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Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Attends Online Press Conference on Xinjiang-related Issues Co-hosted by Chinese Embassy in UK and Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Makes Remarks

On September 9, the Chinese Embassy in the UK joined the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in a joint online press conference on Xinjiang-related issues. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended the press conference and made remarks. The transcript of the remarks is as follows:

Mr Xu,

Mr Perry,

Friends from the press:

Welcome to the press conference.

Just now, Mr Xu explained the background for this press conference. He also laid bare, from both factual and legal perspectives, the nature of the so-called "Uyghur Tribunal". It is nothing but a farce carried out by a small number anti-China elements.

I want to make the following points:

First, the Uygur ethnic group is a member of the big family of the Chinese nation. No one cares more than the Chinese Government about the development in Xinjiang and the well-being of the people there.

As President Xi Jinping stated, all ethnic groups of China are brothers and sisters of one big, close-knit family; they are closely bond like pomegranate seeds and come to each other's aid when needed; no ethnic group should be left behind as we build a modern socialist country in a comprehensive way.

The Chinese Government remains unwavering in its determination to implement the relevant policies on Xinjiang. We will continue promoting high quality development, ethnic solidarity and social progress and improving the life of the people in Xinjiang, so that the people of all ethnic groups in the region will enjoy a happy life.

The second point I want to make is that the so-called Xinjiang-related issues have nothing to do with human rights, ethnic groups or religions, but everything to do with fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism. The Vocational Education and Training Centres in Xinjiang are absolutely not "concentration camps", but preventative and de-radicalisation measures. In nature, they are no different from the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) of the UK or the de-radicalisation centres in France.

The allegation of "genocide" is even more absurd. In the past 40 years, the population of Uygurs in Xinjiang has increased from 5.55 million to 11.6 million. Life expectancy for Uygurs has risen from 30 to 72 in the past 60 years. What else is more remote from "genocide"?

The fact is, remarkable achievements have been made in the economic and social development in Xinjiang, and thus government policies have won the whole-hearted support of the people of all ethnic groups in the region, including the Uygurs. In the past 40 plus years, average disposable income of the Xinjiang residents has been growing at an annual rate of over 12%. In the past two years, Xinjiang's GDP growth rate had been 6.5%, and in the first half of this year, Xinjiang's GDP reached 732.89 billion RMB yuan, increasing by 9.9% year-on-year.

Before coming to the UK, I had the pleasure of visiting Xinjiang, and I was impressed by the new buildings, the wide avenues, the beautiful parks, the booming cities and the smiles on the faces of the local people. As the Uyghurs say, Xinjiang is a good place. Now is the best time in history for Xinjiang to achieve development.

The third point I want to make is that the so-called "Uyghur Tribunal" is in nature a political manipulation aimed at discrediting China. It is a non-governmental entity funded by anti-China forces. It is a fake and has no legal basis or validity whatsoever. Its so-called "evidence" is nothing but sheer lies and disinformation. Its so-called "experts" are rumour mongers who have long engaged in slandering China. And the so-called "witnesses" the organizers have put together are merely actors who have been making up the so-called "persecution" that never happened at all. The organisation has been designed to tarnish the image of China, mislead the public here, spoil the goodwill between the Chinese people and the British people and disrupt the smooth development of the China-UK relationship. We are firmly opposed to it and strongly condemn such malicious act.

Facts are facts. We hope you will view Xinjiang-related issues from an objective perspective and see through the real motives of those organizers of the so-called tribunal. Rumours will not write off Xinjiang's comprehensive progress. Attempts to disrupt Xinjiang's stability and prosperity are doomed to fail. Xinjiang will continue to achieve even greater success in its economic and social development in the years to come. The clumsy shows of those anti-China elements will be futile.

China-UK relationship is at a critical juncture. We need to tap the potentials of mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. So it is all the more necessary for people here to see the real pictures of Xinjiang and to see through the motives of those organizers of the so-called "tribunal" and not to allow them to continue to mislead the public and spoil the goodwill between the peoples of China and the UK.

Thank you!

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