Residents of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday used their personal experiences to debunk the lies of politicians from certain Western countries concerning human rights violations in the region.
At a press conference held by the regional government, several individuals from Hotan and Aksu prefectures shared their stories and said their housing and employment have been well protected, contradicting the lies cooked up by certain Western politicians.
Dilnur Matqurban, 21, said at the press conference that she is from Tuancheng, an old area in urban Hotan.
"Five years ago, Tuancheng was regarded as the most unpleasant place for local residents due to its dilapidated neighborhoods, outdated water and power infrastructure and poor sanitary conditions. With the help of a government-sponsored renovation project, we now enjoy a modern life," she said.
She said local people called the renovation of the rundown area "the project of happiness."
Dilnur now spends time with her friends enjoying the garden-like old town area.
"The allegations of 'genocide in Xinjiang' are a big lie. People in Xinjiang know very well who is sincerely seeking to help us," Dilnur said.
Tursungul Mamat, from Aksu, said the renovation started in her hometown in 2011.
She said with the promotion of rural housing projects, locals now live in spacious houses with red roofs and white walls. She and her husband have turned their 140-square-meter house into a homestay. The business now brings them an annual income of 90,000 yuan (about 13,950 U.S. dollars).
Since the rural housing project started in 2011, local authorities in Xinjiang have pooled more than 84.7 billion yuan of funding to build and renovate houses for more than 670,000 registered impoverished households.
"The government has invested a lot of human, material and financial resources to protect traditional ethnic culture during the housing renovation. Some Western media's distortions are ridiculous," said Quddus Tursunmamat from Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture.
In Xinjiang, the housing support for people of all ethnic groups is powerful proof of China's human rights development, said Zhou Jiang, an official of the regional department of housing and urban-rural development, at the press conference.