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The Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Canada strongly condemns the erroneous moves by the Canadian side on Xinjiang-related issues

On January 12, Global Affairs Canada issued a statement, making blatant accusation over the human rights situation in Xinjiang, falsely claiming the practice of “forced labor” and “mass arbitrary detention” there and announced to impose trade restrictions on products made in Xinjiang with United Kingdom and other international partners. By doing so, the Canadian side has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and seriously violated the international laws and the basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction, and firm opposition over this and strongly condemns such actions.

There is no so-called "forced labor" in Xinjiang at all. The rights and interests of workers from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang as part of China’s large workforce are protected by law. They are free to choose a profession and can decide on where to work of their own free will. There is no restriction whatsoever on their personal freedom. Their customs, religious beliefs and spoken and written language are all protected by law. Governments at all levels in Xinjiang fully respect the will of ethnic minority people in their employment choices and provide training for those who wish to improve the skills needed for employment. From 2010 to 2018, the population of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang rose from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, an increase of 2.55 million or 25%.By the end of 2019, nearly 3 million people have been lifted out of poverty in Xinjiang. The so-called “forced labor” and “mass arbitrary detention” are just a concoction fanned up by some US and Western institutions and personnel.

Xinjiang-related issues are never about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about combating violent terrorism and secession. The preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures taken in Xinjiang have effectively curbed the frequent occurrence of terrorist activities, so that the life safety of people of all ethnic groups is guaranteed, and greater progress has been made in local economy and living standards. This is to protect to the greatest extent the basic human rights of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the officials and people of all ethnic groups are united and work together to achieve common prosperity and development, and jointly contribute to Xinjiang's social stability, economic growth, ethnic solidarity, religious harmony, livelihood improvement and the peaceful and happy life. People of all ethnic groups have enjoyed a much stronger sense of gain, happiness and security, thus sincerely support the government's policy measures. Today's Xinjiang is at the best of prosperity and development that it has ever been. In regard to Xinjiang affairs, it is the people of all ethnic groups who live there have the final say. The international society also gave extensive positive comments on it. Any purposeful rumors, insults and falsified accusations will never put a brake on the actual progress being made on human rights in Xinjiang.

Canada is simply not qualified to be “a human rights preacher”. Canada has a bad record on its own indigenous problems. Additionally, its systemic racial discrimination is even more widely criticized. Under the banner of "caring about" the human rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, Canada distorts the facts, blames the innocent and suppressed Xinjiang enterprise for no reason, which fully exposed its hypocritical and ugly face. A small group of countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, cannot represent the international community at all. Those countries, which colluded together and used human rights to undermine Xinjiang’s stability, are doomed to fail.

Xinjiang affairs are purely internal affairs of China and no external forces have the right to interfere. We are resolute in safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as upholding Xinjiang's development, stability and ethnic solidarity. We urge the Canadian side to take seriously China's solemn position, respect the facts, discard prejudice, and correct mistakes, immediately cancel the relevant measures, stop interfering in China's internal affairs by any means, and do not go further down the wrong path, so as not to cause further damages to China-Canada relations.

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