Recently, U.N. high commissioner for human rights and the chief of United Nations Human Rights Council received joint letters from more then 20 countries that criticize China's governance of Xinjiang province for no sound reason. However, slanders and rumors can't hold water in the face of truth. By the end of local time July 26th, U.N. high commissioner for human rights and the chief of United Nations Human Rights Council also received joint letter from more than 50 countries which support China’s stance on Xinjiang-related issues. In addition, delegates from some countries sent letters independently and wrote press release to show that they stand by China. All the supporting countries take China’s position on this issue, giving positive remark to achievements of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism as well as to the development of human rights in Xinjiang.
The deceptive joint letter opposing China is not based on fact, only using rumors to attack Chinese government that has done nothing wrong. Firstly, countries behind the opposing letter represent the view of a few countries, thus can’t stand for the whole international society. For instance, not a single developing country is a part of it. Plus the fact that no Islamic country shows support to the letter which claims infringement done by China to Islamic group, which proves that the few countries issuing the letter to oppose China is not popular. Secondly, what is written in the joint letter is far from fact. Vocational Skill and Education Training Center, an institution facilitating anti-extremism operation, is a target attacked by the rumor, but actually, it’s a law-based institution and a part of Chinese method to eliminate the root cause of extremism and terrorism as well as to provide education and assistance. Preventive anti-terrorism is done by Vocational Skill and Education Training Center whose teaching material is based on law, vocational skills, anti-terrorism and national standard spoken and written language, as well as whose students are those who are influenced by extremism and terrorism and who have minor criminal behavior or who are recently released criminals but are still dangerous to the society. This measure is conducive to reverse the threatened social situation in Xinjiang, preventing civilians from becoming victims of terrorism and extremism. No investigation, no say. Without research and investigation, a few western officials arbitrarily criticize China’s new anti-terrorism measures in Xinjiang based on speculation and unverified information. And of course, they are not supported. Thirdly, the sole aim of the joint letter is to attack and to bring shame on China. The letter is based on no data or evidence, nor does it give any suggestion. So the criticizers don’t really care about, or intend to safeguard basic human rights in Xinjiang.
Besides cracking down terrorism and extremism, Chinese government have also attained progress by promoting the economic, social and cultural development of Xinjiang. First, Xinjiang’s anti-terrorism operation is under the framework of China’s national anti-terrorism law and adheres to UN Charter and other principles of international law from the beginning to the end. Government in Xinjiang insists that anti-terrorism should be combined with human rights protection. That’s why in China’s view, terrorism is not related to specific region, ethnicity or religion. Also, safeguarding stability is linked with improving the livelihood of the people. Second, according to Chinese authority, basic human rights includes the rights to live and to develop, to realize both of which, China has been spending painstaking effort to developing economy, improving education, taking comprehensive measures treating both symptoms and root causes along with eradicating foundation for terrorism spreading. In terms of economy, the government views poverty alleviation as its goal and “belt and road initiative” as a historical opportunity, taking methods containing supporting private economy, implementing the strategy of rural revitalization and attracting foreign investment and business. In the four years from 2014 to 2018, GDP growth rate of Xinjiang maintains above 6% and 2.3 million people being lifted out of poverty due to a large increase in disposable income in both urban and rural areas. In terms of education, Xinjiang aims to realize leap development by improving bilingual education, by cooperating with brotherly cities and provinces to achieve success in partner assistance and by comprehensively improving the quality and level of basic education, rural education and vocational education. Besides, other measures are also taken to guarantee people’s freedom in religious belief and people’s rights to use spoken and written language of their own ethnic minority. Under multiple measures, the past 2 years has seen no incident of violence and terrorism. Stability, solidarity and content life has been prevailing the whole society.
Regarding protection and promotion of human rights, China has achieved great progress which is witnessed by international society, for which many countries give China high evaluation objectively and impartially. Xinjiang’s anti-terrorism and anti-extremism is a fight of justice and civilization against evil and barbarism, which is supported by most countries. The consequent order, stable society, and progressing civilization are also well-recognized by most countries. Recently, China repeatedly invited groups of diplomats, journalists, experts and scholars to visit Xinjiang and communicate face to face with people of various ethnic minorities as well as students in training and education center. Having seen the truth, they all pay tribute to China’s work in law-based eradication and prevention of terrorism, in safeguarding people’s freedom in religious belief, in protection of traditional culture of ethnic minorities, in the development of economy and in the improvement of people’s livelihood. Collectively, 50 countries expressed support for China and praised the high standard in China’s human rights protection and favorable results in anti-terrorism and anti-extremism. Countries standing by China not only excel in quantity but also in the quality of the letter, justifying a Chinese proverb: a just cause enjoys abundant support.
There are more than one way to realize modernization and protect human rights. China is entitled to choose its own political system, developing pattern and human rights protection mode based on national condition. It is unacceptable for anyone to defame China in terms of domestic affairs under the excuse of human rights protection. Groundless slanders and accusations can’t overpower the great success done by China relating to Xinjiang’s human rights protection, favorable results of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism or to Xinjiang’s stable, solid and harmonious society. China will continue to hold its highest standard to protect and promote freedom and basic human rights, endeavor to promote human right protection by way of development, and eliminate the root cause of terrorism spreading. Meanwhile, China will remain open and cooperative to enhance mutual understanding and dialogue with different countries and nationalities. With hand in hand collaboration, China and other countries will create a free, just and peaceful world in which all people enjoy basic human rights and freedom.
(Author: Zhang Wei, professor of Institute for Human Rights of China University of Political Science and Law)