OPINIONS US using Xinjiang issue to disrupt Games


US using Xinjiang issue to disrupt Games

China Daily

08:35, February 18, 2022

The Olympic cauldron is lit at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, Feb 4 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's Note: From calling for a "diplomatic boycott" of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to the malicious interpretation of a Uygur torchbearer at the opening ceremony, Washington and its allies and some Western media have used every trick in the trade to disrupt the sports gala. Two experts share their views with China Daily on the issue.

Truth about Xinjiang cannot be twisted

Over the past year, the United States and its allies have worked themselves into a frenzy hyping up "human rights issues" and accusing China of committing "genocide" in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

They have even used this lie as an excuse to pressure the Winter Games' sponsors to withdraw support to the organizers and called for a "diplomatic boycott" of the Games. The attempts by Washington and its allies to politicize an international sports event in which athletes from across the world participate go against not only the Olympic Spirit and Olympic Charter, but also global peace and development.

A lie even if repeated a thousand times remains a lie. The picture of Xinjiang the US-led West is trying to paint is vastly different from the real Xinjiang. Under the leadership and guidance of the Communist Party of China, Xinjiang has made remarkable achievements in recent years.

First, thanks to the efforts of the central and local governments, Xinjiang lifted all the 3.08 million poor people, 3,666 poor villages and 32 poor counties out of abject poverty between 2014 and 2020 and, in the process, built a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

On the economic front, Xinjiang's GDP increased from 919 billion yuan ($144.97 billion) in 2014 to nearly 1.6 trillion yuan in 2021-an average annual growth of 8.22 percent-which has not only helped improve infrastructure and ensured expressways connect all prefectures, but also increased people's incomes.

In terms of population growth, the Uygur population in Xinjiang continues to grow. According to the seventh national census data, the Uygur population increased from 8.34 million in 2000 to 11.62 million in 2020 at an average annual growth of 1.67 percent, much higher than the overall growth rate (0.83 percent) of all ethnic minority groups.

Profound changes have taken place in economic production, and the life and spiritual outlook of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and the region has been developing in harmony, contrary to the US' wishful thinking.

That's why there have been few takers for the China-suppressing-Uygurs stories of the US and its allies. In fact, despite the US' efforts to the contrary, 32 global dignitaries participated at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games.

China respects the Olympic ideal, and has vowed to hold a "safe, simple and splendid" Winter Games. And given the humongous efforts it has made, it will succeed in its mission despite some countries' attempts to disrupt the Olympics.

Lyu Wenli, a researcher at the Institute of Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

A suspicious US to no one's good

While the world was enjoying the remarkable opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, some politicians in the US and other Western countries, and media outlets such as CNN were trying to use Uygur Olympic torchbearer and skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang as an excuse to disrupt the sports gala.

For example, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki resorted to a new "conspiracy" theory to interpret the presence of the Uygur athlete at the Winter Olympics and kept harping on the issues of "human rights violations" and "genocide" in Xinjiang.

She conveniently ignored the genocide of Native Indians in the US while accusing China of committing "genocide" in Xinjiang. She also overlooked the continued killings of black people by white supremacists and rightwing goons when talking about the alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.

By using such ploys to smear China, the US has again exposed itself as an emperor in new clothes.

As an international sports gala, the Olympics attracts thousands of athletes and officials from countries across the world. The Chinese team, for instance, comprises athletes from nine ethnic minority groups, with at least four of them being from the Uygur and Kazakh ethnic groups.

Why do US politicians appear perturbed when they see Uygur athletes representing China? Obviously, to "politicize sports".

"Paranoia" and "phobia" are interlinked. The US' phobia can be attributed to China's march toward realizing national rejuvenation, which many American politicians believe will undermine Washington's global influence and power, leading to a change in the unreasonable international rules that it has forced upon the world.

"Paranoia" and "phobia" both are symptoms, not causes, of the social ills plaguing the US. The root cause of these diseases is the grand geopolitical strategy designed by "master strategists" such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security advisor, with its focus being the "Eurasian continent".

Anyone with a discerning eye can see the US politicians have been trying to smear China, in order to undermine the Belt and Road Initiative, which has been widely welcomed by countries around the world, including some US' allies. And since Xinjiang is a core area critical to the success of the Belt and Road Initiative, some Western powers want to check China's development by accusing it of committing "genocide" in Xinjiang.

The Chinese people and the international community are waiting to see how long this farce lasts.

Liu Bin, a researcher at the Xinjiang Federation of Literary and Artistic Circles

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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