US stretches ‘black hand’ for long-arm jurisdiction; hearing on ‘forced labor’ hypocritical, absurd: Xinjiang official
Published: Apr 08, 2022 11:25 PM
A farming tractor sows cotton in Yuli County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on March 29, 2022. Photo: VCG

A farming tractor sows cotton in Yuli County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on March 29, 2022. Photo: VCG

 A senior official from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday slammed the US government's "black hand" and long-arm jurisdiction for its holding of a hearing to ban imports of "forced labor products" from China.

The hearing by the US department of homeland security, inviting so-called witnesses who do not know the reality in Xinjiang, attempted to justify and legitimize a crackdown on the region to cover up the US' long-arm jurisdiction, which "demonstrates the US judicial system's hypocrisy and absurdity," Xu Guixiang, spokesperson for the Xinjiang regional government, told an online press conference on Friday. 

Happy lives are earned via labor, and the authorities in Xinjiang prioritize employment for all ethnic groups with the ultimate goal of ensuring people's right to employment and ability to live a happy life — which cannot be criticized, Xu said.

Xu raised four questions for the US to answer: Is government support for employment a guarantee or violation of rights? Are people employed voluntarily or "forced"? Does such support conform to or breach international conventions? Does the support improve or diminish people's lives?

Xinjiang is located at the northwest frontier of China and has long lagged behind in socioeconomic development. The four prefectures in southern Xinjiang used to be deeply impoverished areas with a tough natural environment, low market maturity and undeveloped industrialization and urbanization. 

Some people, under the influence of "three evil forces" — terrorism, extremism, and separatism — rejected modern scientific knowledge and refused to learn and master employment skills, resulting in a low educational level, insufficient employability and difficulty in escaping poverty. 

Faced with such a predicament, if the government does not offer help and support, people of all ethnic groups will not have adequate job opportunities and their employment rights will not be fully realized, Xu said. 

Xu said the government support for employment is based on full respect of employees' will, involving learning about people's needs and matching them with employers. Western attacks on the employment transfer ignore the reality that China's development is unbalanced, and the developed areas can provide more job options and higher payment. 
Government support for employment ensures people are not discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, gender, place of origin or religious belief. These policies enable people of all ethnicities to find work. Does this contradict any international conventions? Xu asked. 

Xinjiang people who work outside the region earn an average of 40,000 yuan ($6,285) a year, which is equal to the local average where they are working. People who work inside Xinjiang earn roughly 30,000 yuan a year, which is much higher than for those engaged in farming, according to Xu.

Many families have been able to build new homes, as well as buying cars and appliances, so they can live a happy life that was unimaginable in the past. The policies are embraced by the public, so why is the West blind to it? Xu asked.

"We advise US politicians not to hold closed-door hearings with deaf ears and blind eyes. If they really want a hearing, they should listen to 25 million people of all ethnicities in Xinjiang, and take a look at social and economic development in Xinjiang," Xu said.