---- Statement of the Standing Committee of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional People’s Congress on the United States’ Xinjiang-related Act
Recently, U.S. Congress passed the Uygur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, which by means of the U.S. domestic law, indiscreetly criticized and wantonly slandered the human rights situation in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China as well as Xinjiang’s law-based measures to counter terrorism and extremism. We firmly oppose and strongly condemn that. The “Act” turns a blind eye to the facts of Xinjiang’s stable development, ethnic unity and harmony, and the local people’s peaceful and content life, but makes groundless accusation and willful smear of the stability and development in the region. This is an arbitrary interference in China’s internal affairs. As for Xinjiang issues, the people of all ethnic groups in the region are the best qualified to comment. As an organ exercising power on behalf of the 24 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the Standing Committee of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional People’s Congress solemnly declares as follows:
We have always resolutely combated violent terrorist crimes and extremism, and protected the people’s rights and safety in accordance with law. Safeguarding and ensuring the people’s rights to life, health and development are the starting point and ultimate goal of our work. Throughout the local legislation, we have fully implemented the principle of respecting and ensuring human rights in line with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, including articles about fighting violent terrorist crimes and extremism. In recent year, in keeping with the constitution and other relevant laws and based on Xinjiang’s realities, we have passed the Measures of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Implementing the Counterterrorism Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Deradicalization. These laws and regulations not only provide legal basis for combating terrorism and extremism, but also clarify that terrorism is neither an ethnic nor religious issue, and forbid practices of linking counterterrorism and deradicalization with any specific ethnic group or religion. We fully respect our citizens’ freedom of religious belief and their ethnic customs, and work to unify, educate, bring around and save the majority of those who committed petty crimes while countering and punishing a small number of violent terrorism criminals in accordance with law. Vocational education and training centers have been established in Xinjiang to provide free vocational training to:(1) people who were incited, coerced or induced into participating in terrorist or extremist activities, or people who participated in terrorist or extremist activities in circumstances that were not serious enough to constitute a crime, and (2) people who were incited, coerced or induced into participating in terrorist or extremist activities, or people who participated in terrorist or extremist activities that posed a real danger but did not cause actual harm, whose acknowledged their offenses and were contrite about their past actions and thus do not need to be sentenced to or can be exempted from punishment. The training aims to improve the trainees’ ability in commanding the country’s common language, acquiring legal knowledge and vocational skills. In so doing, Xinjiang has prevented them from becoming victims of terrorism and extremism and protected the people’s basic human rights from being violated. In order to ensure full and precise enforcement of the laws and regulations, the standing committees of Xinjiang People’s Congress at all levels have organized their deputies to exercise effective supervision, which has played a positive role in safeguarding Xinjiang social stability in accordance with law. Over the past 36 months, no violent terrorist attacks have occurred in the region. Xinjiang has met the people’s ardent expectation for a safe and stable living and production environment, and protected the people’s basic rights to life, health and development. The people of all ethnic groups have got a stronger sense of security, fulfillment and happiness. The relevant measures are highly recognized and supported by people of all ethnic backgrounds in the region.
Our practices have testified that Xinjiang’s fight against terrorism and extremism is consistent with the national spirit and demand of rule of law. It is an important part of counterterrorism efforts of the international community. It is also in conformity with the United Nations’ purpose and principle of countering terrorism and protecting basic human rights.
We insist on equality in law and ensure that people of all ethnic groups can fully enjoy their constitutional and legal rights. The Standing Committee of Xinjiang People’s Congress has exercised power and performed duties in accordance with law, and worked to guarantee that the Constitution, the law on regional ethnic autonomy, law on deputies to People’s Congress and the electoral law are fully implemented in Xinjiang. By formulating the implementation details of the electoral law, we have protected the rights of all ethnic groups participating in management of national affairs, especially that of those with a small population. At present, 61,589 deputies to five levels of People’s Congress have been elected in accordance with law in Xinjiang (among them, 42,997 are ethnic minority deputies, accounting for 69.81% of the total). On behalf of more than 24 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, these deputies exercise the rights to be masters of the country. The governor of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, prefects of five ethnic autonomous prefectures and heads of six ethnic autonomous counties in the region are all served by citizens of the ethnic group exercising regional autonomy in the area concerned. The ethnic minority officials have played an important role in all developments concerning social stability and lasting peace in Xinjiang. In 2019, the number of civil servants from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang has reached 91,076, which is 40.42% of the regional total. Among them, ethnic minority women officials account for more than 66% of the total women officials in the region. Languages and cultures of ethnic minorities have been respected and inherited. The Standing Committee of Xinjiang People’s Congress has subsequently formulated several local laws including regulations on languages and writing systems, Muslim food, Mukam art protection, historical cultural city, streets and historical buildings conservation. 109 religious cultural relics including Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar have been listed as key cultural relics under state protection. The Uygur Mukam and the Kirgiz epic Manas have been listed as Masterpieces of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Languages and cultures of different ethnic groups are widely used and developed in judicature, administration, education, press and publication, radio and television, the internet and social public affairs.
Regardless of population size and religious background, all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are equal in politics and have equal rights and obligations according to law. They can express their appeals effectively and enjoy the rights to management of national and social affairs in conformity with legal provisions.
We firmly safeguard ethnic unity and religious harmony in accordance with law and promote common prosperity and development of all ethnic groups. In order to comprehensively enhance ethnic solidarity and progress, and promote united effort for common prosperity, the Standing Committee of Xinjiang People’s Congress has formulated regulations on promoting ethnic unity and progress to advocate respect for differences and mutual appreciation and assistance among all ethnic groups. We have tried to create a social environment in which all ethnic groups live, study, work and recreate together, so that the people can make concerted effort in building a united, harmonious, prosperous and culturally advanced socialist Xinjiang where they all live and work in peace and contentment. We also enacted regulations on religious affairs, which fully protect the citizens’ right of freedom for religious belief and normal religious activities. Up till now, the Xinjiang People’s Congress and its Standing Committee have formulated 620 local laws and regulations, of which 161 are currently valid, and made 51 regulatory decisions. The enforcement of these effective and well-functioning regulations has laid the legal foundation for social stability and long-term security, and ensured that the people of all ethnic groups can share the outcomes of stability, reform and development.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have formed, developed and consolidated ethnic relations featuring equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony as well as religious relations characterized by mutual respect and peaceful coexistence in the process of jointly building their beautiful homeland. At present, Xinjiang is witnessing continuous economic growth, harmonious and stable society, constantly improving livelihood and harmonious coexistence of religions. The people of all ethnic groups in the region are closely united just like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together. This is the best period for thriving development in the local history. We have every confidence that no force can stop the progress of our beautiful Xinjiang.