A man guides a staff member in embroidery works at a handicraft making cooperative in Aketao County of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sept. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Han)
A rare press conference was held in Beijing on Monday, where Xinjiang regional government officials and ordinary citizens clarified Western hype-up and rumors on Xinjiang-related issues, including "forced labor" and "building of re-education center."
A video showing religious practices and mosques in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was shown at the press conference, attended by Chinese and foreign reporters. Hotan resident Obulhasan Tursunniyaz said that cameras set up in mosques are aimed at protecting safety and preventing, cracking down on terrorist activities. "We firmly support it and we enjoy freedom of religious belief," the resident said.
Officials also refuted "forced labor" in cotton and textile industry hyped by Western media. The "forced labor" story is ridiculous. These people and organizations (Western anti-China forces) use "human rights" to abuse Uygur people's labor rights and take away their right to have a happy life through work, an official from Xinjiang's publicity department said at the press conference.
An organization behind many Xinjiang-related lies was Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) which has gained a notorious repute for its fake reports.
ASPI's work is orchestrated by the US government. It receives funds from the US government and pioneers anti-China rhetoric. Its so-called "report" claiming Xinjiang is building a larger "re-education camp" is ridiculous, a Xinjiang government official said.
All trainees at vocational education and training centers have graduated. Some pursue further study, some work with companies, others have started their own businesses. Their rights are protected in accordance with law while making money for a good life, the official said.