Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the largest administrative region of China that houses over 24 million people, secured satisfying performance in COVID-19 control and fully restored economic and social order thanks to its arduous efforts.
By April 15, 99.3 percent of the enterprises above designated size and 98 percent of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the autonomous region have resumed production. Besides, all of the centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Xinjiang have restored operation.
The autonomous region has dispatched three medical teams consisting of 386 medics to Hubei to join the COVID-19 response efforts there. Recently, it once again sent medical teams to Pakistan and Kazakhstan to help relieve pandemic situation.
However, when Xinjiang is going all out to fight the pandemic and resume production, it is bothered by appalling fake news disseminated by the “East Turkistan” forces outside China which lied that “Xinjiang’s vocational education and training centers face dissemination risks of the novel coronavirus,” “the Chinese government could use the novel coronavirus to wipe out the one million Muslims interned in the concentration camps,” and “Xinjiang conceals the truth of the epidemic.”
In addition, some anti-China politicians in the West are also calling white black and making groundless and vicious remarks to smear China.
But lies are lies, and they barely hold water in front of truths. How can its vocational education and training centers face dissemination risks of the novel coronavirus as the autonomous region has reported no new COVID-19 cases for over 50 days – let alone the fact that all the trainees had completed their courses as of Dec. 9 last year?
These lies were fabricated with political conspiracies. Lately, American independent news site The Gray Zone published a report by journalist Ajit Singh, revealing the plots of certain Western media outlets to tarnish China by fake news about Xinjiang. Singh pointed out that media reports on Chinese “forced labor” relies almost entirely on a series of dubious studies, and they are in fact the direct product of an orchestrated PR campaign backed by US government, NATO, and arms manufacturers.
Singh revealed that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), one of the purportedly independent and non-partisan think tanks that produced the studies, is indeed run by Australia’s Defense Department and sponsored by a host of weapons manufacturers. Australian Senator Kim Carr of the Labour Party said ASPI has received nearly $450,000 in funding from the US State Department for the 2019 to 2020 financial year, seeking to “promote a new cold war with China” in collaboration with the US.
As a matter of fact, anyone who has been to Xinjiang can see through these lies. The autonomous region’s GDP expanded by 6 percent year on year to nearly 1.38 trillion yuan ($194.6 billion) in 2019, and all of its residents enjoy free nine-year compulsory education and free medical checks. The average life expectancy of Xinjiang residents now stands at 72 years. The Uygur population in Xinjiang ballooned from 5.5 million to 11 million, or 46.8 percent of the total in the region over the past four decades, and the region houses over 25,000 mosques, more than those in the US, the UK, France and Germany combined together. Every 500 Muslims there share one mosque – a better environment than those in many Islamic states.
The groundless smears by Western media once again exposed their ideological biases and prejudices.
“They generally stated that the situation in Xinjiang that they saw with their own eyes was completely different from that of some western politicians and the media,” said Michael Heinrich, a German professor with Beijing Foreign Studies University in an article he recently published online.
Heinrich introduced that he had taught a Xinjiang Uygur student and often talked with her about the education situation in her hometown in her spare time. According to her, Uygur students can enjoy preferential policies given by the government, such as extra college entrance examination points, special policies for college admissions, employment policy support, etc. In addition, in order to take care of Islamic students such as Hui and Uighurs, the school she studied in has set up halal cafeterias, halal restaurants, and studying clubs.
“Xinjiang has established vocational education and training centres in accordance with the law to carry out vocational skills education and training, in order to allow more Uyghur Muslims to obtain employment opportunities and improve living conditions, to prevent the breeding and spread of terrorism and religious extremism,” the German professor said.
However, these voices are something the Western media outlets are reluctant and scared to hear.
Lies never cover up truths. By the end of 2019, 12 impoverished counties in Xinjiang have eradicated poverty, and this year the autonomous region will eliminate poverty for all impoverished population and enter a well-off society in an all-round way together with the rest of the country.
The conspiracies to smear China with Xinjiang-related issues will never succeed. On the contrary, Xinjiang will only get better and become an ideal tourist destination for people around the world, opening a window for more people to know about the region and China.
Pakistani President Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi meets with Chinese medical team from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region assisting Pakistan to fight COVID-19 at Pakistani presidential palace, April 9. Photo courtesy of Chinese Embassy to Pakistan