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The 72nd Xinjiang-related Press Conference of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

The 72nd Xinjiang-related Press Conference of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

(Beijing, April 22, 2022)

Photo taken on April 22, 2022 shows the 72nd Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo

Xu Guixiang: Friends of the press, welcome to Xinjiang-related press conference of XUAR. I am the news spokesman of XUAR government and this is Elijan Anayat, who is also the news spokesman of XUAR government. At the same time, we have eight experts, worker representatives and heads of enterprises in Xinjiang to be with us via video link. They are: Li Juan, Chairman of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee of XUAR; Chen Qiang, Director General of Labor Security Supervision Corps of XUAR ; Jiang Jie, Vice President of Arbitrator’s Court of Labor and Personnel Dispute of XUAR; Illidus Murati, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of XUAR; Chen Qi, the faculty member of Institute of Law of Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences; Zhang Xiu, Chairman of the Board of Xinjiang Tianyun Organic Agriculture Ltd.,; Kaishar Maimaiti, a worker in an oil company in Urumqi; Amety Eshan, a cotton farmer in Shaya County, XUAR.

The upcoming International Workers' Day is a festival to workers worldwide. To earn the legal rights and interests and fight against the forced labor, workers in every country have gone through arduous long-term combat. At present, it’s a prevalent consensus and a prospect to achieve working with decency. Many countries, including China, have adopted a series of efficient methods to make sure workers can enjoy the labor rights they deserve to gain all-round development.

Xinjiang has proactively practiced the philosophy of decent working initiated by the international community, abiding by the spirit of ILO’s conventions and proposals and restrictively following the national laws, policies and regulations. In this way, workers of all ethnic groups can work in a free situation and enjoy the rights to choose their job of their own will; they can work in an equal situation, as all the hurdles in the access to job market has been erased and no one would receive discrimination for his or her ethnicity, hometown, gender and religion, thus achieving equal employment and common progress; they can work in a safe surroundings and enjoy an improved job market, for the government has urged the employers to practice the national occupational safety and health protection standards and to improve the working place; they can work in a decent and comfortable way without any stress at work, for great attention has been paid to the humanistic and spiritual care to nurture a healthy, active enterprise culture. At present, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang work decently under the sunlight. Respect and reward are given to every drip of the sweat that workers have shed to reflect their value.

Photo taken on April 22, 2022 shows the 72nd Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo

Xu Guixiang: Now, we will give the floor to Li Juan, Chairman of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee of XUAR, to talk about the related situation.

Li Juan: Xinjiang has always given top priority to protect the legal rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups. Workers enjoy the rights to participate the company's democratic management, be employed without discrimination, freely choose their jobs, gain their working payment, have a rest and vacation, be protected in working place, have a training, enjoy the social security and welfare as well as apply for the settlement of labor dispute, and all these rights are fully preserved.

First, we protect the workers’ legal, political rights to participate the democratic decision, management and supervision. The standing committee of XUAR People’s Congress Deliberates and Approves many laws and regulations, including the XUAR Regulations on Private Economy, XUAR Regulations on Township and County Enterprises, XUAR Methods to Adopt Trade Union Law of the PRC, XUAR Regulations on Working Union of Non-public Enterprises and XUAR Regulations on Congress of Workers and Staff. All these regulations serve to ensure the use of workers’ political rights.

Second, we protect the equal employment regulated by the laws. Many laws and regulations, including Constitution of People’s Republic of China, Labor Law and Employment Promotion Act and XUAR Methods to Adopt the Law of protection of Women’s and the Disable’s Rights and Interests and Employment Promotion Act protect the people of all ethnic groups in terms of their rights to be employed without discrimination.

Third, we protect the workers’ legal rights to choose their own jobs in line with their freewill. Workers have the right to choose their jobs in accordance to their situations and needs. The third article of XUAR Regulations on the Protection of Labor Rights and Interests stipulates workers enjoy the right to be employed equally and choose their jobs in their own will, despite their gender, ethnicity and religion. Governments at all levels in Xinjiang have put the respect to the workers’ will as one of important requirement in terms of designing the employment policy, widening the employment channels, creating new vocations, conducting job training and providing employment service. In this way, workers can work and live in an independent and voluntary way.

Four, we protect the workers’ legal rights to get their payment and enjoy the social insurance and welfare. PRC’ laws and XUAR local regulations stipulate workers can get legal payment and enjoy the labor insurance and welfare, and governments should practice the minimum payment scheme to protect the workers’ legal rights and interests. XUAR Provisional Regulations on Labor Safety, XUAR Regulations on Collective Contract and XUAR Regulations on the Protection of Workers’ Rights and Interests has stipulated article regarding the legal payment to the workers. Relevant authorities have made regulations on the collective consultancy to the workers’ salaries in enterprises, providing legal protection to workers' interests.

Five, we protect the workers’ legal right to have a rest and vacation. The third article of XUAR Regulations on the Protection of Labor Rights and Interests stipulates workers enjoy right to have a rest and vacation regardless of their gender, ethnicity and religion. The 18th article stipulates employers should guarantee employees to enjoy the national and regional festivals, holidays and vacations with payment like annual vacations, wedding and funeral leaves, family planning leaves and other vacations mentioned in labor contracts and collective contracts.

Six, we protect the workers’ legal right to receive the vocational education and skill training. PRC Law on Education, PRC Law on Labor and PRC Law on Vocational Education stipulate in detail the people’s right to receive the vocational education and skill training. Relevant authorities in XUAR have exercised proactively the related stipulations to make sure that all urban and rural labors have access to vocational skill training programs and their chance to get skill training at all stages of working and schools can be guaranteed.

Seven, we legally defend and fight against the forced labor. According to the stipulations in PRC Criminal Law, PRC Law on Labor, PRC Law on Labor Contract and PRC Law on Public Security Punishment, we restrictively prohibit forced labor by violence, threat and illegal limit to individual freedom and many illegal behaviors including humiliation, corporal punishment, battery, unlawful search and jailing workers. To illegal behaviors, we give political punishment; to crimes, we investigate criminal responsibility according to law. Xinjiang obeys national laws and regulations to raise the awareness of law and increase the legal sense of employers and employees. We practice the inspection on law enforcement on a regular basis. The whole process of building, conducting, inspecting and modifying labor relationship is included into a legal track so as to prevent and fight against forced labor.

In general, governments at all levels in Xinjiang have fulfilled the responsibility of protecting the labor and employment and put in place a series of employment-related laws, regulations, policies and requirements, so as to ensure that people of all ethnic groups to be fully employed. Xinjiang’s policies and practice regarding labor and employment security conform to the international labor and humanistic standards, which has been a successful practice of ILO's proposals in ethnic region in China.

Photo taken on April 22, 2022 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 72nd Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo

Xu Guixiang: Now, we will invite Chen Qiang, Director General of Labor Security Supervision Corps of XUAR to introduce the situations of responsibility-shouldering in all levels of Xinjiang labor security supervision agencies.

Chen Qiang: The main responsibility of Xinjiang labor security supervision institution is to supervise and inspect the compliance of labor security laws and regulations by employers, workers and other social organizations in according to law, aiming to protect the legitimate rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups according to law. In a more popular way, we are "supervisors" and "law enforcement officers" for the protection of workers' rights and interests.

First, we impose punishments according to law and regulations. For companies and enterprises that violate labor laws and regulations, we can, in accordance with the decisions of current labor laws, regulations and rules, give warnings, make a public criticism among their counterparts, revoke licenses and order them to stop production for rectification. For those who violate other administrative regulations, we may suggest the relevant administrative organs to impose administrative penalties. For those who violate the criminal law, we may suggest that the law enforcement organ investigate their criminal responsibility.

Second, we actively supervise employers. In accordance with The Regulations on Labor Security Supervision formulated and issued by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, We perform our duties such as carrying out law enforcement inspection on the signing of labor contracts and payment of labor remuneration, guaranteeing labor protection, dealing with certain acts infringing on the rights and interests of workers in a timely manner, in order to effectively protect workers in job introduction, labor contracts, working hours, rest and vacation, wage payment, social insurance, special labor protection and other legal rights and interests. For example, the relevant provisions specify that if the employer needs to extend working hours due to production and operation, he must negotiate with the trade union and workers according to law, and arrange compensatory leave or pay corresponding remuneration. In our daily inspection, we also pay special attention to the overtime of workers on weekends and legal holidays, as well as the payment of overtime wages, so as to ensure that the legitimate rights and interests of workers are well-protected.

Third, we timely handle reports and complaints from workers. When workers encounter the situation such as being postponed in payment, they can report and complain through the acceptance window of labor and social security supervision institutions at all levels, including Complaint Hotline, 12333 Service Hotline, platform offered by official websites of government and other rights protection channels. Labor and social security supervision institutions at all levels will conduct timely investigation and verification according to what they reported, then they will deal with and punish violations of laws and regulations according to law. We actively promote relevant companies and enterprises to improve the wage payment security system, punish illegal and criminal acts such as refusing to pay labor remuneration according to law, and ensure that workers receive wages in full and on time.

Xu Guixiang: Next, let's give the floor to Jiang Jie, the Vice President of the Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Court of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to talk about their work.

Jiang Jie: The labor and personnel dispute arbitration court is the substantive office of the labor and personnel dispute arbitration commission established by the people's governments at all levels according to law. Its main responsibility is to handle the labor and personnel disputes between employers and workers within its administrative region in accordance with the relevant provisions of the state, provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government. Up to now, people's governments at all levels in Xinjiang have set up 110 labor and personnel dispute arbitration courts, including one at the level of the entire autonomous region, 13 at the level of prefectures, and 96 at the level of counties (cities and districts). There are 390 arbitrators in Xinjiang, including 319 full-time arbitrators and 71 part-time arbitrators.

First, what are we in charge of? In recent years, in accordance with the labor law, labor contract law, labor dispute mediation and arbitration law and other laws and regulations, the arbitration courts at all levels in Xinjiang have conducted mediation and arbitration on disputes involving workers' labor remuneration rights, rest and vacation rights, labor health protection rights, access to social insurance benefits and other aspects, so as to smooth the application channels of dispute claims. Arbitration courts at all levels continue to strengthen the capacity-building of mediation and arbitration, and implement the "five systems" which include the first inquiry responsibility system, the whole process agency system, the one-stop notification system, the system of settlement within required period and the accountability system, and the "four publicities" which include the publicities of procedure, evidence, duration and result. In the process of receiving materials, hearing and delivery, the staffs will make clear their identity, commitment and responsibilities, further unified the code of conduct, and significantly enhanced the social credibility of mediation and arbitration.

Second, how do we manage? Xinjiang has launched the ‘Internet+ Mediation’ service platform to build an online service platform network in the four levels of autonomous regions, prefectures, cities, counties and townships (streets), and workers can apply for arbitration online. Xinjiang has formulated the Implementation Opinions on Strengthening Mediation and Arbitration of Labor and Personnel Disputes, improved the diversified handling mechanism and the professional and diversified mediation mechanism of labor and personnel disputes, and standardize the responsibilities, working procedures and behaviors of mediators of mediation organizations. In 2020, in order to strengthen legal aid for mediation and arbitration, Xinjiang also formulated relevant policies to strengthen legal aid for mediation and arbitration of labor and personnel disputes. By the end of 2021, 109 mediation and arbitration legal aid workstations had been set up in the region, with a coverage rate of 99.1%.

Third, how about the effect? By the end of 2021, the arbitration settlement rate of mediation and arbitration institutions at all levels in Xinjiang was 97.2%. For example, several migrant workers from Luopu County, Hotan Prefecture applied for labor dispute arbitration because of a dispute over salary payment when they were employed in an anonymous Engineering Construction Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang. After the arbitration committee ruled according to law, they got their wages in time and their legitimate rights and interests were protected.

Xu Guixiang: Next, let's invite Illidus Murati, the Vice Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to talk about the performance of duties by different trade unions of the Federation in the autonomous region.

Illidus Murati: The Trade Union Law of the People's Republic of China, which came into force on January 1, 2022, clearly points out that safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of employees is the basic responsibility of trade unions. They should coordinate labor relations and safeguard the labor rights and interests of enterprise employees through equal consultation and collective contract system. Besides, they should also help and guide workers to sign labor contracts with enterprises and institutions that implement enterprise management, and sign collective contracts on behalf of workers. If an enterprise violates a collective contract and infringes upon the labor rights and interests of employees, the trade unions may require the enterprise to bear correspondent responsibility according to law. If a dispute arising from the performance of a collective agreement cannot be settled through negotiation, the trade unions may apply to the labor dispute arbitration institution for arbitration. If the arbitration institution does not accept or both sides in dispute are not satisfied with the result of arbitration, then the issue might be brought to the people's court.

For starters, we regularly organize cadres of the trade unions at all levels to conduct in-depth inspections into enterprises, focusing on the signing of labor contracts, collective wage negotiation, payment of labor remuneration, implementation of legal holidays, implementation of working hours and protection of special rights and interests of female employees. During the inspections, we found that enterprises above Designated Size in Xinjiang are all legally registered. They produce and operate in accordance with laws and regulations, faithfully perform social responsibilities, abide by the code of business conduct, and protect the rights of enterprise employees to obtain labor remuneration, rest and vacation, labor safety and health protection, social insurance and welfare according to law. Besides, according to the survey data, the average monthly salary of employees in textile enterprises in Xinjiang is about 3,500 yuan, which is far higher than the minimum wage standard in Xinjiang. Many families of the employees have got rid of poverty and their days are getting better.

Apart from the above action, we have set up 30 enterprise labor relations data monitoring points in the entire autonomous region, and special personnel are responsible for timely monitoring of labor relations. Furthermore, we also actively promote enterprises to establish and improve a reporting system which involves the annual production safety and the treatment of major hidden dangers, constantly expand the coverage of special collective contracts for labor safety and health, and regularly carry out labor protection and occupational disease prevention and control such as operation in high temperature and extremely cold weather, so as to ensure the health and safety of employees.

In addition to the previous two actions, we also actively explore the construction of a diversified dispute resolution system, forming a mediation network linking the townships, towns and villages. For example, the "Green Bridge" Social Work Service Agency in Wusu City, Tacheng Prefecture, provided interest-free funds for those executes who were temporarily in financial difficulties but were willing to take the initiative to fulfill their responsibilities and had the ability to pay off, advanced the execution payment on their behalf, and solved the difficulties of both the executor and the execute of the case. The legal and the social effects, created by using the socialized public voluntary operation mode for settling disputes while making sure of the execution of cases, not only resolve contradictions and disputes from their sources, but also make the legal documents consist of more human compassion.

Xu Guixiang: Next, let's invite Chen Qi, a researcher at the Law Research Institute of Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, to talk about the comprehensive protection of the basic rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

Chen Qi: I have been committed to the study of labor rights protection for many years. At the legislation level, workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy a wide range of labor rights, such as the right to equal employment, the right to sign labor contracts, the right to remuneration for labor, the right to rest and leisure, the right to occupational safety and health, the right to job training, the right to social security, and the right to ask for labor dispute settlement. They also have the right to join and organize labor unions, the right to democratic management, the right to participate in labor competitions, the right to make rationalized proposals, the right to scientific research, technical innovation, and inventive creation, the right to terminate labor contracts by law, the right to refuse to obey the command not in accordance with the law and to refuse risky operations, the right to criticize, report and accuse acts that endanger life safety and physical health, and the right to supervise actions that violate labor laws, etc.

At the implementing level, the basic rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are protected on all fronts.

First, the equal employment rights of workers were protected. Xinjiang has comprehensively implemented Employment Promotion Law of the People's Republic of China and other relevant laws and regulations, timely improved various employment promotion policies, and effectively protected equal employment rights of workers. Xinjiang conscientiously implemented the provisions of the Constitution and the Labor Law and other regulations to ensure that workers are not discriminated against based on ethnicity, region, gender, or religious beliefs, nor are they restricted based on whether they are in urban or rural areas, what industry they are in, or their social status. Xinjiang also formulated and implemented policies to support women's independent entrepreneurship in accordance with the relevant national laws to ensure that women enjoy equal labor rights with men.

Second, the right to receive remuneration for labor of Xinjiang workers was protected. To effectively protect workers’ right of receiving remuneration, local regulations such as the Regulations on Collective Wage Negotiation of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been made, and a sound mechanism for adjusting the minimum wage standard has been established. From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang formulated and issued a guideline for enterprise wages each year. And the standard for minimum wage increased by 19.74% from 2013 to 2018. The minimum wage in Xinjiang was at a high level in the country.

Third, the right to rest and leisure of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang was protected. In accordance with the law, maternity leave for female workers was guaranteed. And the wages of female workers during the period of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding were also guaranteed. In January 2022, the Development Plan for Women of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (2021-2025) was issued, with the guarantee of fair labor remuneration as well as labor safety and health for female workers as one of the main objectives. Xinjiang strictly implemented the national regulations and followed a working-hour system in which workers work eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. The Xinjiang government also guaranteed the workers of all ethnic groups the right to rest and leisure on statutory holidays, such as the Spring Festival, Eid al-Fitr(Roza Festival) and Eid al-Adha (Corban Festival) in accordance with the law.

Fourth, social security of workers was effectively protected. The labor security supervision agencies at all levels in Xinjiang strictly regulated supervision and law enforcement, promptly accepted reports and complaints about violations of labor security laws and regulations, and investigated and punished illegal acts of employers not joining the social security system and not paying social insurance premiums for workers. The government fully implemented the plan for covering all workers in social security system and actively promoted and guided employees of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as key groups such as migrant workers in cities, flexibly employed people and people employed in new industries, to take social insurance, constantly making the insurance system to cover all workers.

Fifth, the legal relations of workers were effectively maintained. Xinjiang fully implemented the regulations of the Civil Code of the People's Republic of China. The government promoted labor contract and effectively improved the mechanism for the protection of the rights and interests of employees. It also improved the tripartite mechanism for the negotiation of labor relations among representatives of the government, labor unions and enterprises to solve major issues and build harmonious labor relations.

Xu Guixiang: Next, please welcome Zhang Xiu, the chairman of Xijiang Tianyun Organic Agriculture Co., Ltd., to brief on the situation.

Zhang Xiu: Xinjiang Tianyun is located in Nilka County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. It mainly engaged in business to ecologically raise, process, store, transport, preserve and to comprehensively utilize high-quality salmon. The company now has 260 employees in total, which is a big family composed of many ethnics including Han, Uygur, Kazakh, Hui, and many other nationalities. Since its establishment in February 2014, the company has helped more than 100 surrounding herders put down their whips and transform to fishermen of a new type.

Every year, the company organizes publicity activities, such as "Constitution into the Enterprise" and "legal education month", to guide employees to learn and comply with the law, to understand and use it. The labor union of the company plays an important role. It has established a mechanism for macro participation of the labor union and a mechanism for democratic management of the employees. Through the staff representative assembly, employees fully participated in democratic processes including decision-making, management and supervision. They supervised the company to properly handle matters such as labor remuneration payment and the protection of the right to rest and leisure.

The company held an 8-hour working system. At the fish harvest time each year, the company's business volume is large and longer working hours are required. Therefore, after negotiating with the labor union and the workers, the company would arrange for working shifts and pay workers overtime wages. For those who have been engaged in manual labor for a long time, the company regularly arranges for shift rests so that they can have sufficient physical strength and a happy mood at work.

The company has made great efforts to create a comfortable and warm working atmosphere. After work, we organize basketball games, singing and dancing competitions and other cultural and sport activities. We select sports stars and cultural stars every quarter. The company has established the “Mutual Fund for Employees” to help workers solve difficult and urgent problems in their lives in a timely manner. For instance, Nabijiang Skenda, a worker of the company, has a heavy burden to support his family because his wife was ill. We take 1000 yuan from the fund per month as the living expense for his eldest daughter who studies outside. Working in such a warm family, the employees have future expectations to work and live. Over the past few years, the happiness index of life has been significantly improved, and many employees have bought automobiles cost more than 100,000 yuan.

I come from Zhejiang Province and have been living in Xinjiang for 28 years. I witnessed the hard work of the people here making their lives more and more beautiful. And I feel honored to participate in the process and work hard together with them to share a happy life. In the future, our company will, as always, safeguard the rights and interests of our employees, so that every employee can work happily and live sweetly!

Xu Guixiang: Next, please welcome Kaishar Maimaiti, an employee of an oil company in Urumqi, to share his work experience and feelings.

Kaishar Maimaiti: I have been working in this company for 13 years. I came to the company by recruitment because the company's treatment is relatively good. I passed the competition and honored to become an "a man in the oil industry". Our company is very large, with nearly 8,000 people of all ethnic groups, from many cities and provinces. The first important thing I did with the company was to sign a labor contract, on which clearly stated my rights and obligations, wages, vacations, social security, benefits, etc., all are in detail. All I had to do was to comply with the company's rules and regulations on safety and attendance, and to work hard and finish my tasks on time. After signing the contract, I was completely satisfied. From that moment on, I was officially an employee of the company!

Although the treatment of our company is good, there were some colleagues who chose to leave either because they found a better place to work in or because they wanted to work in a different field. When they intended to resign, the company would try hard to talk them into staying at the post. But once they finally decided, the company would fully respect their decision. In accordance with the law and signed contracts, the company would terminate their labor contracts, and assign people to help them with transferring social insurances and other procedures.

Based on the Enterprise Law and discussions on staff meetings, our company has also formulated "Labor Discipline and Attendance Management Standards". The daily working hours should not exceed 8 hours on average. And vocations should be arranged on festivals including the New Years' Day, the Spring Festival, the Labor Day, Eid al-Adha (Corban Festival) and Eid al-Fitr(Roza Festival). The company has also formulated the Employee Vocation Management Standard, which specifies the leave management methods for paid annual leave, wedding leave, bereavement leave, maternity leave, breastfeeding leave, shift leave, work-related injury leave, parenting leave, etc. Based on the methods and plans, I have paid 10 days off every year.

Our company offers good benefits package and I feel a sense of belonging working here. The company pays our endowment insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance, maternity insurance and housing fund on time. My monthly salary is about 5,000 RMB, and there is a living allowance of 200 RMB. In March this year, the company just organized a free medical checkup. On the eve of Spring Festival, Eid al-Adha and Eid al Fitr, the company holds various kinds of activities and organizes us to perform our talents every year, including singing and dancing. It also provides delicious food, which makes the company like a sea of joy. The company conducts safety inspection every day, as well as regular inspection of labor laws enforcement and protection. It often seeks opinions and suggestions from workers, and helps solve difficulties in time.

The company has established a disclosure system for business affairs, and important decisions are announced to all employees in advance. It has also set up a "suggestion box" where we can write to the management if we have any opinions about the company. When we encounter some difficulties in work and life, we can also seek support from the company through the "suggestion box".

Xu Guixiang: Dear friends of the press, it is the cotton planting season in Xinjiang now. As I have learned in advance, the cotton planting in southern Xinjiang has basically been finished, and in the northern Xinjiang sowing is still going on. The mechanized sowing is used now and the progress is very fast. A few days ago, we asked our friends of the press to take some pictures in the cotton field. Now please watch the video and take a look at mechanized cotton sowing in Xinjiang.

Xu Guixiang: Next, we will talk on the phone to cotton farmer Amety Eshan in Shaya County, Xinjiang to find out how the cotton grows now.

Xu Guixiang: Hello, Amety Eshan! Now we are holding a press conference and the media reporters are very interested in the situation of cotton growth in the southern Xinjiang now, please give us a brief introduction about you and the cotton there.

Amety Eshan: I am Amety Eshan, a cotton farmer in Wensu County, Xinjiang. I have been growing cotton for more than 10 years. Now, we have five farmers forming a cooperative to plant cotton on a farmland of 680 mu last year, more than 780 mu this year. It has been more than 20 days since the planting of cotton. Look, the cotton seedlings have come out neatly and there is little grass in the fields.

Xu Guixiang: Is it all mechanized now? How long does it take to finish your work on this farmland?

Amety Eshan: Yes, now cotton planting, farmland management and picking are basically mechanized. With a large tractor, 400 mu of land or 500 mu of land can be done in a day. The efficiency is greatly improved, the lands are very tidy and the germination rate is very high. Now one person can manage 200 to 300 mu of cotton fields, which is not complicated and not particularly tiring.

Xu Guixiang: How was your income last year? Do you work in other industries besides cotton farming?

Amety Eshan: Cotton price was high last year and so were our earnings. Therefore, we planted more cotton this year. With the money earned, I redecorated our house and bought a house in the city as well as a car. I plan to buy another large machinery this year that I can rent out to make money.

Xu Guixiang: Well, that's all we would like to know. Thank you very much for your introduction and I wish you a prosperous life.

Xu Guixiang: We have invited 8 representatives above from different fields and aspects to introduce the situation about the protection of labor rights and interests in Xinjiang. Next, let's talk about the issues that you are interested in. Now, I would like to respond to questions from Xinhua News Agency.

Xinhua News Agency: The U.S. State Department released the 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights on April 12, which evaluates the human rights situation in 198 countries and regions. How does the spokesperson comment on this?

Xu Guixiang: The State Department has been releasing country reports on human rights year after year, accusing many countries and regions, including China, of their human rights situation. But we have to ask, in turn, why the U.S. does not release its own reports on human rights, why it does not talk about the human rights situation in its own country, and why it does not listen to the complaints of the people of the world about the human rights situation in the U.S.? The United States is a nation with a history of only 200 and more years, but the wars they have started, the disasters they have created, and the crimes they have committed are too numerous to mention. Instead of reflecting on themselves, the United States is pointing fingers at other countries. It seems that they do not know what is righteous and what is evil, what is noble and what is despicable. They dress up themselves as "angels" when they are obviously "devils", which is a joke to the world.

Xu Guixiang: Now, I would like to respond to questions from Antara News Agency of Indonesia.

Antara News Agency of Indonesia: Muslims around the world, including those in Xinjiang, are fasting and observing Ramadan this month, and they will end fast next month to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Could you share with us how the Muslim Uygur community in Xinjiang celebrates Ramadan? Will Uygur leaders also hold a reception in Beijing as they did last year?

Elijan Anayat: Since the beginning of Ramadan on April 3 this year, Muslims of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been spending Ramadan in a stable and peaceful atmosphere in accordance with Islamic tradition. They fast in the morning and break the fast in the evening, with five-time pray a day. They make intermittent worship at night. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims of all ethnic groups will celebrate the Eid al- Fitr. Xinjiang government has stipulated that people of all ethnic groups have a day off to celebrate the holiday. Every family prepares delicacies such as crisp noddle, fried bread and mutton to receive friends and relatives. Whether to hold a reception like last year depends on the epidemic situation. If it is held, I would like to invite all of you to attend it.

Photo taken on April 22, 2022 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 72nd Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues by XUAR in Beijing. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo

Xu Guixiang: Now, I would like to respond to questions from Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg News: I would like to ask a question about poverty alleviation through employment transfer. I know that we have realized poverty alleviation through employment transfer and the poverty alleviation program actually reached its

Transferring employment has brought tangible benefits to the people of all ethnic groups. People have benefited a lot through migrant work. Many of them have bought houses and cars, gained more capital to start their own businesses, broadened their horizon and greatly changed their mental outlook. Nowadays, more and more people are willing to go out to work and participate in transfer employment programs. As a matter of course, the government will seek more job opportunities for its people, build broader employment platforms, and provide more thoughtful employment services so that workers of all ethnic groups can find more suitable jobs and space to give full play to their talents, so that they can live a better life.

Xu Guixiang: Now, I would like to respond to questions from Nippon Hoso Kyokai.

Nippon Hoso Kyokai: Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for Human Rights is expected to visit China in May and said that she would send a team to China before her trip this month. Could you give us more details about her visit? What are the relevant preparations on the Chinese side?

Xu Guixiang: We welcome Ms. Bachelet to visit China and Xinjiang. As for the specific arrangements, the Chinese Foreign Ministry is communicating with Ms. Bachelet and her team. We have no details at present.

Now, I would like to respond to questions from other media.

If there are no more questions, that’s all for today's press conference. Thanks for your time. Goodbye.