Xinjiang's happy ethnic groups are the best response to lies
September 02,2022   By:CGTN

Children have fun in "Dove Lane" in the old town Tuancheng of Hotan City, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 27, 2020. /Xinhua

Sept. 2, 2022 -- According to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the pressure from anti-China forces in the U.S. and the West, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a Xinjiang-related human rights report full of lies. The report, based on falsehoods presented as facts, made groundless accusations of "serious violations of human rights" and forced labor in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
However, facts speak louder than words. The social harmony and stability, sustained economic development and continuous improvement of people's livelihood in Xinjiang, as well as the growing sense of gain, happiness and security of the people of all ethnic groups are a powerful response to the lies of anti-China forces in the U.S. and the West.
The double standards adopted by the U.S. and the West on the issue of human rights are in accordance with their hegemony of human rights discourse in the world. The choice of evaluation criteria and how to evaluate the human rights situation in different countries depends on geopolitical considerations, and their own political needs rather than real human rights protection.
The U.S. and other Western countries only one-sidedly emphasize specific rights related to their own interests, while ignoring the practical efforts made by other countries in human rights protection. In fact, by cracking down on the "three evil forces" (namely, ethnic separatism, religious extremism and violent terrorism) in accordance with the law, there has been no violent terrorist incident in Xinjiang over the past five consecutive years, and the right to life, health and development of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been effectively protected.
While shaking off the shadow of violence and terrorism, Xinjiang has also created a historic opportunity for its all-round development and people's happiness. Through the concerted efforts of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the integrated development of modernization of agriculture and animal husbandry, informatization, digitalization and intelligence of industry has been accelerated, and the service industry has played an increasingly prominent role in economic growth.
In 2021, the per capita disposable income of urban residents in Xinjiang was 37,642 yuan ($5455.84), a 8.05 percent rise year-on-year. Rural residents' per capita disposable income was 15,575 yuan ($2257.44), a 10.81 percent rise year on year; In the first quarter of 2022, Xinjiang led the country with a GDP growth rate of 7 percent.
By continuously improving the living standards of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang has historically solved the problem of absolute poverty. By the end of 2020, all 2.73 million rural people, 3,666 poverty-stricken villages and 32 poverty-stricken counties in Xinjiang had been lifted out of poverty. The continuous improvement of people's living standards has given a strong boost to people's all-round development.
People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have long been troubled by the shortage of safe drinking water. In 1984, Xinjiang began to implement a disease prevention and water improvement project, ending the history of Xinjiang residents (of all ethnic groups) drinking unpurified brackish water. Since 2016, Xinjiang has comprehensively addressed this problem for the poor population, carrying out more than 400 projects to ensure safe drinking water in rural areas, with an investment of 12.2 billion yuan ($1.77 billion).
In May 2020, the 1,827 kilometer urban and rural safe drinking water project in Payzawat County, the single largest single investment of such a project in China so far, was fully put into operation, marking a complete solution to the drinking water safety problem of the poor population in Xinjiang.
A technician checks the quality of products at a garment company in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, August 25, 2022. /Xinhua
Xinjiang protects the equal employment rights of workers of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law, and implements the strategy of giving top priority to employment and an active employment policy. From 2014 to 2020, the total number of employed people in Xinjiang increased by 19.4 percent from 11.3524 million to 13.56 million. While vigorously promoting employment, the legitimate rights and interests of workers of all ethnic groups are protected in accordance with the law, such as equal access to labor remuneration, social insurance, rest and vacation, and occupational safety.
When the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang were steadily moving toward common prosperity with the rest of the country, the United States and the West suddenly began to "care" about "human rights" in Xinjiang. By fabricating and spreading lies related to Xinjiang, they have smeared China's policies governing Xinjiang, distorted the human rights situation in the autonomous region, and imposed unilateral sanctions in an attempt to contain China's development.
Facing the "forced labor" lies, Sun Yingchun, a farmer from Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, said, "Since 2013, the whole process of cotton planting and picking mechanization work has been carried out in our township, and every time you buy a cotton picker, our country will give us the corresponding agricultural machinery subsidy. In 2016, 100 percent machine picking rate was achieved. Up to now, our township has 54 cotton pickers. In addition to serving the township, many cotton pickers also serve surrounding counties and cities, especially in southern Xinjiang. From the analysis of the number of cotton pickers owned by Xinjiang residents, it is clear that Xinjiang has fully realized mechanized cotton picking. The number of large farm machinery sold to Xinjiang from the United States and other Western countries also reflects this reality. The U.S. and the Western allegations that Xinjiang's cotton industry is rife with illegal labor and forced labor is pure slander."
A rumor stops with the wise, and justice naturally inhabits a man's heart. The development and progress of human rights in Xinjiang is obvious to all. The happy life of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang is the best response to lies.
As far as the protection of human rights is concerned, no country has the right to impose its own ideology, political and cultural traditions on other countries. Human rights have never been a set of Western concepts imposed on others, but a value system that is universally recognized by the human community and reached according to the prevailing conditions of human society.
Human rights should never be used as a tool for individual countries to pursue geopolitical strategies and export ideologies, but rather it should serve as a basis for consensus-based dialogue on an equal footing between civilizations and cultures. As the Charter of the United Nations calls for, countries should "practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors." This is the only way through which the world can embrace real peace and development.

By: Qiao Basheng. The author is a lecturer at the School of National Security and special researcher at the Human Rights Research Center in Northwest University of Political Science and Law. 
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