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Analysts take U.S. to task on Xinjiang disinformation
July 07,2022   By:China Daily
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A farmer pours cotton seeds into a seeding machine in Xayar County, Aksu Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, April 3, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)
 
July 7, 2022 -- The United States has been spreading disinformation about Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, including claiming that forced labor has been used, in an attempt to target and tarnish China's international image, analysts said.
 
Chandra Muzaffar, president of Malaysian human rights advocacy organization International Movement for a Just World, said the veracity of the claim that forced labor has been used in Xinjiang has not been established by any independent body.
 
"The way in which this claim has been trotted out gives the impression that it is yet another attempt to target and tarnish China's international image," he said, citing the U.S.' "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act". Under the act, which was passed at the end of 2021 and took effect in June, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will block all imports made wholly or partly in Xinjiang, citing "forced labor" as the reason.
 
Muzaffar made the remarks when addressing an online webinar on the United Nations Human Rights Protection Mechanisms and Unilateral Sanctions by States on Wednesday.
 
He said attempts by Uygur residents in Xinjiang and Chinese authorities to tell their side of the story in the U.S. and Western media have been sidestepped. Indeed, there has been a great deal of misinformation, distortion and lies on the Uygur situation generated by the West, he said.
 
Chi Deqiang, associate professor at Shandong University's law school, said the "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act" is completely based on concocted facts that genocide and forced labor exist in Xinjiang, and that accusation is "an entire lie". The fact is people in Xinjiang are living better lives and Uygur population numbers have been increasing greatly since 1949.
 
He said the U.S.' prohibition of Xinjiang goods will only hurt the welfare of local people. Even worse, many businesses will probably be forced to close down and Uygur workers may lose their jobs and income sources owing to sanctions.
 
'In a unilateral manner'
 
Muzaffar added that most economic and related sanctions in the world today had been initiated and deployed by the U.S. in a unilateral manner.
 
"The sanctions against China often in the guise of protecting human rights are motivated largely by geopolitical concerns," he said. "They are actually meant to undermine China's dramatic but peaceful rise as a world power in the last three decades."
 
Moreover, sanctions have also been imposed upon small and medium-sized nations for a much longer period if they seek to chart their own paths to the future without kowtowing to the U.S., he added.
 
"Asserting one's sovereignty and independence in pursuit of one's national goals is a mortal sin in the eyes of the world's foremost imperial power," he said. Cuba, Iran and Latin American states such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have all been victims of U.S. sanctions.
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