Self-hailed as a beacon of freedom, the United States has never forgotten its commitments to human rights around the world. Scorched by the pandemic and nationwide protests, Washington has nevertheless stuck to its tradition of releasing an annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
This year, 14 governments were designated as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs). China has been on the list for 20 consecutive years. The newly-released report, without suspense, intensified criticisms against the country for its human rights “violations” in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.
The U.S. is never too busy to fabricate the same old lies year after year. Washington repeatedly accused China of detaining Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in concentration camps in Xinjiang, quoting a dubious study as supporting evidence.
A read of the “study,” published in The Journal of Political Risk, shows it to be fundamentally flawed. The paper used “official government documents” as data sources. But the Chinese government has clarified these documents are fabricated. Any fact-oriented report would not quote conclusions reached on the basis of false files.
Xinjiang’s vocational education and training centers have nothing to do with breaching people’s religious freedoms. They were designed to nip terrorism in the bud by raising local people’s attainment levels and boosting the employment rate. Figures help explain the results. No single terror attack occurred in Xinjiang since the centers were opened and 480,900 urban jobs were created in the region in 2019, according to Xinhua.
On Tibet, the U.S. report alleged “intensified crackdowns” by China on Dalai Lama-related activities. Anyone with a grasp of China’s history would know the 14th Dalai Lama is a serf owner. Dreaming of bringing back the feudal system of serf ownership, he is notorious for instigating violence and secessionist activities in Tibet.
China’s tough position on the Dalai Lama issue is intended for safeguarding national sovereignty. No state, including the United States, would simply tolerate separatist forces on its soil. Defending national core interests should not be maliciously equated with violating religious freedom.
Screenshot of the U.S.’ Report on International Religious Freedom.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry detailed that there are nearly 200 million religious believers, more than 380,000 clerical personnel, approximately 5,500 religious groups and more than 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities in China. The above would never be realized without China’s protection of religious freedoms.
Washington’s report is a demonstration of American hypocrisy and unrivaled skills in double standards. The file lectured dozens of countries, but interestingly kept silent on human rights conditions in the U.S. itself. A detailed read of the 104-page report found not a single word about religion-based discrimination in American society.
Ethnicity-based religious prejudice is a longstanding problem in the United States and it is on the rise since Donald Trump took office. The president’s travel ban barring people from majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. is blatant discrimination against Muslims and a severe breach of religious freedom.
Polls by Gallup and Pew Research Center found 75 percent of Muslims in the U.S. believe they are severely discriminated against due to their religion. There are 10 times fewer mosques across the U.S. than in Xinjiang. But you won’t read these facts in the report.
Touting religious freedom, Washington’s real purpose is to instigate a color revolution and subvert regimes it doesn’t like. It is worth noting that the report spilled a lot of ink in praising the “remarkable changes” in Sudan. Washington attributed the changes to the joint civilian-military transitional government that no longer identifies Islam as the primary source of law.
What the U.S. is satisfied by is the new Sudanese government. It is not freedom of religious belief in Sudan that the U.S. cares about, but regime change. American politicians are adept at using religious freedom as a tool to justify their intervention in other countries’ internal affairs.
And this tactic has been used several times. Remember the Arab Spring? The uprising dragged the entire Middle East into an abyss of misery, and contributed to the ongoing Syrian crisis. The U.S. boosted the revolution in the name of human rights. But in reality, millions of lives were lost as a result of Washington’s intervention.
Sadly, the U.S. does not seem to have learned a lesson. It is now deploying the same tactic to “protect human rights” in China’s Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. If American elites really care about religious freedom, they may want to put more effort into addressing religion-based discrimination than lecturing other countries.
How Does Xi Jinping Express Gratitude And Love to his Mother?
As International Mother’s Day, an important occasion that falls on the second Sunday of May every year, will be celebrated on May 9 this year, the media started reporting moving stories about mothers and children.
Among the stories, Xi Jinping’s stands out as he is not only a son but also the president of China.
How does the president express gratitude and love to his mother? Xi’s way can be figured out when he stressed the importance of family bonds and family love and emphasized family education on many occasions.
Xi Jinping and his mother Qi Xin. /CCTV
Pass down family tradition
When President Xi delivered his first New Year address in 2013, photos placed on his bookshelves caught the online community’s attention, especially the image of him walking hand in hand with his mother.
Xi is a filial son. He chats with his mother Qi Xin, and takes a walk with her whenever he has time.
While meeting with representatives to the first National Conference of Model Families in December 2016, Xi told a story about family education. The conference was the first of its kind to honor model families selected nationwide. A total of 300 model families were honored.
“When I was a child, my mother gave me a picture-story book series－’The Legend of Yue Fei.’ One of its more than 10 volumes shows Yue Fei’s mother tattooing four characters saying ‘serve the country with the utmost loyalty’ across his back,” Xi said, adding that the story of Yue Fei, a well-known ancient military figure fighting against invasion, deeply impressed him.
Qi led a simple life, which became a tradition for the family. No matter how painstaking to take care of the family while working, she never compromised her work. Her lifestyle and the family atmosphere guided Xi’s values.
“A person who failed to be incorruptible and self-disciplined will become a person with no guts. Keep in mind that honesty is a blessing and greed is a curse while establishing a correct view of power, status, and interests,” Qi once wrote in a letter to Xi, reminding him of self-discipline. Xi has incorporated these beliefs into his ideology and governance practices.
Calling corruption the “biggest” risk to the Party’s governance, Xi has stressed there is “no alternative” but to fight corruption against all odds and called for rigorous self-discipline within the Party.
While going after corrupt officials, including both high-ranking “tigers” to lower-level “flies” on the domestic front, Beijing has also carried out such operations as “Sky Net” and “Fox Hunt” to hunt down venal officials who have fled abroad.
Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival to Further Boost Consumption
The Shanghai Double Five shopping festival, part of an event that runs through the month to spur consumption, kicked off in Shanghai on the first day of the May Day Holiday.
The shopping festival, similar to the popular Double Eleven shopping festival, is jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China Media Group (CMG), and the Shanghai Municipal Government.
The festival was launched in May last year by the Shanghai Municipal Government, aiming to boost consumption through e-commerce platforms. E-commerce giant Alibaba and startup Pinduoduo and other brands joined last year’s event.
The National Consumption Promotion Month, starting May 1, will last the entire month, featuring a series of activities promoting consumption across the country.
China’s consumer market has gradually recovered since this year. The newly-launched consumption promotion month will further stimulate market vitality, release consumption potential, and better serve to build a new development pattern, Wang Wentao, Chinese Minister of Commerce, said at the opening ceremony of the festival in Shanghai on Sunday.
Strong consumption has remained a major driving force for China’s economic growth for many years, and the event effectively lifts consumer confidence amidst the haze of the pandemic, Shen Haixiong, vice minister of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and CMG president, said at the ceremony.
Representatives From Xinjiang Refute Accusations of Forced Labor
Workers and employers in garment and photovoltaic industries in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have hit back at foreign allegations of human rights abuses in their sectors during a press conference in Beijing Friday.
“I applied for the job after seeing an advert in my village three years ago. I signed the labor contract after I got employed. I’ve been working at the company for over three years. I learned computer skills and gained a basic knowledge of statistical analysis,” said Alida Turahmat, an employee of a garment manufacturing company in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northern Xinjiang.
Alida added that her family’s life greatly improved after she got the job.
“My parents are farmers and their incomes aren’t very high. I can get my salary on time every month and my salary has increased from 2,000 yuan (about $310) to 4,500 yuan (about $695) per month. I can buy the stuff I like, and also pay for my parents’ living expenses,” Alida said.
The woman works in an industry which is coming under fire globally over allegations of “forced labor”, which couldn’t be further from the truth, according to local officials.
“The claims of so-called ‘forced labor’ are false. Employment and labor rights of all ethnic groups are protected by law,” said Xu Guixiang, spokesperson for the Xinjiang regional government, adding that such allegations are aimed at undermining Xinjiang’s contributions to the global supply chain.
Representatives from industry associations also said that labor rights protection is at the heart of all industries in Xinjiang.
“In Xinjiang, enterprises sign labor contracts with their employees, provide them with salaries, good working and living environment. They also provide halal food for ethnic minority employees,” said Yao Yuzhen, president of the Council for Promotion of International Trade in Xinjiang. “Each enterprise has established the labor union to protect the legitimate rights and interests of all employees, including those of ethnic minorities.”
The United States announced an import ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang earlier this year.
In addition to cotton and tomatoes, Xinjiang’s photovoltaic industry is also being targeted. In March, America’s largest labor federation called on the Biden administration and Congress to stop imports of solar products from Xinjiang over “forced labor” allegations.
Representatives from that industry in Xinjiang said they’re angry over the accusations.
“Promoting the development of renewable energy, including photovoltaic, and promoting an energy revolution have become a consensus among all countries,” said He Ning, secretary of the Board and Director of Investor Relations of Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Company.
“China’s photovoltaic industry is not serving any single market, but the global market. We are not afraid of the unfair treatment. If you want to ‘extinguish’ Xinjiang’s photovoltaic industry, you need to ask whether the Chinese and global market agree,” said He.
Xinjiang regional government has responded to international claims by allowing local residents to speak for themselves.
Farmers, workers and former trainees from vocational training centers are getting opportunities to tell their stories and present a true image of the region.
Officials said they are happy for unprejudiced foreign reporters and representatives of overseas companies to experience the region for themselves.
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