Xinjiang busts secessionist rumors, shows transparency

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/10 15:35:01 Last Updated: 2020/1/11 11:20:51

Family members urge separatists to stop lying

The regional government of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region addressed a press conference in Urumqi on Friday to bust some latest bunch of rumors, including those peddled by notorious separatists Rebiya Kadeer and Dolkun Isa. 

This is the second press conference held within two weeks by the regional government to dismiss rumors. Experts believe the move comes in the wake of ramping up of efforts by some Western media and anti-China forces to slander China's Xinjiang policies while Xinjiang embraces more openness and confidence as it strides on the path of transparency.  

Xu Guixiang, a senior official of Xinjiang's publicity department, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Friday that Xinjiang had held the press conferences consecutively since the US and some other Western countries and anti-China forces had ramped up their efforts to spread rumors, smearing Xinjiang's de-radicalization work. 

"It is necessary for us to refute slander from anti-China forces, and tell the outside world that Xinjiang is a stable, prosperous and beautiful region," Xu said, noting that the press conference also shows that China has been transparent, open and confident concerning its policies in Xinjiang.

"The two press conferences showed that Xinjiang has always conducted its work in an open and transparent way, including launching the vocational education and training centers, releasing information about graduation of trainees and the poverty alleviation work," said Zhang Yonghe, executive dean of the Human Rights Institution of Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing.

During Friday's briefing, senior officials of the Xinjiang regional government also revealed the involvement of notorious separatists Rebiya and Dolkun, leaders of the Germany-based secessionist group World Uyghur Congress, in the terror attacks that happened in Xinjiang. The press conference also exposed their attempts at severing Xinjiang from China together with the terrorist group, the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)."

Two videos as part of the evidence were also streamed during the conference. Relatives of Rebiya and Dolkun were seen in the videos busting their lies. 

Dolkun has been slandering Xinjiang using distorted facts for many years. He also alleged that Xinjiang has perpetrated "mass detention" of Uygur Muslims and razed Uygur culture. He claimed his mother died during her captive in Xinjiang's vocational education and training center.

Azgul Isa, Dolkun's elder sister, said in the video their parents died of old age and illness. "It is really heartless of my younger brother Dolkun Isa to use my deceased parents to smear Xinjiang from overseas. We are very upset about it," she said. Rebiya often peddled lies like violence against Uygurs is everywhere in Xinjiang and every family has someone who has been nabbed by the police. 

However, Rebiya's two granddaughters told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that the family is living a normal life and people in Xinjiang are enjoying every freedom. In another video which was streamed at the Friday conference, the two girls urged Rebiya to stop peddling lies and disturbing their peaceful life.

"In the videos, we can see relatives of Dolkun and Rebiya living free lives. Then, how come there is so-called mass detention of Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang?" Guli Abulm, spokesperson of the Xinjiang regional government, questioned. 

She termed such people with sinister motives as "scums of the people" who are trying to brew troubles in Xinjiang. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are aware of their malicious purpose and would not let them succeed. 

Ridiculing the ETIM, Xinjiang officials said some members of the ETIM are worried that after floating innumerable lies, they would eventually backfire. 

Guli particularly threw light on four rumors that were floated by ETIM members, including bogus videos which claimed "Uygur people are tortured" but were later discovered to be not only fake but also unrelated to Uygurs in Xinjiang.

Zhang Yonghe noted that anti-China forces and overseas separatists are colluding together and ramping up their efforts to smear China. By hyping issues related to China's Xinjiang and Tibet regions, they want to stand on a moral high ground, slander China's human rights records and attack its policies on religion. They are also trying to sow discords between China and the Muslim world.

A photo showed a man lying in blood, and it was shown alongside the rumor that Uygur people are being murdered. However, the photo was taken following a car accident in Indonesia, and the "blood" was in reality syrup that had spilled from a truck.

Success story 

Three individuals representing people about whom rumors were spread, mostly by Western media, were invited to attend Friday's press conference and share their true stories. They were a scholar from Kashi University, a trainee from a vocational education and training center in Kashi Prefecture, and a trainee from Hotan. 

Gulnal Ubli, an official from Xinjiang agricultural machinery bureau, said during the conference that some foreign media and members of the ETIM slandered Xinjiang by maliciously claiming persecution and detention of Uygur intellectuals, including herself.

"These reports are nonsense!" she said, adding that many scholars that have been rumored as being "detained" are living normal lives. 

"We have not been mistreated or detained. We are still working on our positions and did not lose our rights and freedom. I want to stress that China is a country ruled by law… all Chinese citizens, including the Uygur people, will face no custody if they do not violate laws," said Gulnal.

However, there is a very small group of so-called "intellectuals" who incite terrorism and extremism, attempt to split the country, stir hatred among different ethnic groups and assist terrorists. "They are the enemy of the people and must be lawfully punished," Gulnal said. 

Alijian Tohti from Kashi shared glimpses of his time in the training center. He  stressed the living condition in the center was good and they had free accommodation. Their rituals and eating habits were respected and they had opportunities to attend many interesting classes.

Alijian said he went on to work in a company after graduating from the center and is now satisfied with his current income. 

Almujiang Abuduaini is a trainee in the Hotan training center. After being  influenced by extremism, he barred his wife from going to work, stopped his children's schooling, and did not consult doctors or visit the hospital when they were sick.

Almujiang said, he has changed a lot after joining the training center. He now cares more about his family members and with the help of the residential community, he opened a small shop selling items of daily necessities.

"I can earn more than 10,000 yuan a month and I hired a helper from a poverty-stricken family. Our life is getting better and I love my family and will provide good education to my children," he said. 

Officials from the regional government also unveiled the achievements of Xinjiang's work on countering terrorism and de-radicalization. Not even a single violent attack occurred in Xinjiang in over three years, which was the foremost accomplishment. 

The stability and harmony of society have brought an opportunity for economic development. The GDP of Xinjiang in 2018 surpassed 1.2 trillion yuan and the per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents was 32,764 yuan and 11,975 yuan respectively. The GDP in 2019 is expected to reach 1.378 trillion yuan.

In 2019, Xinjiang received 213 million trips, garnering a tourism revenue of more than 360 billion yuan.

Nearly 10,000 residents dance in local Dolan Maxrap folk style in Awat county in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Oct 9, 2018. Photo:Xinhua

More transparent and confident 

Despite some Western media's relentless attempts at slandering Xinjiang, more conscious people have reacted positively to Xinjiang's current achievements, Xinjiang regional officials said.

"The truth may be delayed but it will never be denied," said Guli, noting that a US news website, Grayzone released a report on December 12, 2019 which disclosed that the figure of "1 million Uygur detention" in Xinjiang was in fact sourced from a Washington-based nongovernmental organization, the Network of Chinese-Human Righters Defenders.

Based on interviews with only eight Uygurs in an area with a population of 20 million, CHRD "extrapolated estimates" that "at least 10 percent of villagers… are being detained in re-education detention camps, and 20 percent are being forced to attend day/evening re-education camps in the villages or townships," according to the Grayzone article. 

"Lies cannot cover the truth. Slandering Xinjiang will finally be torn  down… Xinjiang's work on countering terrorism and de-radicalization is above board. The great efforts made by people and officials of all ethnic groups on realizing long-term stability in Xinjiang should get a fair and square evaluation from the international community," said the spokesperson.

Analysts believe with the development of Xinjiang, the region has become more open and confident and it welcomes more visitors to espy the reality with their eyes.

Xinjiang has invited more than 1,000 people from 90 countries and regions to visit the region, said officials during Friday's press conference, adding that Xinjiang's anti-terrorism measures are in accordance with UN regulations on countering terrorism and firmly safeguards human rights.

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