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Overseas stories full of fiction

By ZHANG YANGFEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-16 09:02
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Children play at the International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on July 14, 2021. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/]

Cultural products related to Xinjiang imbued with anti-China prejudice

A number of Xinjiang-related cultural products made abroad, including novels, documentaries and animations, are imbued with ideological prejudice and full of false stories and distorted historical views, according to a report released on Thursday by the Xinjiang Development Research Center.

The report, titled Fiction And Fantasy-On The Hypocrisy of Overseas Anti-China "Cultural Products" Related to Xinjiang, said they were fabricated by anti-China forces with the sole purpose of tarnishing the image of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and disturbing the development of Xinjiang and China.

It said their content was false, the characters were "actors" who packaged themselves as victims, and the producers were all anti-China forces overseas.

The book Reeducation of Xinjiang Muslims, the TV episode Fear and Oppression in Xinjiang, and the documentary Exposing: How China Created the World's Largest Prison all alleged that the vocational training centers in Xinjiang are "concentration camps" where Uygurs have been detained and subjected to unimaginable torture.

The report said the vocational training centers are schools and the teaching follows the concept of "providing education and economic opportunities to those vulnerable to extremist teachings and encouraging them to break away from violent extremist groups", which is fully in line with the principles and spirit of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and is also an important measure for deradicalization.

The book Haze: Sunset in East Turkestan claims that the Chinese government eliminates religion in Xinjiang but in fact the autonomous region fully respects and protects citizens' religious beliefs. Normal religious activities have not been impeded and the Xinjiang Islamic Affairs Steering Committee, a government body, organized the publication of many religious classics, including the central religious text of Islam, the Quran, in four local languages.

The Islamic schools in the region all run smoothly and more than 1,000 religious members of ethnic groups serve as deputies in legislatures and members of political advisory bodies.

Other books and films also claim that the Chinese government forces Uygur children to be separated from their parents and that it carried out genocide against Uygurs by forcing Uygur women to be sterilized. But the fact is the so-called separation in boarding schools is due to the vast size of the region and difficult transportation, and the data show that the total Uygur population has maintained steady growth.

The main characters in these products are also fake. Shayilaguli Shawutibayi in the book Key Witness, for example, claimed she was abused, raped and persecuted at a vocational center but public records show that she had never stayed in such a center but was wanted by the police for alleged loan fraud.

Another woman, Miriguli Tu'ersun, depicted in the Japanese anime What Happened to Me: The Testimony of Uygur Women, said she was forced to have contraceptive surgery, but her parents confirmed that she had never lost her fertility. Police records show that she was detained for 20 days on suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred but later released as she had syphilis and other infectious diseases.

The report said the creators of the productions, despite their different occupations, have the same political background. The Australian Strategic Policy Institution, for example, is sponsored by the State Department of the United States, NATO members and some transnational weapon manufacturers. It is keen on fabricating and hyping all kinds of anti-China issues, and has been stigmatizing and demonizing China for quite some time out of the interests of its patrons.

Full text: Fiction and fantasy——On the hypocrisy of overseas anti-China 'cultural products' related to Xinjiang

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