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Xinjiang: Waterloo of US human right diplomacy

By Li Jiming | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-06-07 09:09

Hypocrisy and geopolitics: A brief look at Uyghurs in China

In a recent op-ed headlined Hypocrisy and geopolitics: A brief look at Uyghurs in China, published last month by Estado de Minas, Brazilian scholar Sueli Vasconcelos, also professor at Santa Marcelina College, said that the West's well-orchestrated allegations of "forced labor" and "genocide" in Xinjiang are glaringly hypocritical and clearly aim to obscure an ulterior motive. "The accusers have a long record of human rights violations against Muslims and other peoples in various parts of the world," she noted, wondering why "the Western world was practically silent" in the face of the torture and prisoner abuse scandal committed by the US armed forces in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in 2004. The United States used "torture and humiliation" against men, women and even children, many of them innocent, after its invasion of the Middle East country, yet "the fact did not provoke so much condemnation". This type of selective defense of human rights makes a mockery of real humanitarian concerns, she noted. At the end of the article, Vasconcelos said the smear campaign on Xinjiang is a reflection of Western hawks' anxiety about China's growth.

Speckless cotton in Xinjiang should not be dirtied

Another article by an education consultant with more than a decade-long experience of working and living in Xinjiang was published by Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao about Xinjiang cotton. The article points out that the allegation of "forced labor" in Xinjiang is groundless, and the allegation of "forced labor" in Xinjiang is not only absurd, but also exposes the ignorance of those behind it. During the cotton-picking season, workers seeking temporary jobs from other parts of China travel to Xinjiang to meet the shortfall of laborers and help the cotton-growers bring in the harvest. In return, the workers get generous remunerations, the author said. Besides, with the development and wide application of agricultural machinery, manual labor is being replaced at an increasing pace. By alleging "forced cotton-picking by ethnic minorities", certain people are defiling the speckless cotton in Xinjiang and also maligning its socioeconomic progress.

China is not alone

Vladimir Norov, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, who led a delegation of more than 30 diplomats from some 21 countries to Xinjiang from March 30 to April 2, shared his thoughts and experiences by saying that: "I am deeply impressed by the rapid development of Xinjiang. People of all ethnic groups live and work in peace and contentment and enjoy equal rights." When he made it clear upon his return that in Xinjiang "there are no violations of human rights", much less religious discrimination or "racial genocide", I think he spoke for all.

Though encountering many difficulties, professor Murata Tadayoshi at Yokohama National University managed to publish his latest article, in which he makes a sound argument that turning a blind eye to the obvious fact of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang increasing year by year, and hyping up the genocide charge, the US government reveals its "human rights diplomacy" to be "intelligence lies" based on ignorance and biases. Rabi Sankar Bosu, an Indian analyst and commentator, also believes that lies about Xinjiang by the US and its Western allies will not succeed. Equally worth noting are the recent reports by the US news website thegrayzone.com and the Australian publication Australian Alert Service, which revealed the truth about the fraudulent Xinjiang-related "databases" and the so-called "witness testimonies" and, with abundant facts and figures, exposed the real mastermind behind them.

Very importantly, in many developing countries, especially in some countries of Islamic faith, objective and impartial reports on Xinjiang are gaining steam. Muslim leaders in Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Yemen decided to co-sign a joint-statement in the recent session of UN Human Right Council praising China's "response to threats of terrorism and extremism" and actions taken to "safeguard the human rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang". When Western media are flooded with smears against Xinjiang, these objective and just voices are even more commendable.

An accusation or a gift?

Facts don't lie, truth shall not be tainted, and narratives about Xinjiang mustn't be distorted. There is no such thing that China has engaged in human rights abuses against Uyghur or other Muslim minority group. Facts and figures prove that the Xinjiang region has become an example of all-round progress and development over the past seven decades under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. It is true that the US-led smearing campaign has damaged China's reputation to some extent, and even the economy as well since it also targeted to some specific industries including the cotton and solar energy industries of Xinjiang. Yet, if think long-term and strategically, one could find that the US may have given China another geopolitical "gift".

The US will eventually realize that one of the biggest strategic mistakes the Trump administration had ever made is to turn China from a trustworthy partner into an institutional rival, a stand that unfortunately has already been inherited happily by the Biden administration. While China is fully prepared for a competitive-collaborative relationship with the US, it did not expect to see its opponent stooping down to so low as resorting to hysterical lies and obsessive smearing to hold China back. Being seen as such a "rival" or even a "threat" by a country as formidable as the US, China take it though unwillingly, yet seriously, whereas the US seems not so thoughtful. The crass accusation of Uyghur genocide is nothing but another example. If the US does not revert its course immediately, what is waiting ahead will only be the Waterloo of its human rights diplomacy, and more.

The author is ambassador of China to Bangladesh.

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