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’Genocide’ tag against China is the lie of the century

Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa File picture: AFP

Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa File picture: AFP

Published Feb 2, 2021


Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa

For a few weeks, a small bunch of anti-China politicians represented by former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has chosen to ignore the rapid socio-economic development in Xinjiang and repeatedly hyped up the so-called Xinjiang issues.

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They openly interfered in China’s internal affairs, launched groundless accusations and attacks on China’s policies in Xinjiang, spread numerous disinformation and misinformation.

They even fabricated the so-called “genocide” tag against China, which can be seen as a lie of a century. This once again reveals the hegemonic behaviour and hypocritical nature of the likes of Pompeo, who have absolutely no morals and are blessed with wantonly interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

Xinjiang-related issues are in no way ethnic, religious, or human rights issues. They are instead about combating violent terrorism, extremism and separatism as well as deradicalisation. For some time, Xinjiang has suffered from the scourge of terrorism and religious extremism.

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The lives and safety of the people there have been gravely threatened. In response, Xinjiang has earnestly implemented the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. New counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation measures were developed under law, including the establishment of education and vocational training centres.

The focus of these measures has been to remove the breeding ground of terrorism and religious extremism and to effectively curb looming terrorist activities. With these measures in place, the basic rights of people of all ethnic groups, such as the rights to life, health, and development have been protected to the greatest extent.

There has not been a single violent, terrorist case in Xinjiang over the past four years. The number of criminal cases related to safety and security has also dropped by a huge margin. These efforts and achievements delivered peace and stability for Xinjiang, which has all along been the aspirations of people of all ethnic groups there.

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As of October 2019, all trainees participating in training programs on language, the law, technical skills, and de-radicalisation had completed their courses, landed jobs, and started to enjoy peaceful lives.

These measures have not only been welcomed and supported by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also universally recognised by the international community including the Organization of Islamic Co-operation. Since the end of 2019, more than 70 groups of over 1 000 foreign visitors including UN officials, diplomatic envoys in China, journalists and religious believers from more than 90 countries have paid visits to Xinjiang.

All the visitors have said that Xinjiang’s approach to counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation is entirely in line with UN purposes and principles of combating terrorism and protecting fundamental human rights, and that it is worthy of being fully recognised and learning from.

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Chaos is a curse, while stability is a blessing. With the efforts made by people of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang is experiencing the best time in its history for development and prosperity. It has scored unprecedented achievements in socio-economic development and people’s livelihoods.

The population of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang continues to grow. From 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur population had risen from 10 171 500 to 12 718,400, which is an increase of 2 546 900 or 25.04%. This increment is not only higher than the 13.99% increase of Xinjiang’s entire population, but also higher than the average 22.14% increase in the ethnic minorities population. It is also much higher than the 2% increase of Xinjiang’s ethnic Han population.

Xinjiang's economy has also achieved steady and sound development. From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang’s GDP had jumped from 919.59 billion yuan to 1359.71 billion yuan, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.2%. Infrastructure development has been moving forward.

All cities and prefectures in Xinjiang have entered the era of highways. By the end of 2020, Xinjiang had joined the rest of China to eradicate absolute poverty, and all 3.089 million people in poverty under current standards in Xinjiang had been lifted out of poverty. The number of Chinese and foreign tourists to Xinjiang has been hitting records, reaching 213 million in 2019, up 41.96% year-on-year.

The living standard of people in Xinjiang has improved dramatically. From 2014 to 2019, the per capita disposable income of Xinjiang residents had been growing by an annual average of 9.1%. Full coverage of nine-year compulsory education as well as three-year pre-school education and 12-year basic education in south Xinjiang were achieved.

As much as 99.7% of Xinjiang residents have joined the basic medical insurance programme. Free health check-ups for all have been implemented since 2016, and all township health centers and village clinics have reached the standardisation requirement. The legitimate rights and interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including religious beliefs, are effectively protected.

Currently, Xinjiang provides one mosque for every 530 Muslims on average. Since the occurrence of Covid-19, the Xinjiang local government has started sending medical personnel to provide services at mosques. They conduct free nucleic acid tests regularly, provide masks, take temperatures, and distribute medicines to ensure that believers and Muslims overall can continue their everyday religious activities in a safe and comfortable environment.

The native languages of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are widely used in Xinjiang’s education, justice, administration, and social and public affairs. Xinjiang attaches great importance to the protection and development of the fine traditional cultures of all ethnic groups.

The art of Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam, among others, has been included in the Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Traditional cultural activities of the Uyghur people such as Meshrep are also widely carried out.

Lies cannot crowd out the truth, and facts speak louder than words. It is easy to see from these concrete facts that the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are living and working in peace and fully enjoying their fundamental rights to survival and development, among others.

The so-called “genocide” is just another political farce staged by anti-Chinese elements in the US in a vain attempt to discredit China. Recently, Muslim countries such as Pakistan, and even US allies such as the EU and Japan have expressed their disapproval of the hyping-up of “genocide”. The AU has made it clear that China’s policies in Xinjiang are correct and effective, and that it supports China’s efforts to defend national sovereignty.

Lies do not go far, and the truth will forever prevail. We believe that all countries upholding justice will look at China’s policies in Xinjiang in an objective and fair manner. We also believe that the South African government and people will make their judgements based on facts.

Our South African friends here are most welcome to visit Xinjiang after the pandemic situation improves, to take a walk and see with your own eyes the real Xinjiang, one that enjoys sound development, prosperity, stability, ethnic harmony, and that is home to breathtaking views.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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