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, said Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai on Thursday.
During the "Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Land" online meeting co-hosted by the embassy and the government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Cui said that Xinjiang affairs are internal affairs of China, and the 1.4 billion Chinese people of various ethnic groups will not allow any interfering forces to contain China's development.
"In the United States and other Western countries, lies about Xinjiang still hold sway. Systemic slandering and unilateral sanctions against China are rife," the ambassador said, "but lies cannot stand the scrutiny of facts."
"The so-called 'genocide' is just a downright lie," Cui said, citing figures of the Uygur population in Xinjiang, which has doubled from 5.55 million to over 12 million in the past 40-plus years.
Describing "forced labor" as "groundless," Cui said, "Workers in Xinjiang choose their jobs, including those in the high-income industry of cotton picking, on their own volition. They sign labor contracts as a free and equal party, their rights and interests are well protected, and they enjoy full remuneration."
"If making a decent living is 'forced labor,' then should they only deserve 'forced poverty' and 'forced unemployment'?" asked the ambassador.
"Feigning concerns about Xinjiang's human rights, they are thinking about using Xinjiang to contain China," the ambassador said, calling on those Western countries to listen to what the 25 million Xinjiang people of various ethnic groups and the 1.4 billion Chinese people say, and "tell truth from falsehood, and right from wrong."
Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the regional government, said Xinjiang spends more than 70 percent of its general public budget expenditures every year on protecting and improving the livelihoods of all its ethnic groups.
"There has been no violent terrorist attack in Xinjiang for over four years," the official said, adding that the region has made unprecedented achievements in economic and social development and the people's livelihood.
The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are unwavering in their determination to safeguard national unity, national security, ethnic solidarity, and the country's prosperity and stability, he told the audience.
During the event, a Uygur woman representative, a graduate trainee of vocational education and training center, an Imam, and a migrant worker shared their stories about how the Chinese government's policy has benefited the people and how Xinjiang people have overcome difficulties to live a better life.