The Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday strongly condemned and firmly opposed the passage of a Xinjiang-related bill by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019" disregarded Xinjiang's stability and development and the fact that people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live and work in unity, harmony and contentment, the committee said in a statement.
As an organ to exercise the power on behalf of around 25 million people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the regional legislature solemnly declared that the region has consistently and resolutely cracked down on violent terrorist crimes and extremism, and protected people's rights and safety in accordance with the law.
Safeguarding and guaranteeing people's right to life, health and development has always been the starting point, as well as the foothold of the work in Xinjiang, the regional legislature said.
Based on the Constitution and relevant laws, Xinjiang has passed rules and regulations to counter terrorism and combat extremism, it added.
The rules and regulations make it clear that terrorism is not an ethnic or religious issue, and it is strictly prohibited to link counterterrorism and deradicalization efforts to any specific ethnic groups or religions, so as to fully respect citizens' freedom of religious belief and ethnic customs, according to the statement.
So far, there has not been a single case of violent terrorism in Xinjiang for three consecutive years. People's rights to life, health and development have been guaranteed, and they enjoy an enhanced sense of security, fulfillment and happiness. Relevant measures have been highly recognized and heartily supported by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the statement said.
The fight against terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang is an important part of the international community's fight against terrorism, which also conforms to the purposes and principles of the United Nations in fighting terrorism and safeguarding people's basic human rights, the statement noted.
Officials from all ethnic groups have played an important role in the long-term social stability in Xinjiang, said the statement, adding that ethnic languages and culture have been widely used and developed in various fields in Xinjiang including judicial, administration, education, press and publication, radio and television, internet, social and public affairs.
The regional legislature has firmly upheld ethnic unity and religious harmony in accordance with the law and guaranteed the common prosperity and development of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
In a bid to fully protect citizens' freedom of religious belief, Xinjiang has rolled out regional regulations on religious affairs. Normal religious activities have been protected in accordance with the law, according to the statement.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago, the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have formed, developed and consolidated ethnic relations featuring equality, solidarity, mutual assistance and harmony, and religious relations featuring mutual respect and harmonious coexistence, said the statement.
With sustained economic development, social stability, people's improved livelihood and religious harmony, Xinjiang is now in the best period of prosperity and development in history. "We firmly believe that no force can stop Xinjiang's steps forward," it added.