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Xinjiang Eradicating Absolute Poverty

Xinjiang Eradicating Absolute Poverty
Visitors pose for a selfie at the entrance of the Xinjiang International Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo Courtesy: China Daily]

At present, Xinjiang enjoys social stability and the people live and work in peace and contentment, more and more people in Xinjiang have truly shaken off poverty and led a happy life.

By Li Bijian

In recent years, with the overall goal of social stability and lasting peace in mind, Xinjiang has made poverty alleviation a top priority for improving people’s livelihood, through the “seven groups” of employment transfer support, industrial development support, land clearing and redistribution support, border protection support, ecological compensation support, relocation support, social security support, Xinjiang has consolidated the joint efforts of the whole society to participate in poverty alleviation, and blazed a path of scientific poverty alleviation, targeted poverty alleviation and effective poverty alleviation.

At present, Xinjiang enjoys social stability and the people live and work in peace and contentment, more and more people in Xinjiang have truly shaken off poverty and led a happy life. According to statistics, from 2014 to 2019,Xinjiang’s total GDP increased from 919.59 billion yuan to 1.359.71 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 7.2 percent. Resident income in Xinjiang has increased along with the economic growth, and the income gap between the urban and the rural residents has narrowed. The per capita disposable income of Xinjiang residents has increased by an average annual rate of 9.1 percent. Decisive progress has been made in poverty alleviation, all 3.089 million people living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty, and absolute poverty in Xinjiang has been eradicated historically.

Xinjiang has stepped up efforts to ensure and improve people’s livelihood through the implementation of the policy of giving priority to employment, and actively promoting employment with a highly responsible attitude. Xinjiang has made every effort to help the poverty-stricken population in the 22 poverty-stricken counties and cities in the region and the surplus rural labor force in the four prefectures of southern Xinjiang to solve the difficulty of finding jobs by promoting employment training, carrying out the “Spring Breeze Action”, providing employment services for college graduates, carrying out special activities of monthly employment assistance, and implementing the employment subsidy policies.

The four prefectures in southern Xinjiang have a large number of poor people, under-developed industrialization and urbanization, and limited employment opportunities, making it difficult to fully meet the local people’s aspiration to find jobs and get rid of poverty. Starting from the actual situation and fully safeguarding the will and demand for employment of the residents of all nationalities in the region, the local governments at various levels have been trying their best to help the local people to find jobs and eradicate the absolute poverty, and fully protect their rights to work and employment, through active measures such as encouraging cross-regional employment in Xinjiang, carrying out the counterpart assistance program with other provinces in China to find jobs for the surplus labor force in Xinjiang.

A total of 151,000 people in Xinjiang have been employed through the above-mentioned employment programs since 2018,most of them found jobs within Xinjiang and 14,700 people were employed in other provinces and cities across China. The rights and interests of the migrant workers from Xinjiang working in other provinces in China, including their ethnic customs, language, culture and religious beliefs have been fully protected by law. Many of them have an annual income of 45,000 yuan (about 7000 USD) several times higher than what they could earn from farming or working in their homeland.

There is no the so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang. According to the labor law, labor contract law and other laws and relevant administrative regulations of China, 56 ethnic groups, including the Uygur ethnic group, sign labor contracts with the employing units on the basis of equality and voluntary participation and consensus through consultation, and get corresponding remuneration. The right to subsistence is the most basic human right and ensuring voluntary labor is the basis of ensuring the right to subsistence and the important embodiment of respecting human rights. The so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is a completely false proposition.

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Li BijianThe writer is Consul General of China in Karachi
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