Xinjiang local rebuffs claims of 'forced labor' during UN session
Published: Sep 15, 2022 10:10 PM
A man guides a staff member in embroidery works at a handicraft making cooperative in Aketao County of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sept. 20, 2020. Over 6,000 residents have relocated to the relocation settlements in Aketao County from less hospitable areas in the deep Kunlun Mountain. In response to the employment of relocated residents, local authorities have put great efforts into developing the traditional handicraft industry, as a way to support the poverty alleviation efforts. (Xinhua/Gao Han)

A man guides a staff member in embroidery works at a handicraft making cooperative in Aketao county of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on September 20, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

The allegation of "forced labor" in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is an absolute lie, a representative from Xinjiang stood out at the 51st regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), urging the US to stop imposing unilateral sanctions against Xinjiang enterprises and individuals with the so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

Merdan, a local from Xinjiang, said during the session that his family members, friends and classmates have all been fully enjoying good policies that the country has implemented in either education or employment. "Forced labor" has never been seen among them, he said.

Actually, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are able to choose how they make a living based on their own willingness. They are able to sign legal job contracts with companies, earn a salary and choose working locations freely. Either their rights for a payment, holidays or social insurance are legally protected, Merdan said.

Merdan also expressed his strong opposition to US' unilateral sanctions against enterprises and individuals from Xinjiang, urging the US to correct its mistakes and stop its hegemony at the excuse of human rights.

Chinese officials have frequently condemned the so-called "forced labor" allegation, calling it the lie of the century by anti-China forces in the US and the West. US' law to ban all products from Xinjiang region has severely infringed the interests of both Chinese and American companies and consumers, damaged the global supply chain and also poisoned the international business environment.

The enforcement of the law is an escalation of US' efforts to contain China using human rights as an excuse. It severely violates international trade rules, affects the stability of the global supply chain and international laws, and fully exposes US' hegemonic attitude, regional spokesperson Xu Guixiang had said.