OPINIONS Observer: Life under sunshine in NW China’s Xinjiang

OPINIONS

Observer: Life under sunshine in NW China’s Xinjiang

By Han Xiaomeng | People's Daily app

17:00, August 14, 2020

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Over the past few years, some western countries like the US have spared no efforts to fabricate lies and conspiracies about people’s livelihood in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, alleging that women were forcibly subjected to methods of birth control and children were separated from their parents, which totally defied the truth.

Due to social and economic factors, the vulnerable groups in Xinjiang, especially women and children, faced certain challenges in terms of personal development, as well as protection of their rights and interests. For example, women are relatively disadvantaged in terms of social division of labor and allocation of resources, as the pursuits of women for health are not fully satisfied, and they are in a relatively lower tier in decision-making and managerial functions in the workplace. Children, too, encounter certain hurdles, as not all of them have gained access to education, and the mortality rate of infants and children is relatively higher.

The local government has attached great importance to resolving such issues by dedicating a significant portion of medical and health care resources to the locals. Certain groundless accusations turned a blind eye to the policies and incentives of the local government to guarantee that women could give birth safely. According to the White Paper on Human Rights in Xinjiang published in 2017, free cervical cancer and breast cancer screenings had been given to women living in urban communities, and free health examinations for poor women. By the end of 2016, 95.45 percent of pregnant and lying-in women were receiving prenatal examinations, with the hospital delivery rate reaching 98.78 percent, and the mortality rate of pregnant and lying-in women dropping to 33.14 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, the social status of women has been improving. On occupations of women in Xinjiang, in 2018, the proportion of female civil servants reached nearly 50 percent, with the proportion of those in the education industry exceeding 64 percent, and that of women in the health and medical sector at 69 percent.

With the upgraded public health system, infant mortality in Xinjiang dropped from 600‰ before 1949 to 14.02‰ in 2018. Hyping the conspiracy that China intends to separate children from their parents is nonsense as the local government has been devoted to building welfare institutions for street children, disabled children and orphans to provide centralized nursing, custody, rehabilitation, education and other services to rebuild homes for those in need.

The region has also largely increased its investment in education over the past years to ensure that children’s right to education is guaranteed. Children in Xinjiang have access to 12 to 15 years of free education. The enrollment rate of children aged 3 to 6 years in kindergartens increased from 16.2 percent in 2000 to 95.9 percent in 2017. In the meantime, the net enrollment rate of primary schools and that of junior middle schools topped 99.8 percent in 2018. It’s said that the goal that every village has a primary school and kindergarten has been realized in the region.

The achievements in medical, educational and other social sectors have demonstrated that people of all ethnic groups in the region live under sunshine with full transparency. Just like Zuliyati Simayi, deputy dean of the College of Politics and Public Administration of Xinjiang, said at a general debate of the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2018, the right to education for women and children in Xinjiang have been fully guaranteed, which presents a microcosm of the achievements made in human rights development in China.

The US has been playing the blame China game in an all-around way without factual basis, while neglecting its homegrown problems. As the death of George Floyd triggered nationwide protests, racial discrimination and how structural inequities renders minority groups in the country more vulnerable to public health crises is once again under the spotlight. A Washington Post analysis shows that in the COVID-19 pandemic, counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.

With 5.2 million Americans infected with COVID-19 and the national death toll surpassing 167,000 as of Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the country has demonstrated its poor state governance and inability to contain the COVID-19. People of different races and ethnic groups have unequal access to nucleic acid testing and treatment, and the country has failed to develop a public health strategy to protect vulnerable groups.

It’s easy to understand why shifting blame to China has been a common trick of the US. But before cooking up conspiracies, the country should first reflect on its own deeds as to how African Americans are left in the dark in bad times.

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