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As a coordinated effort, the EU, US, UK and Canada have recently imposed sanctions on several Chinese officials accused of what the Western countries have said are human rights violations in Xinjiang. The sanctions – ranging from travel bans to asset freezes – were not unexpected as some Western politicians and their puppet media have long been running a propaganda campaign against China.

A handful of Western countries have imposed sanctions on the Chinese officials over a series of fake and fabricated allegations of so-called human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Amid Western criticisms and propaganda, many journalists, diplomats, scholars, politicians, lawmakers, Islamic clerics, government and non-government officials, students, and human rights activists from around the world have visited Xinjiang and dismissed the allegations of abuse as mere rumors. They have instead highly praised the initiatives China has taken to develop and de-radicalize the region once-known as a hot-bed of terrorism.

Since 2018, more than 1,200 individuals from over 80 delegations and 100 countries have visited Xinjiang. The delegations included UN officials, foreign envoys in China, journalists and religious groups. All of them had a good impression of Xinjiang after witnessing the situation on the ground for themselves.

Most notably, diplomatic envoys posted in China from 20 Arab states and the Arab League toured Xinjiang in October, 2020. They visited local companies, schools, poverty alleviation projects and grassroots communities, and talked to villagers face-to-face to get an in-depth understanding of social stability, ethnic equality and unity, as well as improvements in people's livelihoods and economic development. They also visited Islamic institutes and mosques to learn about the protection of the freedom of religious belief in Xinjiang.

The 46th session of the Council of Foreign Minister of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a resolution on Xinjiang in 2019. The resolution commends China's efforts for the well-being of the Muslims within its territory. It vindicated China's position on Xinjiang, rejecting the negative propaganda of some Western countries to this effect. The OIC has also expressed its willingness to strengthen cooperation with China.

Prior to adopting the resolution, a delegation of the General Secretariat of the OIC visited Xinjiang to see the conditions on the ground for themselves. The Council welcomed the outcomes of the visit and commended the efforts of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens, including the Uygurs in Xinjiang.

At the most recent session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Belarus and Cuba respectively delivered the joint statements of 70 and 64 countries in support of China's policy in upholding human rights. These states have denounced unfounded allegations put forward by some Western countries aimed at curbing the growth of developing countries.

However, nothing can stop Western politicians and the media from running propaganda campaigns against China over Xinjiang. They are so pledged-bound to smear China that whatever the truth is, they will still never accept it. As such, Western anxiety over losing their supremacy to China has forced them to take a staunch position against the truth.

The sanctions have proved that they have intentionally been running smear campaigns against China despite knowing the truth. Their intention was to create a backdrop for taking measures to hamstring and withhold the development of China. The campaigns were designed to deceive their peoples into espousing their illegal actions against China.

The sanctions have nothing to do with human rights and are motivated solely by political interests in maintaining Western supremacy over the planet. This has now become an open secret as many Western leaders have begun expressing their acute desire in public, and without any ambiguity, to stop China from becoming the largest economy in the world.

Though the Western sanctions have been imposed on China on the false pretext of human rights violations in Xinjiang, the sanctions themselves will violate the economic, cultural, and other human rights of the people in the region. The sanctions on the cotton industry prove that human rights never really bothered the Western countries. They have sanctioned the industry based on some cock and bull stories spun by themselves and their own media organizations. Though they have brought forth allegations of forced labor in the industry, even though most of cotton is planted and harvested by machines.

Data shows that about 70 percent of cotton was harvested by machines in Xinjiang in the year of 2020.

There is absolutely no chance for forced labor in the cotton industry. Rather, many people today struggle to get a job in the industry as one general employee can earn a handsome amount of money. With the higher incomes in the industry alluring so many people to apply for a job, there is obviously not even a slight aura of truth to the allegations that there could be forced labor in the fields or otherwise.

Western countries know the truth well and know that they have targeted the industry only in an attempt to hit the economic backbone of China. They also know that the industry offers some 600,000 local jobs, producing around 19 percent of the world's raw cotton. They further know that China wants to transform Xinjiang into a textile hub.

They have sanctioned the industry knowing these facts. The sanctions are simultaneously aimed at making China economically a loser and Xinjiang's people jobless, pushing the region back into turmoil. The Western countries want to turn the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into a failure by destabilizing Xinjiang, which is at the heart of the initiative.

It is now crystal clear that the Western sanctions against China have nothing to do with human rights. Rather, they will violate the human rights of millions of Xinjiang people by leaving them jobless, while causing inhuman suffering to their innocent family members. The sanctions are also a sheer violation of the UN Charter and international laws on non-interference since, with their implementation, the Western countries will have interfered in the domestic affairs of China as well as violating its sacred national sovereignty.

Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor and broadcast journalist at China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China.

This page is provided in cooperation with People's Daily Online.
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