China's ambassador in Washington on Thursday called for the United States and other Western countries to stop spreading misinformation about the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and listen to what the 25 million people there and in the rest of China say about the beautiful area.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai said that critics should "heed the opinions of objective and rational scholars and media, especially those from other countries and regions, so they will be able to tell truth from falsehood and right from wrong".
Cui spoke during an online meeting titled "Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Land".
Last year, the U.S. began accusing the Chinese government of conducting genocide against Uygurs in the Northwest China region.
"In the past 40 years, the Uygurs' population in Xinjiang has grown by over 10 times — does that look like genocide?" Cui asked.
The ambassador said he has been to Xinjiang many times. More than 1,200 people, including UN officials, foreign diplomatic envoys to China, journalists and religious groups, visited Xinjiang over the past several years, and many social media influencers are seen on the streets doing interviews. The real Xinjiang is entirely different from how some Western politicians and media have portrayed it.
Cui also said that talk of "forced labor" is groundless. Workers in Xinjiang choose their own jobs, including those in the high-income industry of cotton harvesting, of their own volition. They sign labor contracts as free and equal parties; their rights and interests are well protected, and they enjoy full remuneration.
"Given such undeniable facts, why are some Western organizations and individuals, disguised as academic institutions and scholars, still making all noises and blatantly fabricating lies?" Cui said. "Why do some forces in America use Xinjiang to launch massive smear campaigns against China? The truth is, they want to bring about a collapse and split-up of China from the inside."
Cui believes that the objective of foreign "concerns" about Xinjiang's human rights condition is to use the region to contain China.
"Their typical ploy is to first presume guilt, and then to find and even forge matching evidence. They don't care about truth whatsoever; they only mind their political schemes," Cui said.
The U.S. State Department under the Trump administration in January declared the Chinese government's treatment of Uygurs to be "genocide".
In recent years, anti-China forces have concocted the "Xinjiang Data Project", "Xinjiang Victims Database" and "Uygur Transitional Judicial Database" by gathering "witness accounts" to misrepresent Xinjiang to the world.
Cui reaffirmed that Xinjiang's affairs are China's internal affairs. Xinjiang-related issues are about anti-terrorism, de-radicalization and anti-separatism in nature.
"China will not acquiesce to any external attempt to destabilize Xinjiang or even to split up China and obstruct the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The 1.4 billion Chinese people of various ethnic groups will not allow this to ever happen," Cui said at the end of his speech.
Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, also participated in this meeting.