Memoir of the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-Related Issues by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
(On January 27th, Beijing)
Photo taken on Jannuary 27, 2022 shows the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Beijing. Photo by China News Service/ Han Haidan
Xu Guixiang: Hello, dear fellow reporters. Welcome to the press conference on Xinjiang-related issues by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. I am Xu Guixiang, the spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. First of all, I would like to introduce the participants in the press conference. They are Mr. Elijan Anayat, a spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, Ms. Guli Ablim, the director of the Bureau of Sports of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Mr. Liu Quan, the deputy director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Then, I would like to make remarks on the so-called issue of “forced labor”.
Photo taken on Jannuary 27, 2022 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by China News Service/ Han Haidan
Xu Guixiang: The so called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is a completely pseudo-proposition. In fact, it is a ruse made by the United States and Western anti-China forces to intervene in Xinjiang affairs and China’s internal affairs, and implement the plan to restrict China by Xinjiang. China is a socialist country built on the rule of law. Governing Xinjiang according to law is an important part of Xinjiang governance strategy. Xinjiang has been following the spirit of the Charter of the International Labor Organization and relevant conventions, strictly implementing laws and regulations, including Labour Law of the People’s Republic of China, Implementation Opinions of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Implementing the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China, Measures for Implementing the Regulations on Labor Security Supervision in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang has implemented laws on the establishment, operation, supervision and mediation of labor relations, with fully respect to the wish of workers of all ethnic groups to protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the laws. There is no so called “forced labor” in Xinjiang at all.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, a global sports event drawing worldwide attention, is approaching. However, the American and Western anti-China forces have done everything possible to obstruct the process, and even announced that they are not to send official and diplomatic representatives to the Beijing Winter Olympics on the grounds of the so called “forced labor” in Xinjiang. They attempt to politicize sports. This is an infringement of the legitimate rights and interests of athletes from all countries, a destruction of the global sports cause, and a blasphemy against the spirit of the Olympic Charter. This will be opposed by the Chinese people and even the people of the world.
American and Western anti-China forces, in the grounds of the so called “forced labor” in Xinjiang, fabricated political lies and refused to send a diplomatic or official delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is a bad decision against the trend of history. It is well known that the Olympic Charter clearly states that sports is the human right and any country must keep the principle of political neutrality. It also opposes the misuse of sports and athletes for any political purpose. This is the consensus of the international community, especially the national Olympic committees and athletes of all countries. Recently, leaders and government officials from Russia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and many other countries have said that the Olympic movement should not be politicized and they support the smooth hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The IOC held the 10th Olympic Summit and issued a declaration that they firmly oppose any politicization of the Olympic Games and sports. And there are also many conferences supporting the Beijing Winter Olympics, including the third Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (China-CELAC Forum), the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting, the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
It must be pointed that the Beijing Winter Olympics is not the stage for political show and political exercise, but a grand event not only for athletes and ice and snow sports lovers around the world but also for the international community to enhance unity and friendship. The American and Western anti-China forces have no political ethics. They linked the so called "forced labor" issue in Xinjiang to the Beijing Winter Olympics, and deliberately created division, hostility and confrontation. In essence, it is the resurrection of the "Cold War mentality", the ugly performance of "restricting China by Xinjiang", and the evil trick to make this world in chaos.
Xu Guixiang: Today’s press conference mainly focuses on the above content. Next, reporter’s question, please.
Reporter from People’s Daily: After the introduction of the so called Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act, the United States and other western anti-China forces have put pressure on some companies in the world, and these companies have made different reactions. What is your comment on this?
Xu Guixiang: Elijan Anayat, the spokesman of the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, please answer this question.
Photo taken on Jannuary 27, 2022 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by China News Service/ Han Haidan
Elijan Anayat: We have noted that some anti-China institutions, organizations and politicians, including CECC, Amnesty International and British Conservatives MP, on the grounds of “forced labor” in Xinjiang, openly impose pressure on some multinational enterprises and incited them to withdraw their sponsorship to the Beijing Winter Olympics and interrupt the use of Xinjiang-related products or the business with Xinjiang. Under the coercion of these anti-China forces, the multinational enterprises have made different choices. Some were not afraid of hegemony, respected the facts, and continued to use Xinjiang-related products, which not only gained legitimate benefits, but also won the support and thumb up of Chinese consumers. However, some enterprises, ignoring the facts and serving the time, removed Xinjiang products and interrupted trade, which resolutely resisted by Chinese consumers.
In our opinion, the American and Western anti-China forces openly impose pressure on relevant multinational enterprises and forced them to take sides on Xinjiang-related issues and attempted to tie them to the “anti-China chariot” as cannon fodder. It seriously violates market rules and business ethics, destroys the stability of the global industrial chain and supply chain, disrupts the international trade order, and also damages the interests of relevant enterprises and workers. It is an extremely shameful behavior.In the face of the complex international environment and pressure from the US government, the best business strategy for enterprises is to respect the facts. Only business decisions based on the facts are the most conducive to the long-term development of the enterprise. We welcome multinational enterprises related to Xinjiang in the industrial chain or supply chain to visit Xinjiang to find out the real situation and then make careful decisions. We are also willing to share development opportunities with all multinational enterprises that respect the facts and operate legally to achieve mutual benefit and win-win situation.
Reporter from Xinhua News Agency: CECC sent a letter to the International Olympics Committee, expressing concern about the so called "forced labor in the production of the Beijing Winter Olympics uniforms". What is your opinion about this?
Xu Guixiang: CECC tend to fabricate and make groundless accusations on Xinjiang issues and spread many lies and fallacies. There is no credibility at all. This is just the same old trick again.
It must be pointed out that the so-called "forced labor" in the cotton industry in Xinjiang, as stated by CECC, is a complete slander. The cotton in Xinjiang, China, is white and of high quality. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are hard-working and capable. A large number of facts have proved that there is no "forced labor" in the cotton industry in Xinjiang, from planting to picking, from weaving to garment making, which can also be applied to enterprises which use Xinjiang cotton. For example, Anta, China's largest sporting goods company, is the official sportswear supplier to the International Olympic Committee. After BCI claimed to have suspended the issuance of BCI cotton licenses in Xinjiang and fabricated so-called "forced labor" to discredit Xinjiang cotton, Anta was the first to issue a statement on March 24, 2021, announcing that it would launch relevant procedures to exit BCI, stating that "we have been purchasing and using cotton produced in China's cotton producing areas, including Xinjiang cotton, and will continue to purchase and use Chinese cotton in the future." In addition, Hengyuanxiang, a time-honored company founded in Shanghai, China in 1927, has successfully created ceremonial attire for the Chinese delegations to the Beijing, London and Rio Olympic Games. It will provide official formal wear for members and staff of the International Olympic Committee during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. These enterprises always abide by the relevant laws, adhere to the basic norms of business, and actively fulfill their social responsibilities, which make contributions to sports in China and the world.
The CECC is using the issue of Olympic costumes to make a fuss, which violates basic facts. It is not defending human rights at all, but violating human rights; it is not supporting sports, but undermining sports, which are extremely despicable and dirty political manipulation.
Question from Sky News: (omitted)
China Daily: It was reported that Australian Prime Minister Morrison said that China has so far not responded to Australia's concerns about human rights in Xinjiang. Therefore, Australia will not dispatch any government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Australian athletes will participate. What is your comment on that?
Xu Guixiang: This question will be answered by Elijan Anayat.
Elijan Anayat: The Winter Olympics is a stage for global athletes to compete, not for political manipulation and ideological confrontation. Australia's link between whether or not to dispatch government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics and the so-called human rights issue in Xinjiang is a serious violation of principle of political neutrality enshrined in the Olympic Charter, runs counter to the Olympic motto of “being united” and stands on the opposite side of global athletes and sports fans. . It also fully reveals that the Australian government is blindly following the lead of individual countries to the extent of not distinguishing right from wrong and having no bottom line.
We firmly oppose some anti-China politicians using the Olympic stage to launch unfounded accusations against human rights in Xinjiang. Whether they come or not, no one will care, and it will not make any difference to the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
CCTV: Some anti-China organizations and politicians in the U.S. and the West are instigating the media to cancel the broadcast of the Beijing Winter Olympics on the grounds of "human rights violations" in Xinjiang. What is your comment?
Xu Guixiang: We have noted that some members of the U.S. House Of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter to the executive director of NBC， requesting that footage of "human rights protests" be shown during the Winter Olympics. In addition, the CECC urged CBC, BBC and other media to cancel their broadcasts of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games at that time. We find it difficult to understand such actions. Truthfulness, objectivity and neutrality are the basic professional standards of the news media. On the one hand, the anti-China forces in the US and the West advocate the principle of "freedom of the press", but on the other hand, they try to interfere with and oppress the freedom of the press by all means, which is totally self-contradictory and self-deceiving.
Macau Monthly: According to the reports, a spokesperson for Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that an assessment report on Xinjiang will be released in a few weeks. He said that the Office is in contact with China, which has invited Michelle Bachelet, high commissioner for Human Rights to visit China, including Xinjiang. What is your comment on that?
Xu Guixiang: The door of the Xinjiang is always open. China has been inviting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang, and has also maintained communication with him. We welcome the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Xinjiang, but firmly oppose anyone using the matter for political manipulation and to exert pressure on China.
Global Times: It is said that some athletes from Xinjiang will participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics, please brief us on the preparation of those athletes.
Xu Guixiang: This question will be answered by Ms. Guli Abulim, Director of Sports of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Photo taken on Jannuary 27, 2022 shows Guli Ablim, the director of the Bureau of Sports of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang TV/ Bian Pengfei
Guli Ablim: In order to meet and prepare for the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Xinjiang sports delegation has set up short track speed skating, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and ski mountaineering teams one after another on the basis of continuous development of speed skating, which mirrors the overall strength has been increasing steadily. We have made full use of high-quality ice and snow resources, built ice and snow venues and actively serve the Chinese national team in preparation for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Since October 2021, Xinjiang has received 24 teams and 841 people for ice and snow events, including: 17 teams from the Keketuohai Ski Resort, 4 teams from the autonomous region's ice base, 2 teams from the Hot Spring Cross-Country Ski Resort in Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture and 1 team at the Altay Cross-Country Ski Resort. So far, 1 athlete from Xinjiang has been qualified to participate in speed skating event in the Winter Olympics, 2 athletes are expected to be qualified to participate in the cross-country skiing event. I wish them success in the Olympic Games.
MASTV: Days ago, a video of Xinjiang herdsmen carrying the national flag and chasing the national cross-country ski team to send the Olympic athletes off was popular on the Internet. Could you tell us about that and what people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are looking forward to the Beijing Winter Olympics?
Xu Guixiang: That's a good question. Let's watch this video again together.
Xu Guixiang: It will be answered by Mr. Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the People's Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Elijan Anayat: This video is very touching. It takes place in Wenquan County, Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang. It owns long winter, being rich in ice and snow resources, which resulted in good potential and advantages of ice and snow sports development. The national cross-country ski team trained here for more than a month and has formed a deep friendship with the people of all ethnic groups here. They finished their training tasks to embark on the journey to the Olympic Games. After learning that, 22 local herdsmen spontaneously sent them off, riding horses, carrying the national flag and chasing in the return course of the national cross-country ski team, in order to express the joy and best wishes for the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which also reflects the common aspirations of more than 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
Xu Guixiang: Xinjiang is rich in ice and snow tourism resources. Now, I would like to invite Mr. Liu Quan, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to introduce relevant information.
Photo taken on Jannuary 27, 2022 shows Liu Quan, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 68th Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang TV/ Bian Pengfei
Liu Quan: The latitude and longitude range of Xinjiang is 73°40′E~96°23′E, 34°22′N~49°10′N where the ice and snow sources are perfect. The ice and snow resources in Xinjiang have distinct advantages: First, Xinjiang not only has deep snow, but most of it is "powder snow" which is suitable for skiing. Besides, Xinjiang has a good climate -- low speed wind, moderate temperature and plenty of sunshine. And the mountains in Xinjiang are high mountains and have moderate slopes. All ski resorts with a drop of more than 1,000 meters in China are located in Xinjiang. Xinjiang has the best skiing conditions in China. Among all the ski resorts in Xinjiang, the Keketohai ski resort in Fuyun County of Altay has the biggest drop of more than 1200 meters. Second, the resorts are all located in areas which are close to the cities and transportation is convenient. All the advanced ski resorts can be reached by rail, air or highway. For example, Silk Road International Ski Resort is 50 kilometers away from Urumqi, Tianshantianchi Ski Resort is 84 kilometers away from Urumqi, Keketuohai International ski resort is 70 kilometers away from Fuyun county and Jiangjunshan ski resort is just located in the Altay. Third, the combination of ice and snow resources with other resources has obvious advantages. Good snow and ice resources, rich ethnic customs, strange snow and ice scenic spots, hot springs and green ecological organic food together form a series of complex and diversified tourism products of "snow and ice sports + snow and ice sightseeing + folk experience + characteristic blocks + hot spring spa".
Xu Guixiang: Now, let’s watch a video to learn the general information about the ice and snow sports tourism in Xinjiang.
Xu Guixiang: Now, let’s feel the scenery of Jiangjunshan Ski Resort in Altay, Xinjiang through video link.
Alayi Tapai: My name is Alayi Tapai, the commentator at the Jiangjunshan Mountain Ski Resort in Altay, Xinjiang.
Xinjiang is located in the center of the Eurasian continent. Abundant mountain precipitation and glacial meltwater make Xinjiang rich in oases. In spring, Xinjiang is full of flowers and vitality. In summer, there are herds of cattle and sheep on the grassland, and loud pastoral songs over the sky. In Autumn, the sky is high and the clouds are light. Golden leaves are everywhere. In winter, Xinjiang is as clean as ice and as pure as jade and covered with snow. When it comes to travel in winter, there are lots of unforgettable traveling experiences which we can have, such as seeing the light smog and the morning mist, living in the village on a snowy night, going sledging and going skiing. In Altay, you can experience all of them.
Altay is located in the "golden Snow area" at 45 degrees north latitude, which is one of the best natural skiing areas in China. It is also the origin of human skiing, known as the "Snow capital of China".
In recent years, the government has actively promoted the rapid development of ice and snow sports tourism, holding a series of activities such as Altay International Ice and Snow Tourism Art Festival and Altay Winter Expo. Centering on ski resorts and relying on abundant ice and snow resources, the Xinjiang government has built an ice and snow industry chain integrating tourism, sports, equipment manufacturing and services. In addition, the government has also guided the people in Xinjiang to develop services such as BNB, theme photography and specialty restaurants, so that the "cold" resources gradually become "hot", turning the "frozen land and snow" into "gold and silver mountains" for people of all ethnic groups.
The Jiangjunshan ski resort where I am now was built in 2009. It is located on the north slope of Jiangjun Mountain in Altay, 1.6 kilometers away from the city center. It has 33 ski slopes with a total length of more than 30 kilometers. It is the only 5S mountain ski resort built in the city in China. There are public skating rink, outdoor skating rink, ski resort, integrated ice and snow sports center and other venues. Six national skiing events have been held here; It attracts tourists from all over the country and receives 7,000 tourists a day. And it has won more than 30 honors, such as the national "Sports Boutique Tourism Scenic Spot" and "China's Top 10 Ski Resorts". Taking advantage of the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the people around the ski resort have turned their leisure time into a busy time. They have set up shops, supermarkets, restaurants and BNB facilities. More than 20,000 people have been employed and their average income has increased by 18,000 yuan, enriching tourists' experience and increasing the local people’s income.
Welcome to Altay to feel the snow and ice folk culture, experience the ice and snow travel sports and taste the special delicious food in Xinjiang. We look forward to your visit.
Xu Guixiang: Now, let’s watch the Altay horsehide skis production site via video link to learn about the manufacturing skills of horsehide skis, which is an ancient means of transportation.
Slanbek Shahosh: My name is Slanbek Shahosh, the inheritor of fur skis. Standing next to me is my son, who is also my apprentice. This is the certificate of inheritor of intangible cultural heritage and ancient fur skis issued to us by the Xinjiang government.
To make fur skis, first, we need to choose a suitable board, then soak the board in boiling water for several hours and use a mold to shape and fix the front end of the board. After molding, we nail the selected horse leather to the bottom of the board. This is a leather rope made of cowhide, which is used to bind the feet for skiing. These are tools for making skis, such as axes. This is a snowboard craft that we make, which is popular with both adults and children. Many tourists buy them as souvenirs. This is a photo taken by a journalist from Beijing who wanted a fur ski. I like it, so I hang it right here. This is a wooden saw which I have used before. This is the leather rope we take with us when we go up the mountain, and we often use it if we get into dangerous situations. This is a picture I took when I went to Beijing. This is a photo taken with foreign tourists. They liked fur skis very much. This is fur clothing. We wear it when we go skiing. This is a fur skis made by me. The length of a ski is usually the same as a person's height. This is a snow pole which plays a role of accelerating and turning when skiing. We use it to support the ground on our sides and balance our bodies while skiing. These are fur skis for children. Altay is a good place to go skiing because of its high-quality snow. I hope friends from all over China visit our Altay.
Xu Guixiang: The Beijing Winter Olympic Games has brought important opportunities and injected strong vitality into the development of snow and ice sports and tourism industry in Xinjiang. At present, Xinjiang has formed two snow and ice tourism belts centered on Altay mountain and Tianshan Mountain, and 72 ski resorts have been built. There are 12 ice and snow tourism festivals and more than 400 ice-themed activities in Xinjiang. Urumqi and Altay are the "Top ten Cities" for National Ski Vacation and ice and snow tourism. "Silk Road·Cultural Ice and Snow" and "Snow Capital of China·Pure Northern Xinjiang" have been selected as two fine routes in China. Altay fur board skiing is included in the national "top ten snow and ice classic" projects. Altay snow and ice light show, Kanas Hemu snow and ice photography were included in the national "top ten snow and ice fashion" projects. The rapid development of snow and ice tourism has linked various industries, stimulated diversified consumption and created more jobs. Xinjiang's "cold resources" have led to the "hot economy", and the "ice and snow" have become "gold and silver mountains" for people of all ethnic groups to increase their income and get rich.
Here, we welcome you to travel to Xinjiang and experience the wonderful and exciting ice and snow sports.
That’s all for today's press conference on Xinjiang-related issues. Thank you, friends from the press, and experts and scholars for your remarks. Thanks.