Some anti-China politicians in the United States have once again been bad-mouthing China over its policies in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Since early this year, they have cooperated with the East Turkestan Islamist Movement, a terrorist organization, to fabricate the existence of so-called forced labor in Xinjiang.
In March, Senator Marco Rubio and other anti-China lawmakers tried to pass an act in the US Congress aimed at "preventing forced labor in Xinjiang". In July, four US federal government departments released a notice discriminating against Xinjiang products. Later, the ETIM even formed an "alliance" together with other separatist organizations to further hype up their allegation of forced labor in Xinjiang.
These statements are nothing but lies. In a white paper released in September, the State Council Information Office clarified this, while local think tanks in Xinjiang released a report in October that showed there is no "forced labor" there.
Facts speak louder than lies. For decades, Xinjiang people of various ethnic groups have made great achievements promoting the region's development, and the prosperity of their daily lives is something that is beyond anybody's ability to deny. Even foreigners admit the claims of "forced labor" are fabrications of Western politicians after they travel to Xinjiang.
Second, the allegations of "forced labor" and the sanctions against Xinjiang resulting from them have hurt the common interests of Xinjiang people as a whole, and will be surely opposed by them. From 2014 to 2019, the average disposable income per person in Xinjiang had risen from 23,200 yuan ($3,547) to 34,664 yuan for urban residents and from 8,724 yuan to 13,122 yuan for rural residents.
By imposing sanctions against Xinjiang, the US politicians mean to hurt the Xinjiang economy and that will mean local residents suffer.
Third, the sanctions are against the interests of US consumers and will be opposed by the latter. When the US government limits imports from China, it pushes up the prices of daily commodities in the US and it is US consumers that suffer.
It is time certain US politicians freed themselves of their illusions. The so-called forced labor in Xinjiang is something that has been created out of thin air.
Even if they insist on turning a blind eye to the facts, they will not succeed with their anti-China ploys.
－JIA CHUNYANG, AN ASSOCIATE RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE CHINA INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS