China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday criticized the New York Times (NYT) for disregarding the current situation of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and smearing China's efforts in the region.
The NYT published last week what it said were "internal pages" that allegedly "expose" China's "crackdown" in Xinjiang.
The ministry's spokesperson Geng Shuang explained China's efforts to help the community in Xinjiang fight terrorism and radicalism.
"Since 2015, China has published seven white papers on Xinjiang's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts as well as vocational education and training work, which are clear and thorough statements of what happens in Xinjiang."
However, the NYT is "completely deaf and blind to all those facts," he said.
"What's worse, it used clumsy patchwork and distortion to hype up the so-called 'internal documents' and smear China's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts," Geng noted.
"What are they up to?" he wondered, reiterating that Xinjiang affairs are "purely China's domestic affairs."
The spokesperson pointed out that such skepticism is countered by widespread local and international support to the anti-terrorism campaign in Xinjiang.
"Over 1,000 foreign diplomats, international organization officials and media personnel agreed after visiting Xinjiang that the counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts there are an important contribution to the world and valuable experience for all to learn from."
A spokesperson for the local government of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region also released a statement hitting out at the NYT's story on Monday. He noted that counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts adopted by the local government not only conform to Chinese laws, but also echo the common concepts advocated by the international community and local ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
According to a statement on the government's website, not a single violent terrorist case has occurred for 35 consecutive months, but "Western anti-China forces, and the 'three evil forces' (terrorism, extremism and separatism) are reluctant to see the stable and harmonious development in Xinjiang, and they repeatedly fabricate fake news campaigns to smear Xinjiang."
The NYT article is full of "nonsense, lies, and sins," the spokesperson noted, adding that "It is nothing more than a repetition of an old story [...] This despicable act will certainly be despised by the rational people in the international community." (Updated)