BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The State Council Information Office on Sunday issued a white paper on historical matters concerning Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.
China is a unified multiethnic country, and the various ethnic groups in Xinjiang have long been part of the Chinese nation. Throughout its long history, Xinjiang's development has been closely related to that of China, the white paper said.
However, in more recent times, hostile forces in and outside China, especially separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, have tried to split China and break it apart by distorting history and facts, the document, titled "Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang", said.
Xinjiang has long been an inseparable part of Chinese territory. Never has it been the so-called "East Turkistan." The Uygur ethnic group came into being through a long process of migration and integration, the white paper said, adding that it is part of the Chinese nation.
In Xinjiang, different cultures and religions coexist, and ethnic cultures have been fostered and developed in the embrace of the Chinese civilization. Islam is neither an indigenous nor the sole belief system of the Uygur people. It has taken root in the Chinese culture and developed soundly in China, the document said.
The surge in religious extremism around the world has caused a rise in religious extremism in Xinjiang and has resulted in an increasing number of incidents of terror and violence, it noted.
"Xinjiang's fight against terrorism and extremism is a battle for justice and civilization against evil and barbaric forces. As such it deserves support, respect and understanding," it said.
The document said that some countries, organizations and individuals that apply double standards to terrorism and human rights have issued unjustified criticism of Xinjiang's effort. This kind of criticism betrays the basic conscience and justice of humanity, and will be repudiated by all genuine champions of justice and progress, it said.