|Facts in Xinjiang|
The Chicago Tribune published an editorial on Sept 13th, accusing the Chinese Government of "abusing and taking all Chinese Uighurs as enemies". We find this editorial in total disregard of facts, biased and misleading.
In recent years, Xinjiang Autonomous Region has achieved great strides in economic development. It has enjoyed one of the fastest GDP growth among Chinese provinces, and its achievements in economy and social field are widely recognized. Long-lasting social stability is the common aspirations of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and meets their fundamental interests. Xinjiang has taken a series of measures to promote stability, foster development, strengthen unity, and improve people's livelihood. At the same time, measures are taken to crack down on ethnic separatist and violent criminal activities in accordance with the law to safeguard national security, and protect people's lives and property.
A small group of people with ulterior motives spread false information to mislead people. It is regrettable that the Tribune gave credit to such wrong and biased information. In the editorial, your reference to the Wall Street Journal report about China's sprawling internment system designed to break down Uighur identity and denigrate Islam is completely wrong. Xinjiang is home to many ethnic groups. The Uighur, Han, Kazakh and Hui living in Xinjiang each has a population of over 1 million, with the Uighurs accounting for about 48 percent and the Hans accounting for about 37 percent of the entire population of Xinjiang. Xinjiang highlights the beauty of China with its ethnic harmony. People of all ethnic backgrounds respect and love each other, and work together for a better life. China insist on freedom of religious belief. In Xinjiang where the majority of the people from ten ethnic groups follow Islam, there are 24,400 mosques, which means more mosques per person than in many other parts of the world. Normal religious activities are protected by law. Your report that "There are as many as 1 million people in detention" is completely distorting the fact. There are no such things as "re-education centers" nor "counter-extremism training centers" in Xinjiang. It must be pointed out that Xinjiang itself is actually a victim of religious extremism and terrorism. In an effort to secure the life and property of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region, Xinjiang has undertaken special campaigns to crack down on violent terrorist activities according to the Criminal Law and the Anti-terrorism Law, and put on trial and imprisoned a small number of suspects involved in severe criminal offenses. With respect to those involved only in minor offenses, the authority provides them with assistance and education by assigning them to vocational education and employment training centers for rehabilitation and reintegration into the society. The legal rights of those assigned to those centers are duly protected and they are not subjected to any arbitrary detention, let alone ill-treatment there.
Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind, best evidenced by the September 11 attack 17 years ago. How to prevent the infiltration of extremism and serious terrorist attacks from happening is a common challenge faced by China, the U.S. and the world at large.
China is consistently and resolutely opposed to interference in our domestic affairs by some people outside China. making use of the Xinjiang issue. We urge them. to respect the facts, discard prejudice, and stop doing or saying things that undermine mutual trust and cooperation.