Xinjiang debunks lies in PBS documentary and biased Western media

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/29 14:25:19

Photo:Liu Xin/GT

The Uygurs, who appeared in a PBS documentary on Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and also frequently in some Western media, are "liars" and members of a notorious separatist group, the Xinjiang regional spokesperson said at a press conference in the regional capital Urumqi on Wednesday.

"There are many people from Xinjiang living abroad, why do some media love to interview these few?" said Eljiang Anayt, the spokesperson of Xinjiang.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary titled China Undercover attacked Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers as well as its ethnic religious policies. It alleged that Xinjiang "suppressed ethnic Muslims such as Uygurs through biological information DNA and "facial recognition" programs.

The spokesperson said that the "documentary" is full of lies and fallacies. In order to catch attention and smear Xinjiang, they invited "actors" and told heaps of lies. They used groundless and distorted footage of interviews pieced together to churn out "stories" which had already been debunked. 

The documentary alleged that "the mosques of Xinjiang are dismantled. Religious believers dare not to go to the mosques for fear of trouble. Some are warned to give up their religious belief."

"These are all rumors with ulterior motives. I would like to respond to their fallacies with data. The number of mosques in Xinjiang is 24,000 in total compared with 2,000 in the early stages of opening-up and reform. Are they reflections of religious freedom or a result of 'dismantling mosques?'" Eljiang said. 

Xinjiang has invested a lot in renovating dilapidated mosques where conditions have improved. This has been welcomed by many religious figures and believers due to the greater convenience for worship. In Xinjiang, citizens are free to believe in, or not to believe in any religion, the spokesperson stressed. 

The documentary also claims that Xinjiang is making use of surveillance technology including facial recognition to "suppress" Uygurs and other Muslims. 

"These [claims] are nothing but preconceptions without any proof. Xinjiang lawfully installs surveillance cameras at its urban and rural main roads, transportation junctions and other public areas with the aim to improve its social governance and effectively prevent and strike against crimes," the spokesperson noted.

The system is designed to protect local people and does not target any specific ethnicity. Improving social governance through modern technologies and big data is common practice in the international community, the spokesperson said.

Eljiang also noted that by 2010, the UK had installed 4.2 million surveillance cameras, covering all its streets, alleys and motorways, accounting for 25 percent of the world's total.

"Why are the systems practiced by Western countries considered to be human rights protection while in China it is a violation? They are the same in nature. It is obviously a double standard," Elijiang said. 

Eljiang explained that the producers of the documentary entered into Leon Tech under the pretense of holding a business negotiation but secretly filmed and coaxed words from the company's staff. It smeared the company for helping the "Chinese government accomplish the world's most complete surveillance system." 

The documentary defines satellite images that resemble construction sites as so-called detention camps, claiming that "around 2 million Uygurs and other Muslims have been locked up in vocational education and training centers, some of whom suffered torture and persecution, some even attempted to commit suicide." This is nothing but alarmist nonsense, Eljiang said. 

"I would like to ask this producer: Have you ever been to those construction sites in the satellite images? On what grounds can you define these sites as vocational education and training centers?" the spokesperson asked.

There were no essential differences between vocational education and training centers and the "community correction centers" in the US, the DDP in Britain, and "anti-extremism centers" in France, the spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson also exposed the Uygurs interviewed in the PBS documentary. 

Gulziyan Taxmamat, who appeared in the documentary and claimed that her sister was captured after returning to China, is a member of the "World Uyghur Congress", and has been in Germany since October, 2010. Her sister, Gulgina Taxmamat, who has come back from Malaysia, now teaches English at a training institution in Yining, and lives with her family, said the spokesperson. 

Another interviewee, Gulzila Awarkhan, is a "dishonest and unscrupulous woman." She was put on blacklist by her bank because she intentionally delayed paying off her loans and still hasn't paid back the interest after it came due, Eljiang said. 

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Gulzila said that her aim and dream was to bring up her children, but she has never had any children. According to her two ex-husbands, Gulzila was unfaithful, and continually cheated on them during their marriages. 

"Since we know what Gulzila is like, should we believe what she said?" the spokesperson asked.

Rahima Xanba, who also appeared in the documentary, "is a total liar" as she claimed she "was put into a detention house for 70 days with shackles around her hands and feet." But the real picture is that she was reported to the police because she stored and watched terrorist and extremist footage on her phone. She was questioned by local police in accordance with the law. 

Considering her offence was minor and she had a repentant attitude, the local police exercised leniency on her according to law after educating her.

"We have noticed those 'actresses' showing up very often in some ill-intentioned Western media reports. I wonder: There are many people from Xinjiang living abroad, why do those media love to interview these few? I have come to the conclusion that they have run out of smears and slanders, so they have to use the same ones again and again," Eljiang said. 

"As long as Xinjiang is stable and developing, and people in the region are living a happy life, those rumors will collapse on themselves. Those sinister tricks cannot change how the world sees us and will be spurned by wise minds," the regional spokesperson said.

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