International Magazine China 1
E-mail this page to your friends
Young Uygurs look to sue Australian think tank over report
'forced labor' in Xinjiang
Nuradli Wublikas is
at work. Photo: Courtesy to Nuradli Wublikas
Reproduced from the Global Times
Young Uygurs look to sue Australian think tank over report
on 'forced labor' in Xinjiang
Liu Xin in Changsha and Fan Lingzhi in Beijing01:59 Jun 20
Nuradli Wublikas, a young Uygur man from Kashi of Northwest
China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is seeking to sue
Australian think tank Australian Strategic Policy Institute
(ASPI) for its report on the so-called forced labor in
China's Xinjiang, as the ASPI report has hurt the image of
the Uygur group and undermines their employment
"We want them to stop slandering my hometown and to
apologize for having defamed us," said Nuradli.
In April, led by the 26-year-old Nuradli, a group of young
Uygur people living in Changsha, capital of Central China's
Hunan Province, co-authored a joint letter and called on
more Uygur people whose interests have been hurt by ASPI's
report on the so-called forced labor in China to join their
activities to sue the Australian think tank.
In February 2020, ASPI released a report claiming that the
Chinese government "forced" the massive labor transfer of
Uygur people from Xinjiang region to factories in other
cities in China. The report was cited by many Western media
outlets, which turned a blind eye to the fact that the
report had been refuted by China for its loopholes and
In November 2020, the US Commerce Department announced
sanctions on Chinese companies over allegations of "forced
"I noticed my hometown Xinjiang has long been slandered.
After hearing the news on ASPI's report, I found it and read
through it with the help of a translator," Nuradli told the
Nuradli was filled with anger and indignation after reading
the report. "The report is full of lies! I was born and grew
up in Xinjiang and know so many Uygurs living and working in
other cities across the country, and no one is 'forced' to
work outside! It really made me angry that we Uygurs are
portrayed by the Australian think tank report as lazy people
who need to be 'forced' to work," the young man said.
"Those who wrote the report know little about Xinjiang's
real situation…" said Nuradli, "There is a lot of surplus
labor in villages and people are willing to work outside. A
friend of mine worked in other cities outside Xinjiang for a
year and earned enough money to build a new house. And after
another year of working, he had the money to marry his
He noted that in sharp contrast to the ASPI report's
allegations of "forced labor," people from Xinjiang who
choose to work in other Chinese cities are making their own
decisions as to where they go to work and what kind of jobs
they do. Those who want to start their own businesses in
other cities also enjoy many favorable policies.
"Take myself as an example. After graduating from Jishou
University in 2018, I started my own e-commerce business
named Haobalang selling Xinjiang food. Since I began trying
to start my business when I was in university, my teachers,
the university and local government of Zhangjiajie [where
Jishou Univerisity is located in Central China's Hunan
Province] have helped me a lot," Nuradli said.
Haobalang literally means 'good boy' as "balang" is boy in
the Uygur language.
In addition to damaging the Uygurs' image and dignity, the
ASPI's slander also undermines Uygurs' rights, Nuradli
"One senior student who graduated from my university told me
that he was sacked from a foreign trade corporation, as the
US purchasing agent asked this company and other partners to
look into the 'forced labor' of Uygurs. Although these
companies hired Uygur employees in accordance with laws and
regulations, they decided to sack them to avoid possible
risks or sanctions from the US. We Uygurs' rights for
development and employment have been undermined," said
Apart from ASPI, recently, some think tanks and individuals
from the West and the US have actively joined the campaign
to slander China over the so-called forced labor in its
Xinjiang region, and have cited the untenable allegation to
ban products, especially cotton, from the region.
In April, a court in Kashi Prefecture of Xinjiang accepted
the lawsuit of a local yarning company named Xiongying to
sue the infamous anti-China German "scholar" Adrian Zenz for
his reports on the so-called forced labor, as Zenz's reports
have severely damaged the company's reputation and caused
The Global Times also learned from sources that more
companies and individuals that have been affected by the
"forced labor" hype and the ensuing sanctions, including
labor services companies, are preparing to use the law to
protect their interests.
volunteered to be a teacher in a village school in Xiangxi
of Human Province in summer vocation in 2018. Photo:
Courtesy to Kudlik Kadir
The irresponsible slander on "forced labor" has angered not
only Nuradli but also other people from Xinjiang. In April,
when having dinner with a friend from Kashi who also worked
in Zhangjiajie, Nuradli talked about his dissatisfaction
toward ASPI and Western media reports.
"I told him that I wanted to do something and he said the
same. We talked for a long time. That night, I wrote a
letter of nearly 2,000 words in both Chinese and Uygur
language, calling for more people to join us to sue ASPI.
After jointly polishing it for more than a week, we posted
it on WeChat," said Nuradli.
The letter was soon reposted and shared by many people, with
more than 1 million people having read it and many friends
calling to ask if they could join them. Kudlik Kadir, who
graduated from Jishou University two years before Nuradli,
is one of them.
"After reading Nuradli's letter, I felt touched and excited
and felt we Uygurs are obliged to stand up to voice our
dissatisfaction with slander from the West. I want to do
this with Nuradli," Kudlik told the Global Times.
In order to draw more attention, they also organized some
offline activities in a restaurant - all the waiters and
waitresses wore T-shirts with the words "Support China-made
products and support Xinjiang region" printed on them and
customers at the restaurant were sent gifts decorated with
The T-shirt Nuradli
Wublikas and Kudlik Kadir design for an offline activities
to support the use of cotton produced in Xinjiang.
Photo: Courtesy to Kudlik Kadir
and Nuradli are now collecting facts and evidence on Uygurs
who were subjected to damages brought by the ASPI report and
seeking legal assistance.
"I learned that a company in Xinjiang and local residents
are working to sue the infamous German individual Adrian
Zenz, asking him to make an apology and compensate them for
their losses. We also want to sue ASPI for having damaged
the Uygurs' reputation," Kudlik said.
However, lawyers suggested that it will be hard to file the
case since Nuradli and Kudlik are not directly affected by
ASIP and the law cannot support a lawsuit against an
infringement that has not yet happened. As for those who
have lost their jobs due to the ASPI report, it is also hard
to prove the link between their sacking and the impact of
"Although we are facing many difficulties, we will not give
up. We are encouraged that the local court in Kashi accepted
the case against Adrian Zenz. We will do our best to make
ASPI apologize for having hurt us!" Nuradli said.
On April 2, the Intermediate People's Court in Kashi of
Xinjiang accepted the lawsuit brought by Xiongying Yarning
Company against Adrian Zenz. Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press conference on April 14
that it showed Chinese people's increasing awareness of
using the law to protect their interests.
"We support this much-applauded move… As the case
progresses, we believe the Chinese people and the
international community will get to know more about the
contemptible moves by Zenz to concoct rumors, and the
attempt of Zenz and the malicious anti-China forces behind
him to disrupt Xinjiang's security and stability and impede
China's development will fall apart even faster," Zhao said.
Back To Society News