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Home > Press and Media Service > Embassy Spokesperson's Remarks
Statement of the Chinese Embassy in the UK on Xinjing-related Issues
2021/01/13

On January 12th, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and a few others made irresponsible remarks on Xinjiang-related issues at the House of Commons, slandering and discrediting the development in Xinjiang and China's policies, and announcing restrictive measures on companies allegedly involved in the so-called "forced labour". The Chinese side expresses grave concern at and strong opposition to such blatant interference in China's internal affairs under the name of Xinjiang-related issues.

For some time, certain Western countries, including the UK, have been fabricating and spreading the "lies of the century", including the so-called "mass detention", "suppression of ethnic culture", "forced sterilization" and "forced labour" in Xinjiang. The Chinese side has explained the situation to the UK and other relevant countries through multilateral and bilateral channels on many occasions to clarify the facts, debunk the lies and state our position. The Chinese Government has issued eight white papers on Xinjiang and the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has hosted 22 press conferences to provide information about the economic and social development in Xinjiang and other relevant facts. Moreover, in recent years, the Chinese side has invited more than 1,000 diplomats, journalists and representatives of faith groups from over 100 countries to visit Xinjiang and see with their own eyes the real situation there. From 19th to 22nd October 2020, ambassadors and diplomats from 20 diplomatic missions of Arab countries and the Arab League in China visited Xinjiang. They spoke highly of the achievements in the economy, society and human rights situation in the region and pointed out that the accusations against human rights situation in Xinjiang and China were completely groundless. However, to our disappointment and indignation, the UK side has clung to its bias in total disregard to the facts, confused right and wrong on Xinjiang-related issues and taken negative measures. The Chinese side expresses its strong opposition and would like to reiterate its solemn position:

First, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has seen social stability, economic growth, ethnic unity, harmony between different religions, development in culture and improvement in people's wellbeing. All these are basic and undeniable facts that are fully recognized. The rumours and lies about Xinjiang are groundless. They were fabricated and spread by anti-China forces and ill-intentioned institutions and some Western media. The fact is that, from 10.17 million in 2010 to 12.72 million in 2018, the population of ethnic Uygurs in Xinjiang increased by 2.55 million, That is an increase of 25%, almost doubling the average growth rate of the entire population in Xinjiang (14%) and hugely higher than the growth rate of the population of ethnic Hans (2%). This fact shows that the claim of "forced sterilization" is absurd. As for the absurd conclusion of some anti-China elements, including Adrian Zenz, that 10% of the more than 20 million people in Xinjiang are detained at so-called "reeducation camps", this is based on their rough estimation and interview of only eight people who are ethnic Uygurs. These lies and absurd accusations do not hold water.

Second, there is no so-called "forced labour" in Xinjiang. Helping people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to find a stable job is absolutely not "forced labour". People of all ethnic groups choose jobs according to their own will and sign labour contracts with their employers on an equal and voluntary basis. Chinese Governments at all levels fully respect the will of people of all ethnic groups with regard to employment and provide necessary vocational training for those who sign up for relevant jobs. According to a report on the employment situation of ethnic minority population in Xinjiang, an average of 86.5% of the people from the four villages that were surveyed are willing to work away from their home village. This shows that people of minority ethnic groups in the region have a strong willingness to look for jobs in other places. The smiles on the face of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who managed to get rid of poverty after finding jobs are the best and most effective rebuttal to the relevant lies and rumours.

Third, the affairs of Xinjiang are purely China's internal affairs and brook no interference by any foreign country in any form. The relevant measures of the UK side run counter to the basic norms governing international relations, undermine the rules in international trade and the principles of market economy, and disrupt the global industrial and supply chain. These measures will only harm the interests of companies and consumers of all countries, including the UK, and benefit no one. The Chinese side opposes politicizing economic and trade issues and will take necessary measures in accordance with law to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests. We strongly urge the UK side to discard its bias, respect facts, immediately withdraw the wrong decision, stop hyping up the "lies of the century" about Xinjiang, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs. Going further down the wrong path will only be self-defeating.

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