The attempt of some Western countries to tarnish the image of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is doomed to fail, and the fight against terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang should be supported and respected, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Recently, ambassadors from 50 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) have sent a joint letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice their support for China's position on issues related to Xinjiang.
The 50 ambassadors, who are from countries including Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Cuba, have collectively stated for the first time that the counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, including the establishment of vocational education and training centers, have effectively safeguarded basic human rights in Xinjiang, spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press briefing.
According to media reports, 24 members of the UNHRC have previously signed a letter criticizing China's position on relevant issues.
"The 24 members, with a total population of no more than 600 million, are all developed Western countries, none of them being an Islamic or developing country. While of the 50 countries that support China are from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, with a total population of nearly 2 billion, 28 are members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and their population is more than twice that of the 24 members that criticized China," Hua said. "So it's obvious who is right and who is wrong on the matter of Xinjiang," she added.
Hua said many of the ambassadors who supported China's Xinjiang policy have visited Xinjiang and witnessed the truth.
As the ambassadors pointed out, those who had visited Xinjiang found what they saw and heard was completely different from what was described in Western media reports, according to Hua.
"The ambassadors also appreciated China's achievements in human rights, believed that Xinjiang's establishment of vocational education and training centers, as well as other counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, effectively guaranteed basic human rights and urged relevant countries to stop their unfounded accusations against China," said the spokesperson.
"This fully shows that the international community has its fair judgment on the development of Xinjiang," said Hua, adding that attempt to smear Xinjiang and put pressure on China in the name of "human rights" will never succeed.
Pointing out that the current problem in Xinjiang is the issue of counter-terrorism and extremism rather than religious and human rights issues, Hua said the counter-terrorism and de-radicalization struggle in Xinjiang deserve support, respect and understanding.
"Faced with severe threats of terrorism and extremism, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has taken a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures according to law, including the establishment of vocational education and training centers," said Hua, adding that those measures have turned the situation around.
"In almost three years, not a single violent or terrorist incident took place in Xinjiang. The region now enjoys social stability and unity among all ethnic groups. People there are living a happy life with a stronger sense of fulfillment and security. They endorse the government's policies and measures wholeheartedly," said the spokesperson.
Noting that many of the 24 countries that denounce China's Xinjiang policy have been victims of terrorism, Hua said relevant people and officials from these 24 countries are welcome to visit Xinjiang to learn about Xinjiang's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization experience.
Hua said China is working with all parties to ensure that multilateral human rights mechanisms stick to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Human rights issues should be dealt with in an objective, fair and non-selective way. "We need to advance international human rights cause in a sound manner through constructive dialogue and cooperation."
"We resolutely oppose any country's act of using the Human Rights Council and other mechanisms to interfere in other countries' internal affairs and wantonly criticize, smear and pressure others. We urge the relevant countries to correct their mistakes at once, not to politicize the relevant issue or practice double standards, and stop meddling in other countries' domestic affairs," she added.