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'Missing' Uygurs found living happy lives

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-25 03:19
File photo: residents in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Agencies]

The people alleged to be missing from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have been found to be living peaceful and happy lives, an official from the region's government said on Tuesday.

One lie after another about Xinjiang has been proved to have "distorted the truth or be fabricated stories", Xu Guixiang, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee, said at a news briefing in Beijing organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Xu was referring to the online campaign initiated by some individuals, overseas organizations and media, who posted photos and names to "find missing Uygurs in China". The move is aimed at hyping China's policy in the autonomous region, he said.

The hashtag "StillNoInfo" has been used on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook in the past week.

Xu cited several examples of Uygurs who were said to be "missing" but were found to be living better lives after graduating from vocational education and training centers. Among them is Ruzi Memet Atawulla, 23, who went to a vocational education and training center in 2017 after being influenced by extreme thoughts.

Ruzi Memet graduated in April 2018, and now works in a shoe factory in Hotan, a city in southwestern Xinjiang. "He earns 2,500 yuan ($357) per month from his work, and doesn't want to be disturbed, especially by those connected with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement terrorist forces," Xu said.

Aziz Niyaz and Meryam Gayit, an old couple in Kuqa county, Aksu prefecture, were also described as "missing" on overseas social networks, but actually they are retired and enjoying the life of taking care of their 3-year-old grandson at home, according to Xu.

Xu described the building of the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang as an effective preventive measure of eradicating extremism in the region, which was plagued by violent terrorism three years ago.

He said that there have been no terrorist attacks in Xinjiang since the centers were established in 2017, and people now live peaceful lives.

Rexiati Musajiang, mayor of Hotan, criticized the United States for its interference in China's internal affairs by using Xinjiang's human rights as an excuse. He said at the briefing that the region enjoys stability and people's livelihoods keep improving.

The motives behind US politicians' remarks and acts to smear China's policy in Xinjiang, particularly the Xinjiang-related act that the US House of Representatives recently passed, have demonstrated US attempts at hegemony, he said, and the purpose is to contain China's development and damage the stability of Xinjiang.

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