Assisting employment is not forced labor, FM said in response to smears against Xinjiang

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/15 22:39:52

Local workers busy working at a shoe-making production line in Hotan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday refuted allegations of "forced labor" in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's cotton production again, pointing out the report was fabricated by infamous anti-China "scholar" Adrian Zenz. 

"We have iterated our stance on so-called forced labor many times and I can reiterate that Chinese nationals sign labor contracts with employers and obtain remuneration on the basis of equality, voluntariness and consensus in line with the Labor Law and the Labor Contract Law," ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Tuesday's routine press conference, noting there is no such thing as "forced labor" as some people with ulterior motives have claimed. 

Helping people of all ethnicities to find employment is different from forced labor, which in the definition of the International Labor Organization is to "threaten with punishment or force anyone to perform any labor or service that is not voluntary." Xinjiang residents of all ethnicities choose professions and sign contracts with companies voluntarily, and are not discriminated against due to ethnicity, gender, or religious belief, Wang said, noting the Xinjiang government respects ethnic minorities' working aspirations and offers training for them.

An Investigation Report on Employment of Ethnic Minorities in Xinjiang found that local minority groups have a strong willingness of employment. Four surveyed villages show 86.5 percent willingness to get employed. Employment also contributes to local poverty alleviation efforts. 

Wang also mentioned pictures of the so-called "re-education camps". Some Western media see all fenced-off buildings in Xinjiang as "detention centers" but many of the buildings they pinpointed are actually civil organizations. The "detention camp" in Turpan was indeed the office building of a government organ and the Kashi one was in fact a local school, Wang said, asking people to verify that on Google maps.

The report's author, Adrian Zenz, is part of a far-right organization founded by the US government. He is also a key figure in an anti-China research center manipulated by US intelligence departments. Zenz lives on fabricating lies and smears against China, Wang said. 

"Zenz's report has zero credibility of academic values, and I am willing to introduce some of his tricks," Wang said.

One trick Zenz uses a lot is making up data. Zenz presented a fake report that Chinese government is forcing sterilization in Xinjiang, claiming 80 percent of new intrauterine devices were installed in Xinjiang in 2018. But the fact was Xinjiang only accounted for 8.7 percent of the nation's total. 

Another trick is creating something out of nothing. Zenz fabricated a name list of people who were sent to a teaching and training center. But it turned out that people on the list were residents who had been living and working normally. Only a few who were affected by religious extremism with illegal actions were sent to the center. 

Third, Zenz groundlessly speculates things. Zenz claimed in his report that Xinjiang conducts excessive heath checks on ethnic minority women to prove they have undergone Chinese government-imposed "compulsory sterilization." However, his report failed to provide any evidence to prove that the government forced Uygur women to use IUDs after giving birth to one child. His conclusion is his own speculation that cannot stand up to scrutiny.

Fourth, he is playing with numbers. Zenz stated that the natural growth rate of the Han population in Gulbagh Residential District in Hotan was nearly eight times higher than that of the Uygur population in 2018. To compare the natural growth rate of a street to that of a county has no academic value. As a matter of fact, if we compare the changes of the Han population and the Uygur population in Hotan in 2017 and 2018, we find that the total Han population is decreasing, while the Uygur population is increasing. Zenz's claim that "Beijing is doubling down on a policy of Han settler colonialism" is purely a lie with no factual basis.

"We hope media and people of insight can tell right from wrong, respect facts and will not be deceived by people like Zenz who cheat and based his entire career on an anti-China stance," Wang said. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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