7 Responses to “Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation?”

  1. David Chai says:

    This is a great writeup by Dr. Tow, providing fact-based info on Xinjiang, especially on working on the cotton field. By the way, that is REALLY not much different from “importing” Mexicans to the US during the growing season to pick peppers and tomatoes from the plants. The major difference is that these “temporary” workers are shipped back to Mexico when their services are no longer needed; but do not provide training for them to adapt to other services.

    Great job done to make the US citizens know what is REALLY happening in Xinjiang.

  2. Charles Wang says:

    Well-organized commentary highlighting the questionable accusations and the inadequacy in evidence. One suggestion: For those section titles that are themselves questionable allegations, please put them in quote marks followed by a question mark, e.g., “Genocide”? Otherwise, a cursive reader might be confused and get the wrong impression that you are actually supporting such allegations.

    Also, please add that the very basic concept of Western law-based orders calls for “assumed innocent until proven guilty”, in contrast to those publicized allegations that are short of evidence.

  3. George Koo says:

    At last count, about 70% of Xinjiang’s cotton is mechanically harvested and the harvesters are dominated by John Deere. The trend to mechanize will only increase because it is more efficient and less costly than picking by manual labor. The rumor mongering on Xinjiang cotton is all around a losing proposition and could mean less sales for Deere as well.

  4. Don says:

    Charles, excellent suggestion about putting those section titles in quotes with a question mark. This has been done. Regarding adding the comment about innocence until proven guilty, I decided not to add that, because the evidence presented is so inadequate and often wrong, I don’t even want to suggest that the accusations may be true.

  5. Christina leung says:

    My several visits to Xinjiang over a span of about 40 years as an independent outsider tourist without joining any tour group indicate the current accusations appear to be groundless.

    I have witnessed tremendous improvement there and people are happy. I freely mixed with different ethnicities and visited mosques. Several years ago in a train there I came across a group of well-contented “Han” people from coastal areas returning home after working on cotton fields. They said they came there seasonally due to attractive wages. In addition, soon after Xianjiang Uigher terrorist attacks not many years ago, I entered it again after my tour to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I saw security tightened even when I entered a public garden. I saw groups of police/soldiers back to back defending each other when scrutinizing attacks from terrorists. With their helmets on under strong summer sunshine, I could not imagine how they could overcome such unbearable heat. To show my appreciation of their admirable effort in protecting public safety, I went to a police office. I said that I am a Chinese American asking for its help to buy watermelons for police/soldiers as my humble token of gratitude. However, it told me to go to a different office, & then to another one. Finally I was not able to do what I wanted due to a shortage of time. Thus my question is will other countries tolerate any terrorist attacks to harm ordinary citizens and should these countries take appropriate measures to safeguard common people from such harm?

  6. Don says:


    Thank you very much for your personal observations from many visits to Xinjiang. It is really a sad reflection of our times when so much fabricated and false news are created and repeatedly spread so that that becomes the impression of ordinary people because that is what they hear and read everyday.


  7. Don says:


    Yes, the cotton industry in Xinjiang has become highly mechanized, and it has been going on for many years. This means that it is even more remarkable that the Chinese government has been able to keep all these people employed with other jobs and continue to improve their standard of living.



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