Full Text: Employment and Labor Rights in Xinjiang

White Paper

China issued a white paper on employment and labor rights in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday.

XinhuaUpdated: September 17, 2020

V. Better Jobs for Better Lives

With the implementation of a series of employment policies and measures, the goal that "each household has access to job opportunities, each person has work to do, and each month goes with an income" has been largely achieved. Profound changes have taken place in the life, work and mentality of the people of all the ethnic groups in Xinjiang and particularly in southern Xinjiang -- their pockets are better filled, their lives are better, and they are happier. 

A marked increase in family incomes. People working either within or outside of Xinjiang all have stable incomes. The annual per capita income of workers from Xinjiang who are working in other provinces is about RMB40,000, roughly equal to the per capita disposable income of permanent urban residents in the places where they work. The local people who left their home to work elsewhere in Xinjiang have an annual per capita income of RMB30,000, much higher than earnings from farming. For example, a villager named Arapat Ahmatjan from Charbagh Township, Lop County, Hotan Prefecture earned less than RMB10,000 per year as a farmer; but when he found work in an electric appliance company in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province in 2017, he earned more than RMB160,000 in less than three years. 

Likewise, another villager named Mamtimin Turamat from Ushsharbash Town, Yecheng (Qaghilik) County, Kashgar Prefecture earned only a few thousand yuan annually as a farmer, but his monthly income rose to more than RMB4,000 after he began to work for a company in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. His life was much better -- he built a new house and got married. 

Amina Rahman and her husband from a registered poor household in Ghoruchol Town, Awat County, Aksu Prefecture, applied for jobs after seeing the information released by the township's labor and social security office in March 2018, and were then both hired by a company in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. They now have a monthly income of about RMB9,000, paying off their loans and saving over RMB90,000 yuan.

Notable improvement in living standards. From having their basic needs met to enjoying decent lives, and from traveling by a donkey cart to traveling in modern vehicles, the people in Xinjiang have witnessed tremendous changes in their lives. 

A villager called Reyhangul Imir from a poor household in Ojma Township, Akto County, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture sent back more than RMB100,000 to her family in the four years she spent working in Cixi City, Zhejiang Province. With the money, her family upgraded their lives by building a new house equipped with new furniture in her hometown.

Yusan Hasan from Yurungqash Town, Hotan City used to make a living by taking odd jobs, and struggled to make ends meet. In July 2018, thanks to helpful acquaintances, he found a job at a meat-packing plant in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. Starting as a handyman, his hard work paid off and he soon picked up new skills. He then persuaded his wife to join him, and she found a stable job in a clothing store in Urumqi. They soon settled in the city, buying an apartment in 2020. 

Enhanced employability. Through various pre-employment training programs, the local people have greatly improved their employment skills; many have grown into master hands and technical experts, and some have become managers and even started up their own businesses. 

After three years of rotating in various positions, Amina Obul from Siyak Township, Yutian (Keriya) County, Hotan Prefecture has become one of the best employees of an energy company. Arzugul Iskandar from Pishan (Guma) County, Hotan Prefecture works at a textile company in Chaohu City, Anhui Province. She has become a technical expert and a master for young workers with the help of senior colleagues. 

After graduating from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Adila Ablat from Kucha City, Aksu Prefecture started a garment company in 2018 in his hometown with the help of the local government. In 2019 his company achieved an output value of over RMB2 million, and created jobs for over 40 women. 

A college graduate with disabilities, Jibek Nurlanhan from Altay City, Altay Prefecture, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture returned to her hometown after graduation. The local human resources and social security department arranged for her to take a startup training class, and helped her to raise RMB100,000 to create a store selling Kazak embroidery handicrafts. She now has a monthly income of over RMB6,000.

A change in mindset. In the past, some local people undervalued education, and valued men over women. With outdated employment ideas, some used to rely on government aid and relief for a living. But today, the belief that "only hard work can bring a better life" is widespread, and all ethnic groups here are eager to rely on their own efforts to improve their lives -- full of drive, and ready to start up their own businesses. For example, at a job fair held in Makit County, Kashgar Prefecture, many candidates hurried around gathering information on available opportunities and applying for positions. It was an inspiring scene. Some villagers were motivated to find opportunities outside their villages and give their families a better life after seeing their peers had made some money and were looking more prosperous. 

Ablimit Keyum from Kanchi Township, Baicheng (Bay) County, Aksu Prefecture, who is doing business in Xinjiang and other provinces, said, "I'm not satisfied with the status quo, and I want to study and work harder to make my life better."

Rozinisa Imin from Tusalla Township, Hotan City signed up for work in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province in March 2019. The money she earned helped to support her family's animal farming. Her brother, who has just graduated from vocational high school, sees her as his inspiration. He plans to seek work in Fujian as well, and dreams of a bright future.

Life dreams realized. Many people find the right jobs through their own initiative. They move from rural to urban areas, and turn from farmers to workers. In this process, they learn skills, increase their incomes, and achieve prosperity; more importantly, they have broadened their horizons, acquired knowledge and greater abilities, and achieved their potential. Most people are satisfied with their current life and are optimistic about the future. 

Mamattohti Imintohti from Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture longed to own his own restaurant. He began to work as an apprentice in a restaurant in Urumqi in 2017 and soon mastered the skills of a pastry cook. With the help of his teacher, he opened a restaurant which has become very popular. 

Pashagul Keram from Boritokay Township, Wuqia (Ulughchat) County, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture is public-spirited and ready to help -- she has led more than 500 local residents to find work in Guangdong, and thereby helped them escape from poverty. She was awarded the national May 1st Labor Medal and the National Award for Efforts in Poverty Alleviation. 

Closer communication and bonds between all ethnic groups. Workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have forged profound friendships while working, studying and living together. They care for and help each other like family, demonstrating ethnic unity and mutual assistance built on a close bond towards each other. 

An electrical appliance company in Jiangsu Province took on about 200 employees from 16 ethnic groups from Xinjiang. The workers often gather together to enjoy themselves, singing, dancing, having parties, shopping, traveling, and cooking pilaf and kebabs like a family. 

You Liangying, an employee of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps who set up a cotton and fruit planting cooperative, helped thousands of people from different ethnic groups to learn advanced planting skills in her 17 trips crossing deserts stretching hundreds of miles. Her efforts not only helped them out of poverty, but also fostered closer ethnic ties. Over the past decade and more, she has selflessly helped Mamatturup Musak from Pishan (Guma) County, Hotan Prefecture, who chose to repay the favor by giving back to society. Their story is well-known across Xinjiang. 

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