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The 3rd press conference by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Xinjiang-related issues in Beijing

Independent Television:Can you detail, with dates and years of possible, the specific terrorist attacks and threats which prompted the government to round up hundreds of thousands of Uygur Muslims as part of its anti extremism re-education programme in Xinjiang?

Xu Guixiang:First of all, in the fight against terrorism and extremism, Xinjiang has always insisted on taking facts as the basis and laws as the criterion, and has always insisted that the fight is not linked to specific regions, ethnic groups, and religions. There is no case of “rounding up thousands of Uygur Muslims” as you said. What we have cracked down on according to the law are a few heinous and obstinate leaders and backbones of terrorist and extremist groups. What we have rescued are those who have been infected with religious extremism and committed minor crimes. It has nothing to do with whether they are Uygurs or not, whether they believe in Islam or not.

Secondly, there is no so called“re education camp” in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training center we set up in accordance with the law is essentially the same as the DDP (transformation and separation program) established in the UK and the extremism eradication center established in France. They are both preventive efforts of beneficial attempts and positive explorations for anti-terrorism and extremism eradication. The purpose is to eliminate terrorism and religious extremism from the source, which is fully in line with the principle and spirit of a series of anti-terrorism resolutions, such as the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. As for the issue of the vocational education and training center, we have introduced it many times. You can read the white paper Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang issued by the Information Office of the State Council of The People’s Republic of China in August 2019 and now I will not repeat this issue .

Details of the terrorist attacks. According to incomplete statistics, from 1990 to the end of 2016, the “three forces” at home and abroad carried out thousands of violent terrorist cases (incidents) in Xinjiang and other places, which brought great harm to the social stability of Xinjiang and caused great pain to the people of all ethnic groups. They killed the ordinary people in a mad way. For example, on May 22, 2014, five terrorists drove two off-road vehicles, breaking through guard fence in the morning market located in Gongyuan North Street, Shayibak District, Urumqi City. They rammed and crushed the masses, and detonated explosive devices, causing 39 deaths and 94 injuries. They also brutally killed religious people. For example, on November 6, 1997, under the command of the overseas “East Turkistan” organization, a terrorist group shot and killed Mawla Yunusi Sidik on the way to the mosque for worship. Yunusi Sidik was member of the Chinese Islamic Association, President of the Aksu Islamic Association in Xinjiang, and chairman of the mosque in Baicheng County. On January 27, 1998, the terrorist group shot and killed Abulizi Aji, the leader of the Great Mosque in Baicheng County, on the way to the mosque to pray. They seriously endangered public safety. For example, on June 29, 2012, on the flight of GS7554 from Hotan, Xinjiang to Urumqi, six terrorists attempted to hijack the plane and planned to follow the example of the US “9.11” incident to launch a terrorist attack. They openly attacked government agencies. For example, on July 28, 2014, a group of terrorists attacked the government and police station of Alixihu Town, Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture with knives and axes. Some of them rushed to Huangdi Town Shache county, chopped down the masses and smashed and burned passing vehicles, causing 37 deaths, 13 injuries, and 31 smashed and burned vehicles. They deliberately created riots. For example, on July 5, 2009, the “East Turkistan” forces at home and abroad cooperated with each other, organized and planned the shocking violent crime of smashing, looting and burning in Urumqi. Thousands of terrorists acted at the same time in many parts of the city, killing people madly, attacking government departments, public security police, residents’ apartments, shops, public transport facilities, etc., resulting in 197 deaths, more than 1700 injuries, 331 shops and 1325 vehicles were smashed and burned, and many municipal public facilities were damaged.

As for the violent terrorist cases (incidents) in Xinjiang and other regions of China, the white paper The Fight against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang issued by the Information Office of the State Council of The People’s Republic of China, and the three anti-terrorism documentaries Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, The Black Hand--ETIM and Terrorism in Xinjiang, and Tianshan Still Standing--Memories of Fighting Terrorrism in Xinjiang broadcast successively by CGTN also introduced in detail. We will send all of them to you.

Now we will play a short video. Let’s watch it.

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