China firmly opposes officials and media of certain countries "politicizing and stigmatizing" the efforts and measures taken by China to fight terrorism and eliminate extremism in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
She made the remarks at a routine press briefing on Monday when responding to recent media reports in the United States and some other Western countries about the alleged "surveillance, detention and assimilation" in Xinjiang and other Muslims-populated regions in China.
"Those sensational news reports are irresponsible, either based on hearsay or citing false or fictional sources," Hua said, adding that some Western politicians and media outlets have made a "fundamental mistake" by defining China's efforts of fighting terrorism and upholding stability as specifically targeted at Uygurs or Muslims.
"The Chinese government consistently opposes linking terrorism with certain nationalities or religions," she said.
Hua said that the vast majority of the Uygur people live in harmony with people of other 55 nationalities in China and enjoy a happy and contented life, citing the population growth from around 3 million to nearly 12 million since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
For those affected by terrorism or religious extremism, a series of measures have been taken in Xinjiang to get them back to a normal life, including vocational education for them to learn languages and professional skills, according to Hua. "No single violent terrorist attack has ever happened in the past 24 months," Hua said, calling it proof of the positive and remarkable results achieved by Xinjiang in countering terrorism.
Regarding the installation of surveillance facilities in Xinjiang as reported by U.S. media, Hua said it is the common practice of all countries for maintaining social security and stability, citing extensive coverage of surveillance camera networks in New York and London.
"We firmly oppose the application of 'double standards' by certain countries' officials and media on the issue, and their vicious attack on China's policies on ethnic groups and religion."
"We urge them to view the measures taken by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to uphold security and stability in an unbiased and objective way," Hua added.