness and security. We firmly believe that the good situation of social stability and harmony in Xinjiang can not be tarnished by a handful of “books”, the solid facts of ethnic unity and religious harmony in Xinjiang can not be negated by a handful of “films”, and Xinjiang’s efforts to continuously improve people’s livelihood and seek happiness for the people of all ethnic groups can not be smeared by a handful of “cartoons”. The sinister plot of the anti-China forces in the United States and the west is doomed to meet an empty end and their attempt can not succeed at all!

Xu Guixiang: The overseas book Reeducating Xinjiang Muslims and the film Fear and Oppression in Xinjiang falsely claim that the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang are “concentration camps”, and “reeducation camps” and “over one million Uygurs are detained”. Zheng Guo’en(Adrian Zenz)’s so-called research report The Karakax List: Dissecting the Anatomy of Beijing's Internment Drive also fabricated relevant “personnel information” in an attempt to “confirm” the existence of large-scale illegal detention in Xinjiang. Now I would like to invite Mr. Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the Government of XUAR, to comment on these books.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region answers questions at the 14th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Elijan Anayat: These books constitute a vicious attack on Xinjiang and run counter to the facts. The lie “over one million people of ethnic minorities including Uygurs have been held in detention in vocational education and training centers” has long been exposed many times by Grey Zone, a website of an US independent news investigation. The vast majority of the 311 people listed in the so-called “Karakax List” are residents of Bostan street, Moyu County. They have been working normally and living a ordinary life.

It must be pointed out that there are no so-called “concentration camps” in Xinjiang at all. Xinjiang has always adhered to the principle that the counter-terrorism and de-radicaliztion should not be targeted at any specific region, ethnicity and religion. Xinjiang has stuck to balancing compassion and severity and taking measures for prevention, education and rehabilitation, and balancing the maintenance of stability and the improvement of people’s livelihood. Xinjiang has actively pushed forward de-radicalization and eradication of the soil breeding terrorism and extremism through education and employment promotion. Thus Xinjiang has effectively curbed the frequent occurrence of terrorist attacks and paved a path of counter-terrorism and de-extremism in line with the philosophy, principles and spirit of the United Nations, China’s reality of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, and the will of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Our contribution to the world’s counter-terrorism and de-radicalization is worthy of respect, summary and reference.

Practice has proved that Xinjiang’s counter-terrorism and de-radicalization policies have achieved remarkable results. There have been no violent terrorist cases in Xinjiang for four and a half consecutive years, extremism has been effectively curbed, social security has improved significantly, and people of all ethnic groups have lived and worked in peace and contentment and in stability and security. Without these counter-terrorism and de-radicalization policies and measures, none of these could have been achieved. Ignoring the fact, the anti-China forces in the United States and the west endlessly label Xinjiang as a “concentration camp” and “ethnic oppression”, trying to send Xinjiang back to the quagmire of frequent violent and terrorist attacks, so that they can wait for the opportunity to disturb Xinjiang and contain China. This dark mentality is despicable.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Tusunjiang Tulupu, a graduate of the former vocational education and training center in Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture by means of online video, and listen to his views.

Tusunjiang Tulupu: My name is Tusunjiang Tulupu. I am a graduate of the former vocational education and training center in Zepu County, Kashgar Prefecture. Now I am the boss of an information technology service trade Co., Ltd.

I used to be a freight driver. At that time, some people around me often persuaded me to participate in the underground religious preaching activities organized by them. gradually, I began to hate “heretics” and even tried to find illegal channels to sneak across the border and prepare for “Jihad martyrdom to enter into heaven”. When my family saw that I was addicted to watching audio and video of terrorist violence all day long, they were very worried, so they advised me to go to the vocational education and training center for learning and training.

When I arrived at the vocational education and training center, I saw buildings, green lawns and beautiful flowers, and spacious and bright classrooms. There I learned courses on the standard spoken and written Chinese language, legal knowledge, vocational skills and de extremism. In particular, by studying laws and regulations, I understood the harm of religious extremist ideas, and learned that the so-called “Imams” are not religious people at all, but outright extremists. What they talked about was not religious teachings, but extreme ideas. Their purpose is to turn us into victims to achieve their ulterior purpose.

We had a very rich and colorful after-school life at our school. There were libraries, entertainment rooms and interest classes in our school. Teachers taught us dancing and singing. We often held sports activities such as basketball matches, volleyball matches, and also some recreational parties as well. The school also had an infirmary with doctors 24 hours on duty. The school respected our customs very much. The canteen provided us with a wide variety of nutritious halal meals free of charge every day. At home, all the religious students can participate in normal religious activities in the mosque.

In August 2019, after my graduation, I successfully found a job in an information technology company with my computer knowledge learned in the vocational education and training center and signed a labor contract with the company. The company also paid “five insurances and one fund” for me. After I made effort step by step, I was promoted from an ordinary employee to a middle-level management position, with a monthly salary of about 5000 yuan. In January this year, I started my own business, and established my own science and technology information company. I became a boss. The company has 6 employees with an average salary of 3500 yuan. Now I have made some achievements in my career, and found a girlfriend. We are going to get married at the end of this year. I am very satisfied with my current life.

Some people abroad say that the vocational education and training center is a “concentration camp”. It is a sheer lie. In fact, it was the vocational education and training center that pulled me out of the quagmire of religious extremism, gave me a new life, and changed my destiny. These lies can not change the fact that we graduates of vocational education and training centers are living a peaceful and happy life, nor can they change the fact that Xinjiang is getting better and better.

Xu Guixiang: The book abroad entitled Haze: Sunset in East Turkistan falsely claims that “the Chinese government implements a policy of ‘religious extinction’ in Xinjiang”. It is a complete fabrication. Now I would like to brief the situation of religious freedom in Xinjiang.

First of all, Xinjiang is an integral territory of China and has never been the so called “East Turkistan”. On the historical issues of Xinjiang, the large-scale TV documentary The Historical Imprint of Xinjiang, China jointly produced by the Chinese Global Program Center of China Media Group and the Publicity Department of the Party Committee of XUAR has made a detailed exposition. Within a week after the documentary was released at the end of January this year, it got as many as over 690 million clicks, and the TV audience totaled 152.9 million. Relevant topics quickly made them hot headlines, which triggered a heated response from internet users. The communication effect was phenomenal.

Now, please watch the abridged version of the TV documentary The Historical Imprint Of Xinjiang, China.

Just now, through authoritative historical materials, we briefly reviewed the history of jurisdiction of China’s central powers over Xinjiang. At the same time, we also feel how ignorant the overseas anti-China forces are about the history of Xinjiang and China. I hope they read books first before they make books. They should avoid being sneered at by other people.

On the freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang. On November 3, 2020, Xinjiang Islamic Association published the report On Freedom of Religious Belief in Xinjiang, which gives a comprehensive introduction. On May 13, 2021, the Government of XUAR held a reception for the Roza Festival in Beijing. At the reception, six religious figures, including Abudurekefu Tumuniyazi, President of the Islamic Association of XUAR and President of the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, addressed Vladimir Norov, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and 10 ambassadors and 11 senior diplomats from 18 countries, including Syria, Iran, Bahrain, Palestine, Algeria, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh, as well as 26 foreign media stationed in Beijing, introducing to them the legal protection of the right to freedom of religious belief of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the continuous improvement of mosque conditions, the healthy and orderly inheritance of Islam, the continuous expansion of Muslims’ access to religious knowledge, and the normal development of religious activities in Ramadan. On July 14, 2021, the white paper entitled Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang issued by the Information Office of the State Council also introduces in detail the protection of the right to freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang. Xinjiang’s policy of respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief has been positively evaluated by the international community including Muslim countries.

Here, we would like to introduce a TV documentary entitled Exploration And Inquiry -- a Documentary on Religious Beliefs in Xinjiang, which was jointly filmed and produced by Xinjiang Development Research Center, China Human Rights Research Association, and UAE China Arab satellite TV. It has been broadcast on the Arabic, English, Spanish, French and Russian channels of China International Television (CGTN). According to incomplete statistics, the cumulative overseas clicks of the film have exceeded 14 million, and more than 70 mainstream media in more than 10 countries have reprinted, quoted or used it. After watching the film, foreign netizens praised the policy of religious freedom in Xinjiang, saying that “from a worldwide perspective, Muslims in China live the best life” and “what a free life Muslims in China have!”. Take a look, then you can learn the situation of religious freedom in Xinjiang.

Now let’s watch the abridged version of the TV documentary.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Lutipula Abudureyimu, Imam of Tuofuqia Mosque, Yiliqi Township, Hotan City, Hotan Prefecture by means of online video, and listen to his comments.

Lutipula Abudureyimu: My name is Lutipula Abudureyimu and I am the Imam of Tuofuqia Mosque, Yiliqi Township, Hotan City, Hotan Prefecture.

The Tuofuqia Mosque, where I am serving, was built in 1826 and renovated and rebuilt in 1999. It covers an area of over 1500 square meters and a construction area of over 500 square meters, including a Worship Hall of nearly 300 square meters, which can accommodate hundreds of people worshiping at the same time. Our mosque has all kinds of facilities including tap water, electricity, paved roads, communications, radio and television, newspapers and periodicals, water flushing toilets and clean rooms. It is also equipped with medical services, air conditioners, fire-fighting facilities and drinking water equipment, which greatly facilitates the believers. The Muslims around the county usually come to our mosque for worship five times a day. On Juma Day, the Roza Festival and the Corban Festival, they come to our mosque for the festival ceremony. After the outbreak of Covid-19, the government has arranged for medical staff to provide medical services for Muslims, including distributing masks, measuring body temperature, sterilizing regularly and expanding outreach of scientific protection.

In Xinjiang, all citizens enjoy the same political, economic, social and cultural rights in accordance with the law. It is entirely up to citizens to choose whether to believe in religion or not. All normal religious activities carried out by religious believers in places of religious activities and in their homes in accordance with religious customs, such as worship, fasting, religious festivals, etc., are protected by law.

We Muslims learn about Islam in a variety of ways. We can study in mosques and religious institutes, or by reading religious classics, magazines and learning online, which can fully meet the needs of learning religious knowledge. From September 2013 to July 2018, I studied in the undergraduate class of Xinjiang Islamic Institute for five years, mainly learning the Quran chanting, Selections from Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari, Islamic teachings and rules. I also read a large number of Islamic classics in my spare time. At present, I teach Muslims about Islam when I host the festival ceremony on Juma Day, Roza Festival and Corban Festival.

As a religious personage, I have witnessed with my own eyes the harmony in the religious field and the freedom of religious belief of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. I hope those people with ulterior motives do not discredit the situation of religious belief in Xinjiang and do not harm this beautiful place--Xinjiang.

Xu Guixiang: The books published abroad such as Solving China’s Indivisible Problems: Xinjiang Class And Uygur Identity falsely claim that “the Chinese government takes Uygur children to official detention camps and forces them to be separated from their parents”. It is a trick of a thief crying “stop thief” and can’t stand any scrutiny. Next, I would like to invite Mr. Murat Hiniyat, director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Social Sciences of XUAR, to brief the boarding schools in Xinjiang.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Murat Hiniyat speaks at the 14th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Murat Hiniyat: As we all know, Xinjiang has a vast area, and the distance between villages and towns is far, so it is very inconvenient for students to go to school, and it gives parents a hard job 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 in the 1980s. In recent years, the state has made arrangements to strengthen the construction of boarding schools. According to the requirements, Xinjiang has made 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. The so-called “forcing ethnic minority children to attend boarding schools, resulting in the separation of flesh and blood” is a complete slander.

Here, we can take a look at the boarding schools in some western countries and see what “separation of blood and flesh” is. Not long ago, the remains of 215 indigenous Indian children were found at the site of a former indigenous residential school in the city of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The information about these children was not recorded. Recently, 751 unmarked cemeteries were found at the site of another former Indian boarding school called Marieval. According to the survivors of the boarding school, these may be the cemeteries of their missing schoolmates.

Xu Guuixiang: Now, please watch a video on the tragic situation of boarding schools in Canada.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Han’ayixiamu Yimi’er, parent of a student in Kuqa boarding school in Aksu Prefecture by means of online video, and listen to her comments.

Han’ayixiamu Yimi’er: My name is Han’ayixiamu Yimi’er. I’m the parent of a student of Kuqa boarding school in Aksu Prefecture.

My husband and I have two children. We are very busy at work. My mother-in-law has glaucoma and her eyesight is very poor, so she needs other people to take care of her. Therefore, we didn’t have much time to stay with our children, let alone tutoring them in their homework. After my son went to high school, he had heavy learning tasks and was under great pressure. Seeing his academic performance declining, we were very anxious. Later, my son offered to go to boarding school. After discussing it with my husband, I agreed to my son’s choice.

On the first day of sending my son to the boarding school, I found that the conditions of the school were very good. There were modern library, plastic playground, various sports and fitness equipment, and well-functioned multimedia classrooms. The students’ dormitories were clean and tidy and the canteen had a rich variety of meals. Teachers were even arranged to take care of the children's daily life every day. All that I had seen dispelled my worries. After my son went to boarding school, he had more study time. If he encountered any problems, he could consult the teacher at any time, and his grades improved rapidly. In the last exam, he got the highest score in his grade. I am very proud of his performance.

In order to facilitate contact, the teachers and we parents have established a WeChat group and we can communicate with teachers at any time. We take our son home every weekend. Our son can contact us whenever he needs our help. Every time I go back home, my son will happily share with us his life at school, for example, his class has won the first place in the tug of war competition, the teacher has held a birthday party for the students. He offers to help us take care of his grandparents. I think he is becoming more and more mature and sensible.

We parents have the most say in judging Whether the boarding school is good or not. It is our own choice to send our children go to the boarding school. The slandering and smearing of some western media against our boarding schools in Xinjiang is extremely ridiculous. We firmly oppose it.

Xu Guixiang: the book published abroad, Sterilizations, IUDs and Mandatory Birth Control: The Chinese Communist Party's Campaign to Suppress Uyghur's Birthrates in Xinjiang falsely states through the analysis of the so-called “official statistics of China” that “Xinjiang has carried out genocide against Uygurs and other ethnic minorities. The film Evidence Accuses China of Forcing Uygur Women to Sterilize claims that “the Chinese government forces Uygur women to sterilize or install contraceptives in an attempt to limit the Uygur population.” Now I would like to invite Ms. Yerkesh Kurbanbek, vice chairman of the Writers Association of XUAR, to brief the family planning policy in Xinjiang.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Yerkesh Kurbanbek speaks at the 14th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Yerkesh Kurbanbek: These arguments are entirely based on false data, cases pieced together and false propositions taken out of context. They are outright lies.

The implementation of family planning policy in China has experienced an orderly process. It first started in the inland provinces and then moved to the frontier provinces, in the urban area first and then to the rural area, and on the Han population first and and then on the ethnic minorities. The Chinese government has implemented a relatively lenient family planning policy on the ethnic minorities, which is much more strict on the Han population. In 1975, Xinjiang started the implementation of the family planning policy in Urumqi and other cities where the Han population were relatively concentrated. In 1981, the Interim Provisions on Some Issues of Population and Family Planning was issued, and the family planning policy was implemented in an all-round way among the Han population. In 1992, the Family Planning Measures of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was issued, and the family planning policy on ethnic minorities was implemented more leniently than that on the Han in Xinjiang, that is, one couple of the Han people in cities and towns were proposed to have one child, and in rural area, they were proposed to have two children. However, one couple of ethnic minorities in urban area were proposed to have two children, and in rural area, they were proposed to have three children. In 2017, with the improvement of the economic and social development and the convergence of the child-bearing wishes of the people of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang revised the Regulations on Population and Family Planning of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, stipulating that all ethnic groups should implement a unified family planning policy, that is, a couple in urban areas can have two children, and a couple in rural areas can have three children. It can be seen that the implementation of family planning policy on ethnic minorities in Xinjiang is not only 17 years later than that on the Han population, but also relatively lenient than that in the inland provinces. Next, we will earnestly implement the central government’s deployment on optimizing birth policy and the three child birth policy in accordance with the law, and promote the long-term balanced development of the population.

China is a country ruled by law. In the area of family planning technique service, the principle of combining national guidance with individual voluntariness has always been implemented. Compulsory birth control, compulsory pregnancy examination and other acts are strictly prohibited. To take or not to take contraceptive measures and what kind of contraceptive methods to adopt should be decided by people of all ethnic groups themselves independently and voluntarily, and no organization and individual should interfere. There is no such thing as “forcing Uygur women to sterilize or install contraceptives in an attempt to limit the Uygur population”. On June 14, the Statistics Bureau of XUAR released the data of the seventh national census in Xinjiang. A large number of data show that the population of Uygur and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang continues to grow. The so-called “genocide against Uygur and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang” is completely a rumor and slander driven by ulterior motives.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Adila Kadi’er, chairman of the Village Women’s Federation of Gaochang District, Turpan City by means of online video, and listen to her comments.

Adila Kadi’er: My name is Adila Kadi’er. I am the chairman of the Village Women’s Federation of Gaochang District, Turpan City, Xinjiang. I would like to brief the rural women’s birth.

I got married in 2013 and now have a daughter who is studying at kindergarten. Our national policy is very good. When rural women are pregnant, all their prenatal examinations are free. Moreover, the state reimburses most of the birth expenses and individuals basically don’t have to pay much. After the child is born, the state provides free vaccination against hepatitis B and polio, and free infant nourishment. Children enjoy free schooling at kindergartens, primary schools, junior middle schools and senior high schools. Some people abroad said that “forced sterilization” was imposed on ethnic minority women in Xinjiang. It is a sheer slander. For example, there are 2620 women in our village, including 1277 married women and many families have two or three children.

In recent years, great changes have taken place in the mindset of women in our village. They are always thinking about “finding a job and making money” in order to have a better life. With the help of the government, some of them have found a job in inland provinces and got a good income. With the income they have built a new house and bought cattle and sheep for their family, making their family’s life better and better. Some of them have started their own businesses and become female bosses. For example, Yulituzi Huji, a woman in our village, wanted to open a beauty salon at that time, but she couldn’t find a storefront. After learning this, the women’s Federation of our village provided her with a storefront for free, so she successfully opened a beauty salon. Now she employs 10 people and has an annual net income of more than 100,000 yuan. She has also won many awards in makeup competitions at the level of the autonomous region and even at the national level. Yulituzi Huji has set an example of independent entrepreneurship for other women in our village. I often use the entrepreneurial story of Yulituzi Huji to encourage the women around me, and invite her to train women who want to learn beauty and hairdressing. Now, eight women in our village have learned skills from her, opened their own beauty salon and have started their own career.

As the chairman of the Women’s Federation in my village, I am very proud and have a sense of achievement to see these gratifying changes of women in our village and to find that they have realized their own life value. Welcome to our village, take a look at the development and changes of our village, and listen to entrepreneurship and employment story of women in our village.

Xu Guixiang: The documentary Deleted produced by New Zealand’s “Stuff Circuit” news website, through interviewing two Uygurs of New Zealand nationality and the consultants of so-called “World Uygur Congress” and by mixing up the pictures of the events and locations, wantonly and falsely claimed that “Uygurs in Xinjiang were subject to forced labor, and thousands of Uygurs, mainly young women, were forcibly transferred to some factories with strict preventive measures. They were sent to single dormitories under surveillance, subject to patriotic education, national language courses etc., and were not allowed to practice their own religion”. Now let’s invite Mamatjan Mahmu, President of Xinjiang people’s Publishing House, to introduce the situation of labor and employment security in Xinjiang.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Mamatjan Mahmu speaks at the 14th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Mamatjan Mahmu: These contents are completely fabricated out of thin air and confuse right and wrong. The so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is completely a false proposition. First, the labor and employment of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are protected by law. Xinjiang has always followed the principle of the Charter of the International Labour Organization and relevant conventions, strictly implemented The Labor Law of the People’s Republic Of China and other laws and regulations, and the establishment, operation, supervision and mediation of various labor relations are carried out on the track of rule of law. Secondly, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have freedom concerning employment. All ethnic groups, including the Uygur people, have the freedom to choose their profession. Where to go and what job to do are their own wishes, and their personal freedom has never been restricted. What the government has done is to improve various employment promotion policies, actively build an employment information platform and provide a good labor and employment environment. Thirdly, the labor rights and interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are protected in accordance with the law. The rights of workers of all ethnic groups, such as the right to labor remuneration, the right to rest and vacation, the right to labor safety and health protection, and the right to social insurance and welfare, are protected in accordance with the law. In terms of religious belief, ethnic culture, language, the rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups, whether in Xinjiang or in other regions, are respected and protected in accordance with the law.

In recent years, a series of active labor and employment policies implemented in Xinjiang have significantly increased the income of the people of all ethnic groups, especially those in poverty-stricken areas. According to incomplete statistics, the per capita annual income of Xinjiang workers transferred to inland enterprises is about 40,000 yuan, which is basically equivalent to the disposable income of local urban permanent residents. The per capita annual income of workers transferred to enterprises in Xinjiang is about 30,000 yuan, which is much higher than the income from farming work. There is no doubt that the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are working with dignity in the sun and creating their own happy life. However, under the banner of human rights, some people in the United States and the west maliciously hype the so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang. Their purpose is to deprive the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang of their legitimate labor rights and send them into poverty, isolation and backwardness, so as to disrupt the stable development of Xinjiang and realize their plot of “containing China with Xinjiang”. This wrong move running counter to the historical trend will inevitably meet a failure.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Maimaitili Mutila, a migrant worker in Artux, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture through online video, and listen to his views.

Maimaitili Mutila: My name is Maimaitili Mutila. I’m from Artux City, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture. Now I’m the person in charge of Xinjiang Su’antong Road Maintenance Company in Artux City.

Since I was a child, I have especially yearned for going to big cities to experience different life. After graduating from Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, my friends and I were recruited to work in a textile foreign trade company in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, with a monthly salary of over 5000 yuan. The company signed a labor contract with us and paid “five insurances and one fund” for us. Our rights and interests are protected by law. Leaders and colleagues of the company were very concerned about us. We were provided with staff dormitories and household appliances for free. The company had a halal canteen, and the food was very much to our appetite. There I met many friends from all over the country. I often told them stories about Xinjiang, introducing the beautiful scenery of the Tianchi Lake, grassland and desert in Xinjiang to them, and offered my invitation to them to visit Xinjiang. Every weekend, I played ball games and traveled with my colleagues. I had a very happy life.

Later, I saw that the stone industry had high profits, so I went to work in a stone factory in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, with a salary of over 8,000 yuan. In this enterprise, I was greatly encouraged by the local people’s fighting spirit. I worked with full vigor, accumulating work experience and learning the way of doing business.

In November 2017, I returned to my hometown to start my own business and I set up my own stone factory. My business is very good, with an annual income of over 2 million yuan. I also created 30 jobs for local people and each of them get a salary of over 3500 yuan. In May this year, I established a road maintenance company in Artux, mainly engaged in the asphalt road repairing and paving. At present, I have undertaken several projects. I am full of confidence in the future development of my company.

Recently, some people in the west slandered our employment in inland provinces as “forced labor”. I was very indignant at it. It’s our freedom to work anywhere in the country, which is a very normal phenomenon. Many relatives and friends around me do business or work in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places like me. They have broadened their horizons, increased their knowledge, and work hard to live the life they want. How come the “forced labor”?

Xu Guixiang: We have introduced to you some of the so-called “cultural products” concocted by overseas anti-China forces. Then how were these stuff made out? Now let’s invite Bahtiyar Bawudun, vice chairman of the Federation of Literary and Artistic Circles of XUAR, to comment on it.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows Bahtiyar Bawudun speaks at the 14th Press conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Bahtiyar Bawudun: In order to discredit Xinjiang, the anti-China forces in the United States and the west have resorted to unscrupulous means. Some have collected “witness’s testimony”, some have made secret visits and interviews and taken secret photograph, some have made “guess” through satellite images, and some have made “presumption of guilt”. They don’t have any moral principles at all. This also shows once again that these books and films are not cultural products at all, but the “scandalizing materials” used to attack and smear Xinjiang.

For example, in the film China Undercover a fictitious Han Chinese code-named “Li” acted as an undercover to conduct secret interviews and shootings in Xinjiang. Under the cover of “normal tourists” and the guise of “business negotiation”, this person carrying a handbag with hidden cameras “secretly shot” in Urumqi, Kashgar and other places. He also entered into a local Party and government organ and Xinjiang Leon Technology Co., Ltd. With suggestive questions, he secretly interviewed the staff of Leon company. He took the interviewing out of context, falsely claiming that “Leon technology has helped the Chinese government complete the most complete surveillance system in the world”.

Now, please watch the video on the refutation to the slander from the staff of Leon company.

For example, the so-called documentary Genetic Surveillance infers the national free physical examination project carried out in Xinjiang as “collecting biological information such as residents’ DNA and implementing large-scale genetic surveillance”. According to the survey, since 2016, in order to improve the health of people of all ethnic groups, the Government of XUAR has implemented the national free physical examination project, and medical and health institutions have conducted free physical examination for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang once a year. During the physical examination, there is no collection of biological information such as DNA. At present, Xinjiang has invested 5.324 billion yuan in comprehensive physical examination. Through regular free physical examination, early prevention, early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment of diseases have been realized. People of all ethnic groups really feel the benefits brought by this medical policy for the benefit of the people. Every time when the free physical examination for the whole people begins, everyone scrambles to do it. Tu’erxun Talipu, a villager in Mixia town of Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture, told us that hypertension and diabetes were found in his physical examination. Because of timely detection and timely treatment, this chronic diseases on him have been effectively controlled.

Xu Guixiang: Now let’s connect Munire Abulikemu, the vice president of the health center of Xiamalebage Town, Kashgar City through online video, and listen to her views.

Munire Abulikemu: My name is Munire Abulikemu. I come from Kashgar City and I am the vice president of the health center of Xiamalebage Town, Kashgar City.

The health center of Xiamalebage Town, founded in 1956, is a government run non-profit medical institution integrating prevention, medical treatment, health care, rehabilitation and health education.

Since 2016, in order to improve the health of people of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang has implemented the national free physical examination project. Our health center is responsible for conducting free physical examination once a year for the local people of all ethnic groups. The examination aims to detect the diseases of high incidence rate including hypertension, fatty liver, anemia, diabetes, cholecystitis, gallstones, coronary heart disease, bronchitis, renal cyst, tuberculosis and other diseases so that preventive measures and treatments can be adopted and studies can be conducted on the diseases.

The physical examination center of our health center is equipped with more than 60 kinds of medical equipment, such as automatic biochemical instrument, automatic blood cell analyzer, 12 lead ECG machine, color Doppler ultrasound instrument and Dr machine, which are funded by the state. The national physical examination has realized the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, and further improved the people’s health and quality of life. Abulikemu Maitusong, a local resident, was found to have diabetes in physical examination. The disease was effectively controlled because of timely medication. He said with emotion, “it was because of the good policy of physical examination that my disease was discovered and treated in time.”

As the vice director of the health center, I am very clear about national physical examination. At any time and under any circumstances, we insist on protecting the privacy of people of all ethnic groups. The residents’ DNA collection is impossible. I want to ask those people who spread rumors. Where did you see that DNA was collected in the national free physical examination implemented in Xinjiang? Whose DNA was collected? Where is the evidence?

Xu Guixiang: The above is the main content of the press conference we introduced to you. At the beginning of the press conference, some media reporters raised some questions. Next, we will exchange ideas on these questions.

First of all, the journalist from Antara News Agency of Indonesia, please ask your question.

Antara: Last week, an Indonesian diplomat visited Xinjiang. Could you tell us something about this visit? What are your expectations?

Xu Guixiang: The Indonesian diplomat’s visit to Xinjiang, with Mr. Elijan Anayat’s company, is very important. So I would like to invite Mr. Elijan Anayat to brief the visit.

Elijan Anayat: From July 21 to 27, I accompanied Mr. Yayasutarya, Culture and Education Commissioner of the Indonesian Embassy in China, and officials of embassies of relevant countries in China to visit Kashgar, Urumqi and Ili.

Mr. Yayasutarya and his delegation visited the theme exhibition on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang, and religious places including Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar City, Yanghang Mosque, Qingquan Temple and Mingde Road Church in Urumqi City, Shanxi Temple and The Orthodox Church in Yining City, and Xinjiang Islamic Institute. They also visited Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar, the Nalat grassland in Ili, Liuxing Street in Yining City, Kazanqi style park, Xibe ancient city of Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County. Besides, they also made a tour in the memorial hall of urban and rural safe drinking water project in Jiashi County and the health center of Xiamalebage Town in Kashgar City. They had in-depth exchanges with local grass-roots people and religious figures, and made a comprehensive and in-depth study on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, ethnic and religious policies, and improvement of people’s livelihood in Xinjiang.

After the visit, Mr. Yayasutarya said: “the trip to Kashgar, Urumqi and Ili in Xinjiang has broadened our horizons and we have learned the truth. The reports I heard from the United States and the west in Indonesia before didn’t tell the truth. China has invested more than 71 billion dollars in Indonesia, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation between the two countries are being conducted well. We can continue to strengthen our cooperation in economy, trade, culture, education and other fields. We hope Indonesian students can study in Xinjiang and strengthen exchanges so that more Indonesians can understand Xinjiang. One of my important tasks is to vigorously publicize the facts of Xinjiang’s development and change, unity and harmony, prosperity and stability after I return home, and explain to the Indonesian people that the accusations of the United States and the west against Xinjiang China are groundless.”

We also sincerely hope that Mr. Yayasutarya will tell the Indonesian people more about what he saw and heard in Xinjiang and let more people know about the beautiful Xinjiang.

Xu Guixiang: Now, the journalist from MASTV, please ask your question.

MASTV: Recently, an emerging independent media in the United States released a report on Xinjiang written by Italian scholars, revealing the acts of Western anti-China forces spreading false information and misleading international public with Xinjiang as a target, and the intention of the United States conniving at terrorist forces under the guise of human rights. Has Xinjiang noticed this report? What is the response? In addition, Xinjiang is at its peak tourist season. How about the current tourism reception in Xinjiang? How is epidemic prevention guaranteed at tourism reception?

Xu Guixiang: On the first question. We have taken note of the relevant reports of BT news, an emerging independent media in the United States. The title of this research report is Xinjiang – Understanding Complexity, Building Peace. It was written by Mr. Fabio Massimo palandi, an Italian scholar on international relations. The content of the report is objective, true and realistic. It is a good report on the truth of Xinjiang. Besides, many insightful people of international community have written and published books and articles, comprehensively and objectively showing the real Xinjiang. Here we pay tribute to them.

Mr. Fabio Massimo Palandi has visited Xinjiang and witnessed with his own eyes that Uygurs and other ethnic minorities are enjoying full freedom of religious belief. Recently, in an exclusive interview with a reporter from Global Times in China, he said that in the past anti-china forces were behind the Xinjiang related reports fabricated by western countries in order to achieve the strategic objectives of the United States. He believes that the United States and the west always use the “human rights issue” to criticize China with ulterior motives, which is very absurd. On the contrary, in the face of China’s achievements, the west should question and reflect on the disadvantages of its own model and system.

On the second question. In recent years, Xinjiang is characterized with social stability and people living and working in peace and contentment. There have been no violent terrorist cases for four and a half consecutive years. At present, the dividend of social stability in Xinjiang is being fully released, which takes on a “blowout” development in tourism. The number of domestic and foreign tourists to Xinjiang has broken records, reaching 213 million in 2019, with a year-on-year increase of 41.96%, including 1.7878 million inbound tourists. The tourism has been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. However, with the normalization of Xinjiang epidemic prevention and control, the epidemic has been effectively controlled, and the tourism industry has gradually recovered. In 2020, the number of domestic and foreign tourists in Xinjiang reached 158 million. In the first half of this year, Xinjiang received 88.0404 million tourists.

At present, Xinjiang is in the peak tourist season, and many tourists are touring in Xinjiang. While we are actively doing tourist reception, we strictly implement the epidemic prevention and control requirements of the state and XUAR, so as to ensure the comfort of tourists and public health and safety. In terms of strengthening epidemic prevention and control, all scenic spots, travel agencies, hotels and other tourism related institutions or enterprises are actively engaged in employees’ self-protection and safety guarantee for tourists, providing epidemic prevention materials such as disinfectants and hand sanitizers, regularly disinfecting the public areas, transportation tools and amusement equipment used by tourists, and guiding tourists to enhance their awareness of self-protection, in order to ensure the safe and orderly tour of tourists. Tourists can travel freely as long as they comply with the requirements of epidemic prevention in Xinjiang.

In order to guarantee a comfortable tour in Xinjiang, the relevant departments of XUAR have made a lot of preparations. First, ensuring safe and smooth transportation. Traffic dredging and vehicle diversion is strengthened during key periods, and at key road sections, key scenic spots, key checkpoints and toll stations, to ensure the rapid and orderly passage of vehicles. Secondly, timely releasing information. Via Xinjiang Radio and television station and other means, information on roads and scenic spots are timely released and warning tips on road and scenic spot congestion are released promptly so as to guide tourists to travel reasonably at the right time and off peak. Thirdly, effectively improving the service. In terms of catering, accommodation, refueling, meteorology, scenic spot safety and other aspects that tourists are very much concerned with, preparations are made in advance to ensure sufficient supply and provide high-quality services. In particular, a large number of night markets, scenic spots and catering snacks with Xinjiang characteristics, which have become internet celebrities are promoted to provide tourists with the experience of “eating, accommodation, traveling, shopping and entertainment”, so that tourism comfort and tourist satisfaction are comprehensively improved, and a good environment for tourists to visit Xinjiang is truly created.

Now, please watch a video about tourism in Xinjiang.

Xu Guixiang: Now, the journalist from Hongkong China Review News Agency, please ask your question.

China Review News Agency: Recently, some compatriots in Xinjiang have made donations to the people in the disaster stricken areas. Please tell us about Xinjiang people’s participation in rescue and disaster relief.

Xu Guixiang: Mr. Elijan Anayat will answer your question.

Elijan Anayat: On the first question. Recently, the rarely seen heavy rainfall continuously hit Henan province, which people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are much concerned with. People from all parts of Xinjiang have spontaneously donated money and materials for emergency assistance to Henan, providing help within their capabilities. For example, in July 21st, Xinjiang Charity Federation launched a proposal to raise funds at the official website of the Civil Affairs Department of XUAR, Xinjiang Charity Federation, and at the WeChat public platform of Xinjiang Charity Association, calling on enterprises, groups and individuals all over Xinjiang to make donations. By 17:00 on July 28, Xinjiang Charity Federation had received a total of 2.9919 million yuan from all sectors of society for the “all-out rescue of Henan” disaster relief project. For example, on July 21, Hami City, Xinjiang mobilized urgently to donate 1 million “love Naan”, and 200 tons of Hami melon and fresh beef and mutton for the disaster-stricken areas in Henan Province, and the donations were sent to Henan in batches. For example, on July 22, the first batch of members of Xinjiang Blue Sky Rescue Team hurried to Zhengzhou for rescue. On the same day, the Henan Enterprise Federation of Xinjiang (Chamber of Commerce) issued an initiative to call for donations. In less than one day, it donated more than one million yuan. For another example, on July 23, 121 professionals from State Grid Turpan Power Supply Company, State Grid Hami Power Supply Company, Xinjiang Power Transmission and Transformation Company and Xinneng Group Company formed a leading team who carried materials to Zhengzhou for rescue. For another example, the father of Laqini Bayika, “Model of the Era”, donated 200,000 yuan to Zhengzhou in the name of his son. For another example, at 5 a.m. on July 27, Yiminjiang Ku’erban, who lives in Shule County, Xinjiang, and two drivers took turns driving a van full of Nang to Henan. It took two days and three nights to arrive in Fugou County, Zhoukou, Henan Province. The love assistance spans 4,500 kilometers. After seeing the rainstorm disaster in Henan on the internet, Yiminjiang Ku’erban immediately convened 180 Uygur Naan workers and made 10,000 Naans for 8 hours.

Now please watch the video about the love assistance.

The love assistance of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have strongly supported the disaster relief work in Henan Province and fully reflects the profound friendship of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to the people of the Central Plains.

Xu Guixiang: Now, the journalist from Bloomberg, please ask your question.

Bloomberg: You mentioned the visit of Indonesian diplomats to Xinjiang. We know that EU ambassadors have always wanted to visit Xinjiang and have been communicating on relevant matters before, but China has not agreed so far. Now EU envoys hope to carry out activities more freely and visit more places in Xinjiang. Will China agree to such a request? I know that young diplomats from some European countries have visited Xinjiang before. What is China’s attitude towards the EU diplomatic mission to Xinjiang? Can we make a trip in the near future? This is my first question. I have another question about labor transfer. Much have been talked about how to enable trainees to acquire new skills in the vocational education and training centers. Is there any plan for this labor transfer project in the future? We have heard many times about the current situation of these projects. We want to know in what direction these projects will develop in the future? Are there any plans for the future of these projects? thank you!

Xu Guixiang: I’ll answer the first question. The EU’s visit to Xinjiang is no longer a new issue, but there has been no substantive progress. In this regard, I express the following views.

First, Xinjiang is an open region of China. We very much hope that people from all walks of life in the international community can take a tour and have a look in Xinjiang. We will meet the demand for on-site visits to the maximum. This is our basic attitude.

Secondly, we hope that such visits will be conducted without wearing tinted glasses and in an objective, neutral and unbiased way, because only in this way can we see the true picture of Xinjiang. We are particularly opposed to the presumption-of-guilt attitude taken by some parties who set a condition in advance, assuming that “concentration camps were established and there was genocide in Xinjiang” and so on before they come to Xinjiang. With such a purpose, they go to Xinjiang for confirmation and investigation. I don't think this is an objective attitude and it is not welcome.

Thirdly, China is actively coordinating the issue, but the EU has put forward some inappropriate conditions. For example, I think it is a disrespect for China’s sovereignty to meet with criminals such as Yilihamu. We are firmly opposed to the visit to Xinjiang with such an attitude, idea and purpose. Of course, we hope that if they can really visit Xinjiang with an objective and neutral position and mentality they will see the true picture of Xinjiang, which is different from that portrayed by the western anti-China forces.

As for your second question, I would like to invite Mr. Elijan Anayat to answer.

Elijan Anayat: In accordance with The Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China, any migrant worker, including the Uygurs, has personal freedom do decide what employment to take and where to do the employment. It is stipulated in The Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China that the legitimate rights and interests of workers are fully protected, including the right to employment and the right to labor safety. Besides, the religious beliefs and lifestyles of workers are respected in accordance with the law at work.

What our government does is to provide services for these workers. For example, in the case of employment training, many surplus rural labor forces in Xinjiang lack employment skills. According to their needs, the government has carried out employment training on automobile maintenance, construction engineering, housekeeping and manual manufacturing, so that they have some technical ability to obtain employment. We also provide employment information for the rural surplus labor force. For example, where and which enterprises need to recruit workers. For such information, our village committee release it to help migrant workers who are willing to find a job. In addition, our trade union organization also provide legal advice for migrant workers and protect their labor rights in accordance with the law.

On the issue of labor transfer. After the mechanized planting was carried out in Xinjiang, surplus labor force emerged and they voluntarily went to other places for employment, which is also an important channel for the rural population to increase their income. In the future, our government will, as always, work hard to enable these surplus rural labor forces to get jobs, increase their income, improve their living standards and live a better life.

Photo taken on July 30, 2021 shows the 14th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zou Yi

Xu Guixiang: I would like to add something more to this question.

First, the allocation of labor resources is the law of the development of market economy. The masses of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang go to inland provinces to work and find employment in accordance with the needs of the market. There are many enterprises in inland provinces and cities where employment opportunities and wages are relatively good. Many labor-intensive industries are very suitable for migrant workers of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Therefore, people choose jobs in inland provinces, which is in line with the law of economic development.

Secondly, many people in Xinjiang, including ethnic minorities in southern Xinjiang, now have a strong wish to develop their careers, pursue progress and broaden their horizons. Fact is that they have learned from their work in inland provinces. They have gained a lot in many aspects including their speech and behavior, entrepreneurial ideas and income, which has showed a demonstration for others and encouraged many people to work in inland provinces.

Thirdly, according to the needs of the development of the market economy, government departments follow the trend and actively create conditions for the people according to their desire to work in the inland provinces, helping them acquire more knowledge and master more employment skills. Government departments also try to enable them to get familiar with the life and work, and social development in the inland provinces, helping them better work, increase their income and get a well off life so that they can have a quick access to modern civilization. I think it is a good thing.

This is the end of press conference for today. Your participation is highly appreciated. Thank you.