Envoy Cui addresses Xinjiang mistruths
China's ambassador in Washington on Thursday called for the United States and other Western countries to stop spreading misinformation about the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and listen to what the 25 million people there and the rest of China say about the beautiful area.
Cui Tiankai said that critics should "heed the opinions of objective and rational scholars and media, especially those from other countries and regions, so they will be able to tell truth from falsehood and right from wrong".
Cui spoke during an online meeting titled "Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land". The US and other Western nations have accused the Chinese government of conducting "genocide" against Uygurs in the region.
"In the past 40 years, the Uygur population in Xinjiang has more than doubled－does that look like genocide?" Cui asked.
The ambassador said he has been to Xinjiang many times. More than 1,200 people, including UN officials, foreign diplomatic envoys to China, journalists and religious groups, visited Xinjiang over the past several years, and many social media influencers are seen on the streets conducting interviews. The real Xinjiang is entirely different from the version some Western politicians and media have portrayed.
Cui also said that talk of "forced labor" is groundless. Workers in Xinjiang choose their own jobs, including those in the high-income industry of cotton harvesting, of their own volition. They sign labor contracts as free and equal parties, their rights and interests are well protected and they enjoy full remuneration.
"Given such undeniable facts, why are some Western organizations and individuals, disguised as academic institutions and scholars, still making noises and blatantly fabricating lies?" Cui asked. "Why do some forces in the US use Xinjiang to launch massive smear campaigns against China? The truth is, they want to bring about a collapse and splitup of China from the inside."
He said the objective of foreign "concerns" about Xinjiang's human rights situation is to use the region to contain China.
"Their typical ploy is to first presume guilt, and then to find and even fabricate matching evidence. They don't care about truth whatsoever and only mind their political schemes," he said.
The US State Department under the Trump administration in January declared the Chinese government's treatment of Uygurs to be "genocide".
In recent years, anti-China forces have created the "Xinjiang Data Project", "Xinjiang Victims Database" and "Uygur Transitional Judicial Database" by gathering "witness accounts" to misrepresent Xinjiang to the world.
Cui said Xinjiang's affairs are China's internal affairs. Xinjiang-related issues are about anti-terrorism, deradicalization and anti-separatism by nature.