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Uyghurs a bargaining chip in US-China trade war

By Seymur Mammadov | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-11 10:13
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Workers make down-filled coats at a factory in Jiashi county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY

Duplicity, shamelessness and cynicism are the three pillars which support Western politics today. This has remained unchanged for over a hundred years. Nothing is capable of influencing the rigid principles of discrimination against countries and people based on this, depending not on objective circumstances, but on the wishes of the mighty of this world.

The West could not bear the long lull after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Today it is becoming more and more clear who was the initiator and zealot of the opposition of political poles. A unipolar world is unbearable for the West, which necessarily needs the image of an enemy in order to feel empowered.

The West as a whole has a new "enemy" - China. Its image was written in the offices of the American administration in the darkest colors.

The attitude toward China, of course, is not the same as that toward Iran or North Korea, or even toward Russia. China is a state of a completely different plan, with different goals and aspirations. And the reason for such a large-scale dislike of China among Americans is fear. Banal fear -- particularly the fear that the Chinese will bypass and overtake them, leaving the US behind.

Washington has something to be afraid of. Indeed, in most parameters, China has already bypassed the US, which believes that China controls the world. And for this reason the Americans cannot forgive the Chinese.

By the end of 2020, Washington's large-scale anti-China campaign reached its climax. There was a short break due to the presidential elections in the United States, and the shock from the pandemic, but today in Washington they returned to the old song.

A few days ago, the American media went on the offensive, publishing sharply anti-Chinese content. Since December, the US has imposed import restrictions on all cotton that is produced by the Xinjiang Manufacturing and Construction Corps, which produces 37 percent of Xinjiang's cotton.

Cotton accounts for nearly 10 percent of China's national exports, and Xinjiang produces most of China's cotton. Ten percent of exports is a significant loss, which is what the Americans are counting on in their trade war with China.

Economic wars always go on, with some destructive force. But the West is leading them in extremely dirty ways, using forbidden methods, the most favorite of which is the notorious "human rights". By using this factor as a weapon against ideological and economic competitors, the West has completely devalued it.

In the case of China, these are allegedly violated rights of local Muslims. As you know, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is inhabited by Uyghurs, who are Muslims. It is difficult to imagine more cynicism - the West, which propagandizes Islamophobia, is fighting for the rights of Chinese Muslims. At the same time, the US administration is absolutely not concerned with the fact that by imposing sanctions on cotton produced in Xinjiang, they are leaving millions of people unemployed.

Western propaganda claims that the Uyghurs live in unbearable conditions, are placed in concentration camps and reservations, and are used as a labor force. These accusations, taken out of thin air, written and embellished with propaganda, have become the main weapon against the PRC. Washington cannot deal with Beijing in fair competition and has now turned to dirty tactics.

Moreover, the US State Department recently removed from the list of terrorist organizations the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, whose members have carried out many terrorist attacks in the PRC.

And the Americans have something to be ashamed of. A total of 75 percent of American Muslims believe they experienced severe discrimination in US society. And the pandemic further worsened the social situation when the Muslim population of the United States was hit in the first place.

Contrary to all the speculations of Western propaganda, people in Xinjiang live well, in conditions of social stability, peace and mutual understanding between various ethnic and religious groups. As for vocational training centers, these structures serve precisely to integrate Uyghurs into the rapidly developing Chinese society, and not to discriminate against them.

Under the guise of fighting for human rights, the United States is waging a trade war without rules with China. The US Embassy in Beijing is spreading false facts about China that slander China's political system and leadership. At the same time, the function of the diplomatic mission should not consist in separating countries on different sides of the barricades, but in searching for points of contact and cooperation. In any case, this is how normal diplomacy works.

American society has a lot of problems, as shown by the unprecedented riots that swept across the country. Washington should consider the welfare of Americans. And there is no need to worry about the Muslims of Xinjiang - there is someone to take care of them.

The author is director of the international experts' club EurAsiaAz, and editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's news agency Vzglyad.az.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

If you have a specific expertise and would like to contribute to China Daily, please contact us at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn , and comment@chinadaily.com.cn

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