Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on Xinjiang Issues

Q: The AFP today reported that Uyghurs in exile, some who are now refugees and even foreign citizens live in places like Australia, New Zealand, the US and in Europe, continue to be threatened or blackmailed by security agents allegedly who work for the Chinese state. Does China believes it is overstepping its mark by directly or indirectly threatening individuals who have already got foreign passports?

A: This report you mentioned is from Canberra, right?

Journalist: Yes.

I saw the reports from Canberra, which involve several allegedly Australian Uyghurs. After careful verification, we find they are all false accusations, or even trumped-up rumors with ulterior motives. Those several individuals mentioned in the reports are living a happy life in China, and what was hyped up by the media didn't even exist at all. For instance, the reports mentioned an individual called Azmat Omarhoje. His 27 relatives are living a free and normal life in China.

This is not the first time that such things happened. I believe the AFP and some other Western media agencies need to think about this question: why are you always keen on reporting baseless stories and believing the lies fabricated by a very small number of individuals? Those people may have different purposes. For example, some seek to reside overseas and some are professional rumormongers that smear and vilify China. For the sake of its own credibility and reputation, I would like to advise the AFP to sharpen its eyes and make a clear distinction between right and wrong when reporting. Otherwise you will only hurt your own credibility time and again.

It is understandable that you are so interested in Xinjiang, where there reside all of the 56 ethnic groups in China. People of 56 ethnic groups all live happily and harmoniously on the beautiful land of Xinjiang. Anyone that has been to Xinjiang will know what a real Xinjiang is like. They will be even more eager to visit Xinjiang again rather than portraying Xinjiang as a dark place like certain media did.

I saw a report today. Journalists from 24 countries, including the US, Russia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan and Iran, recently visited Xinjiang for reporting. They were all deeply impressed, saying that what they saw is very different from what they read from the media. For example, a journalist with Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz said that, "I see the smiles deep from the heart on the face of the people I interviewed. They are very happy with their life and study here." I believe everyone has basic judgement. Such genuine smiles are far different from those melancholy faces of those who have been suppressed. Such smiles cannot be faked.

That's why I want to remind your correspondents in Canberra to honor professional ethics. We are open to your questions at any time. But I hope you won't again ask questions based on lies and waste our time and energy. If you want to do reporting in Xinjiang, we are happy to assist you and you can see by yourselves the beautiful Xinjiang and the unity and harmony of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

Source: Chinese Foreign Ministry Regular Press Conference on July 23 


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