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Xinjiang Development: China debunks Western media's allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang

(CGTN)    16:53, January 14, 2021

Beijing has hit back once again at repeated allegations in some media of forced labor in Xinjiang. China's Foreign Ministry held a news conference on Monday, and refuted claims that citizens in the region are denied the freedom to choose where to work. Wang Mengjie has more.

The Foreign Ministry's hosted local officials and residents of Xinjiang, which is home to 13 ethnic minority groups. Authorities said all residents are protected by China's labor laws.

ZULHAYAT ISMAYIL Information office of Xinjiang People's Government "In reality, laborers of all ethnicities in Xinjiang choose their jobs out of their free will. They sign labor contracts with and receive payment from companies on the basis of equality and their willingness to work, according to The Labor Law of the People's Republic of China and relevant regulations. They enjoy full freedom in deciding where to work."

MAMATREYIM NASRIDIN Xinjiang resident and migrant worker "We can earn more money in inland cities, which provide more experiences for personal development. Who wouldn't go? If I was forced into labor, why would I introduce my family members to work in my previous company?"

When Western media talk about alleged "forced labor" in Xinjiang, there's another buzzword they use "re-education camps," which they describe as a living hell. But the reality on the ground is otherwise.

ELIJAN ANAYAT Information Office, Xinjiang People's Government "There have been no so-called 're-education camps' in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training centers legally established in Xinjiang are schools aimed at deradicalization. These are no different in essence from the 'community corrections' enforced in the U.S., the Desistance and Disengagement Program in the UK, and the deradicalization centers in France, which are all conducive efforts and proactive measures of preventive counter-terrorism and deradicalization."

NIJAT MUHTAR Former trainee, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang "The training center is a school for us. The classrooms are spacious and bright. We have a reading room and playground. Even the accommodation is free. We have class from Mondays to Fridays, and take a rest on weekends."

From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang has averaged an annual growth rate of 7.2 percent. GDP in the region rose from more than 900 billion yuan in 2014 to over 1.3 trillion yuan in 2019. Xinjiang has also been peaceful, with no cases of terrorism occurring in the past four years. Officials say Xinjiang now enjoys sound economic growth, along with a constant improvement of people's livelihood, and steady progress. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Hongyu)

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