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[China-opinion]Washington Post lies[Page:1]
It published a report on Wednesday saying that some local governments in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region used coercive means to recruit young Uygurs for factories in eastern coastal regions. The report says that some local officials even threatened to impose a fine of 2,000 yuan ($300) on those Uygur families whose young refused to go.
This flies in the face of facts. The reality is that a chance to work in the eastern factories is not that easy to get for young Uygurs. They first apply on a voluntary basis and then must take tests; and, only the qualified are selected to undergo training free of charge before leaving for the factories.
But the story says that one girl cried every day until the day she left home. It is understandable for any girl to cry before leaving her parents for a place thousands of miles away from home. But that cannot be interpreted as reluctance to proceed for employment. Only out of ulterior motive would this be cited as evidence of the girl being coerced.
As is known, many migrant workers have lost their jobs in coastal areas in the current economic crisis. The Washington Post and other US papers run stories about the impact of financial crisis on China's coastal areas. It is not easy for migrant workers to land a job there.
In the circumstances, Xinjiang local governments and their counterparts in coastal regions made joint efforts to find jobs for the surplus laborers of Uygur and other ethnic groups in western provinces and autonomous regions.
A local official in charge of human resources and social security in Shufu county in Xinjiang said that it has been their priority for years to help local unemployed Uygur youth to find jobs. In this agricultural county of 300,000 rural villagers, the per capita arable land is less than 0.13 hectares and many young Uygurs had nothing to do at home after failing to enter universities. The local government takes it as a duty to help them to get a job.
In 2008 alone, the number of local Uygurs in the county who went to work outside of Xinjiang were more than 70,000, and their remittances home exceeded 25 million yuan ($3.7 million).
Needless to say, the policy to encourage surplus laborers from underdeveloped western provinces to work in the developed eastern region is one strategy to help poorer villagers to earn a decent living.
How can the Washington Post choose to project the good being done by the Chinese government for the Uygur ethnic group to convey the exact opposite? It must be an obsession to ensure that every report about Xinjiang after the Urumqi violence in early July should be an attack on the Chinese government and its policy. How else can such groundless reporting and accusations be explained?
(China Daily 07/21/2009 page8)
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