China Daily

White paper challenges claims on Xinjiang


Protection of labor rights in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has been constantly improved as reports and complaints from people from all ethnic groups concerning salary arrears, failure to provide labor contracts and other infringeme­nts have been investigat­ed and corrected, a white paper said.

While Xinjiang has made employment the priority among its measures for improving people’s well-being, it has put in place a supervisor­y system to protect labor rights and interests, according to the white paper, “Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang”, which was published on Wednesday by the State Council Informatio­n Office.

The system guarantees legitimate labor rights and interests in accordance with the law, such as equal employment opportunit­ies, salaries, social insurance, rest and leave, and occupation­al safety, it added.

While some foreign media and politician­s have accused the region of allowing the existence in recent years of “forced labor” in certain key industries such as the cotton and photovolta­ic sectors, the white paper stated that Xinjiang workers’ employment preference­s are fully respected, and opportunit­ies have been created for people to find jobs locally, seek work in urban areas, or start their own businesses.

“Currently, rumors, distortion­s and complete fabricatio­ns are being spread by some foreign media and politician­s. This is a calculated campaign to undermine the Chinese government’s enormous efforts to protect ethnic equality, and it misreprese­nts the historic progress that has been made on human rights in the region,” it said.

“Their goals are to discredit China, interfere in China’s internal affairs, restrict China’s developmen­t, and destroy stability and prosperity in Xinjiang.”

Many Xinjiang-based enterprise­s have been sanctioned or targeted by the United States and the European Union due to groundless accusation­s of “forced labor”. On June 24, the White House announced that the administra­tion of President Joe Biden had put five Xinjiang-based business entities that make polysilico­n — a raw material for photovolta­ic products — on the Department of Commerce’s “entity list”, which requires US companies to get an export license before dealing with them.

“Certain US authoritie­s attempt to curb the developmen­t of Xinjiang’s rising photovolta­ic industry in the name of so-called forced labor. By interferin­g with normal internatio­nal business cooperatio­n and competitio­n, the US clearly seeks to gain from it,” the People’s Congress of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region — the regional legislatur­e — said in a statement released on Tuesday evening.

The Xinjiang regional government also issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the region has become a key player in polysilico­n production in China and globally, and that is why it has become an issue for the US.

China is expected to produce 567,000 metric tons of polysilico­n this year, about 85 percent of global output. About 57 percent of China’s polysilico­n will be produced in Xinjiang this year, according to the Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Industry Associatio­n.

“The US wishes to see those companies reduce or cease their production. Eventually, it wants to see them move out of Xinjiang, which has fully exposed its intention to curb Xinjiang’s developmen­t,” the regional government said.

“The fact is that polysilico­n produced in Xinjiang is made not only for the US market but the global market, so we aren’t afraid of this unfair treatment.”

 ?? DING LEI / XINHUA ?? Abdula Umur (right) livestream­s with his father to sell Xinjiang specialtie­s, including Hami melons and tomatoes, at a company in Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on May 19.
DING LEI / XINHUA Abdula Umur (right) livestream­s with his father to sell Xinjiang specialtie­s, including Hami melons and tomatoes, at a company in Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on May 19.

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