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'Rights abuses' in Xinjiang are fabrications of the West

Updated: Nov 10, 2022 By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay China Daily Global Print
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A Uygur family harvests ripe grapes in Turpan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/People's Daily Online]

The United States and other Western countries are undergoing a socioeconomic crisis. Most Western countries are experiencing declining economic growth, which is making inequality worse.

The US is home to 37.2 million poor and more than 600,000 homeless people, according to a report by the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago. The top three richest people own more wealth than the 160 million people in the lower strata of US society. Since the mid-1970s, the US has seen the redistribution of $50 trillion to the top 1 percent from the bottom 90 percent, according to a Time magazine report.

Western citizens are now asking their leaders why the rich are getting richer and the poor are suffering more. Where are the fruits of democracy?

Instead of answering these questions, the US and some of its allies have started blaming China for their ills. With this, they are trying to kill two birds with one stone. First, they are pressuring China to open its market to their rapaciousness. Second, they want to turn popular opinion within the international community against China, so as to isolate and weaken it. As part of this latter campaign, they are smearing China's policies in relation to the Muslim population in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Their efforts deny the very bad track record Western countries have on human rights, and the attacks of the US and its allies on various Muslim countries, including Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

Libya was a prosperous country before it was attacked by the West. Now, it is suffering from all types of problems, including food shortages. Iraq was devastated by an invasion justified by trumped up charges that its government was developing weapons of mass destruction. Syria is still wracked by the conflict initiated by the West, which has displaced millions of people.

The war in Afghanistan, in the name of fighting terrorism, killed thousands of civilians and the suffering of the Afghan people continues in its aftermath.

Human rights advocates in the West denouncing China have also been conspicuously silent on the plight of hundreds of thousands of people living in different parts of the world.

In this context, one wonders why the West is so vociferous in alleging human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The answer is very simple: The West is not concerned about human rights, but about its hegemony.

Data from Xinjiang exposes the lies. First, ambassadors and officials of many countries, including Muslim ones, have visited Xinjiang and did not find any instances of the abuses being propagated by the West.

Second, the Muslim population in Xinjiang has doubled over the last four decades. If the alleged "genocide" of the Muslim population was taking place in Xinjiang, then their number would have gone down.

Third, Xinjiang is one of the fastest growing regions of China. According to data, Xinjiang's GDP grew by 7 percent in 2021, and the disposable income of urban and rural residents witnessed an increase of 8 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

The government is also putting special focus on rural development and revitalization. Agriculture is given special focus, as generous loans are being provided to farmers to modernize agricultural practices. The total amount of agriculture loans reached 1.02 trillion yuan ($160 billion) in 2021, according to the Urumqi branch of the People's Bank of China.

Contrary to the Western propaganda, in reality Xinjiang is a prosperous region of China with a peaceful environment. The claims of human rights abuses have been hatched just to put pressure on China and contain its development. It is advisable for the Western countries to focus more on the welfare of their people rather than drawing attention to their hypocrisy on human rights.

The author is CEO of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development in Pakistan.

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