Embassy Spokesperson's Remarks on The Times' Article Which Slanders Xinjiang

2021-11-10 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Xinjiang

Question: Recently, The Times carried an article which claims "detention en masse for crimes that haven't been committed and state of the art surveillance in Xinjiang" and "religious freedom is interrupted and a whole ethnic community is dehumanised in Xinjiang". What is your comment?

Embassy Spokesperson: Social stability and happy life are the greatest human rights. Several years ago, frequent breakout of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang wantonly trampled on the basic human rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, such as the right to life, the right to health, the right to development and so on. In the face of terrorist atrocities, the local government resolutely took measures in accordance with the law and protected the people from terrorism and extremism to the greatest extent. Now, Xinjiang has taken on a great look featuring economic development, social stability, improvement of people's livelihood, cultural prosperity, ethnic unity, and religious harmony. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, together with the people in other parts of China, have equal status and development opportunities, enjoying the fruits of reform and development, and lead a happy and peaceful life.

China is under rule of law. In the investigation of criminal cases, the public security agency strictly abides by law. Illegal detention is strictly prohibited. The judicial agency takes law as the only criterion and adheres to the principles of "innocent unless proven guilty", "rule with evidence" and "sentencing according to law". All legal cases shall be judged on their own merits. The innocent will not be wronged, the guilty will not be spared. In Xinjiang, whatever ethnicity, a citizen's legal rights and interests are fully protected.

There is no so-called "internment camps" in Xinjiang. The vocational education and training centres set up in accordance with laws are schools. This is part of the proactive and preventive de-radicalization and counter-terrorism measures aimed at tackling terrorism and religious extremism at the source. It is no different from the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) of the UK or the de-radicalization centres in France. The vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang fully implement the basic principles on respecting and protecting human rights stipulated by the Constitution and laws. The dignity of trainees is fully protected. Insulting or maltreating trainees in any way is forbidden. Through such education and training, the trainees' overall capability as well as their awareness of the nation, citizenship and rule of law has been significantly enhanced. They also came to see the harmful nature of terrorism and extremism and resist the sway of terrorist and extremist ideas. The trainees in these centers have all graduated and are leading normal lives. They are normal members of our society, and there's no special measure applied to them.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state agency, public organization or individual can compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor should they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. Muslims from various ethnic groups are free to practice their belief in mosques and at home according to religious doctrines, rules and traditional customs.

It is a common international practice to use modern scientific and technological products and big data to improve social governance. The installation of cameras in public places in Xinjiang in accordance with law doesn't target any specific ethnicity. This aims to improve social governance and prevent and fight crimes, and has been widely supported by people of all ethnic groups as it makes society safer.

Some people choose to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the progress in Xinjiang. They smear Xinjiang unscrupulously and spread horrifying rumors even though they have never been to the place and don't know the actual situation there. It is contemptible that they deceive and fool the public at the expense of the professional ethics of journalism. We urge the relevant media and individual to abide by the professional ethics, observe the principles of objectivity, impartiality, authenticity and accuracy, and do more meaningful things to promote communication, exchange and mutual understanding between the Chinese and British people.


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