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U.S. tries to take Xinjiang back to the days of terrorism
June 23,2022   By:CGTN
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U.S. politicians may say that they care about the Uygurs. But they just want to weaponize them to undermine China. /CGTN
 
Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The daily column clarifies simmering issues and better defines the news agenda, offering a Chinese perspective on the latest global events.
 
June 23, 2022 -- The Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) took effect on June 21. U.S. Customs has listed products coming from China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as products of "forced labor". All imports from the region are banned unless they are proven "by clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not produced with forced labor," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated.
 
As Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a recent press conference, the ban wantonly disrupts international trade order and undermines the stability of global industrial and supply chains. According to a report in The Guardian, China accounts for about 20 percent of the global cotton supply, and nearly 84 percent of China's cotton comes from Xinjiang. Liv Simpliciano at the Fashion Revolution told The Guardian that "the difficulty is that at the ginning stage, cotton from disparate locations is mixed together, making it impossible to trace the provenance." Under the sanction, a brand's failure to provide the necessary certification could cost that brand up to a fine of $250,000.
 
A big price to pay for a sanction based on lies, isn't it? But it's not as much as residents in Xinjiang might have to endure. Over the past decades, the Chinese central government has coupled the anti-terrorism campaign in Xinjiang with an economic development plan that expanded the livelihood and raised the living standards of people in the region. Absolute poverty was eradicated in 2020. In 2021, per capita disposable income of rural residents living in areas lifted out of poverty in Xinjiang reached about $2,343, a 12.08 percent increase from 2020. 3.17 million job opportunities were provided to rural laborers in the same year. The anti-terrorism campaign worked because the economic status improved.
 
Now, with the U.S. hypocrisy in full effect, these achievements are at stake.
 
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A live-streamer promotes cotton via a live show in Yuli County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 12, 2021. /Xinhua
 
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, once said that the best way for the CIA to destabilize China is to use the Uygurs: foment unrest and "join with those Uygurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external." This CIA playbook is now the United States government's playbook.
 
But the "difficulty" for the U.S. here is that the Chinese central government has been very successful in pulling out the root of terrorism in the region. With the economic accomplishment, extremist tendency in the region has been tamed and no terrorist attacks have taken place in more than half a decade. Destroying Xinjiang's economy would give the terrorists, extremists and separatists another chance to surface and grab hold of the region.
 
With the United States vigorously going after the fabric of Xinjiang's economic development, it doesn't take a genius to guess its end game. With the so-called "human rights violation," the U.S. is morally disqualifying products coming out of the region. Through legislation, the U.S. is using sanctions to try to cut off Xinjiang's engagement with not just the U.S. business but the global business community. And by making their version of "reality" in Xinjiang an inevitable outcome of China's political structure, the U.S. seeks to de-legitimize the efforts by the Chinese central government in the region and give Xinjiang an international stature that "warrants" U.S. intervention.
 
The end game is to create chaos in the western parts of China to divert the central government's attention and undermine the nation's development. The United States may blab about being caring towards the people, but what they are really doing is destroying the livelihood of the local people. U.S. politicians don't have the slightest good intentions toward the Uygurs. They are simply trying to re-weaponize ethnic relationships in China.
 
The Chinese government and the Chinese people will fiercely protect the decades of efforts to secure stability in Xinjiang. The legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens will be defended. The United States will pay a price for trying to take Xinjiang back into the days of terrorism and chaos.
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