BEIJING: Shirali Mamtmin used to make ends meet by farming and rearing sheep. With his new job, he can dream of becoming his own boss.
Mamtmin’s hometown is in Hotan City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. After hearing from friends that work away from home can bring more money, he decided to leave his hometown in 2017.
He travelled with his wife to Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture to work in a garment company.
After signing the contract, Mamtmin received a monthly income of 4,000 yuan (RM2,478), working eight hours a day and five days a week. The company provided him and his wife with a house and food.
Mamtmin is one of thousands of Uygurs in Xinjiang who choose to work away from home in order to make more money, but they are absurdly labelled by some Western media outlets as “forced labour”.
Life was a burden for Paraliya Tursun, 23. Her father passed away, her mother suffered from a chronic disease, and her younger brother and sister were still in school.
After coming to know of a job opportunity in Aksu City, Tursun decided to leave her hometown. She improved her skills and became a team leader in less than a year.
“I’m very satisfied with my job, which provides me with stable income as well as good living conditions, ” she said.
Statistics show that the total number of people employed in Xinjiang rose from 11.35 million in 2014 to 13.3 million in 2019.
“Xinjiang’s ethnic minority groups are part of the large labour force in China and their rights are protected by law. The choice of jobs is based on their own will, ” said Xu Guixiang, deputy head of the Publicity Department of Xinjiang regional committee. — Xinhua