China, Australia reps exchange views on Xinjiang at video conference

Representatives from China and Australia exchanged views about issues related to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region during a video conference on Wednesday.

Co-hosted by the Chinese embassy in Australia and regional government, the video conference, "Xinjiang is a Good Place", aims to showcase the achievements of Xinjiang and refute rumors on Xinjiang cooked up by Western anti-China forces.

"Xinjiang is currently in its best time for development. But certain forces have chosen to ignore the facts that Xinjiang people are living better lives and spread rumors, including there are 'concentration camps', 'forced labor ', 'forced sterilization' and 'genocide' in the region," Arken Tuniaz, vice-chairman of the region, said at the video conference.

"Such claims are absurd and pure slander. They are nothing but complete fabrications," Arken said. "Some Western politicians would rather believe such lies made up by a few people than listen to the voices of Xinjiang people."

Their goals are to intentionally create so-called Xinjiang issues, sabotage the region's stability and prevent China from becoming stronger, Arken said.

"What the Xinjiang government has done is perfectly open and there is nothing to hide. All actions taken are for the benefit of the Xinjiang people," he added.

Xinjiang representatives shared their views on employment, education, religious affairs and the de-radicalization program at the video conference. They also answered questions from representatives from Australia.

Mowulan Usman, imam of the Langan Mosque in southern Xinjiang's Aksu city, said rumors that mosques are demolished in Xinjiang and people are banned from taking part in religious activities are to incite ethnic conflict by taking advantage of religion and Xinjiang Muslims.

"Muslims around Xinjiang are busy preparing for Ramadan — the month of fasting, which will begin on April 13 this year. It's all up to the people to decide if they want to fast or not. It's never been interfered with by anyone," Mowulan said.