URUMQI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Some Western politicians have for years been orchestrating a smear campaign against the human rights situation in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
However, no matter how vehement the phony claims are, the reality of the situation in the region will always speak louder.
Human rights are centered on people. In Xinjiang, the Uygur population has been increasing steadily. Official statistics show that from 1953 to 2020, the population in Xinjiang increased drastically, with the Uygur population growing from 3.6 million to about 11.62 million.
In addition, residents in Xinjiang are enjoying longer and more prosperous lives. The average life expectancy in the region grew from 30 years in 1949 to 74.7 years in 2019. Absolute poverty has been eradicated, and the per capita disposable income of both urban and rural residents saw an increase of over 100 times from 1978 to 2020.
To further improve the well-being of the people, Xinjiang has also rolled out a host of measures, such as implementing a multi-layered social security net, setting up an educational system covering all levels of education, extending health care to its remotest villages and ensuring equal opportunities for job-seekers of all ethnic groups.
It has also gone to great lengths to protect the culture of ethnic minorities. All ethnic groups in Xinjiang have items on the national and regional lists of intangible cultural heritage, and there are 133 key cultural heritage sites under state protection.
In addition, freedom of religious belief is effectively guaranteed in the region. Xinjiang has 24,400 mosques, which corresponds to one mosque for every 530 Muslims. In fact, Xinjiang has more than twice as many mosques as there are in the United States, Britain, Germany and France combined.
Equally crucial is the hard-won safety and security in the region. The lives and properties of people are well protected and all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are able to focus on pursuing a better life for themselves and their children.
As the adage goes -- to know whether the shoes fit or not, ask the wearer. The people of Xinjiang know better than anyone about the human rights situation in the region. Nurzahat Habibul, who grew up in a farming family and is now an associate professor at Xinjiang Normal University, spoke for many when she said: "My achievements are inseparable from the learning opportunities, scientific research platforms and policy support provided by the government over the years."
The international community has also applauded the remarkable improvement of people's well-being in Xinjiang. In recent years, more than 2,000 government officials, religious personnel and journalists from over 100 countries and organizations have visited Xinjiang. What they have seen is a peaceful and harmonious Xinjiang with steady development.
In the words of Victor Cadena, vice president of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in China, Xinjiang is "a land of prosperity," "a land where people enjoy their rights, and with the rule of law."
These indisputable facts have debunked all the fabricated accusations that some Western politicians have leveled against Xinjiang, and are also a slap in their face. ■