China warned Wednesday if the United States continues to play with double standards on anti-terrorism or even try to infringe upon other countries' sovereignty and security, it will end up swallowing a bitter fruit with its own interests harmed.
"It hasn't been long since the Sept. 11 attacks. The U.S. should not forget the pain as wounds heal," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference.
The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed the so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019". U.S. Representative Chris Smith called the Chinese government's preventive counter-terrorism and deradicalization efforts in Xinjiang "modern-day concentration camps." U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the efforts "an outrage to the collective conscience of the world."
Asked to respond to the U.S. moves and comments, Hua said, "I've heard that some of the U.S. lawmakers do not even have passports. They haven't been to China, let alone to China's Xinjiang. How can they speak for the 1.4 billion Chinese people or the 25 million people in Xinjiang? And yet they are making unwarranted allegations and false comments on Xinjiang. How arrogant!"
Hua said that Xinjiang-related issues are by no means about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about the fight against separatism and violent terrorism.
Since the 1990s, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks, elements of terrorism, separatism and extremism forces launched several thousand violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, causing massive casualties as well as property loss, she said, noting that in the "July 5" incident in 2009 alone, 197 people were killed and more than 1,700 injured.
"On the basis of borrowing international counter-terrorism experience, China started vocational education and training in Xinjiang, which is a step answering the call of the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism," Hua said.
The measures taken in Xinjiang are useful exploration of the UN action plan, she said. "The security situation there has significantly improved, with not a single terror attack for three years."
The preventive counter-terrorism and deradicalization efforts have not only gained the support of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also received international recognition.
"The U.S. should also recognize and learn from China's effective measures, not discrediting them," Hua said.
Besides, U.S. politicians are talking about "conscience" with China on ethnic minorities. "What ignorance, what brazenness, what hypocrisy!" Hua said.
"Have they forgotten? The two-century long American history is tainted with the blood and tears of native Indians, who were originally masters of the continent."
She said that starting from the 19th century, the U.S. army occupied millions of square kilometers of land and grabbed countless natural resources by expelling and slaughtering native Indians through the Westward Expansion.
Apart from that, the U.S. also conducted forced assimilation of native Americans, killing, expelling and persecuting them and denying them their due civil rights.
"Today, they only account for 2.09 percent of the total U.S. population. They are facing numerous difficulties, including backward infrastructure in reservations, shortage of water and electricity, lack of Internet access, unemployment, poverty, diseases and poor living conditions. In front of all these shocking facts, can the U.S. politicians feign ignorance? Where is their conscience?"
While in China, the country implements the system of ethnic regional autonomy, upholds ethnic equality and unity, respects and protects freedom of religious belief, protects normal religious activities and safeguards religious groups, religious venues, and believers' rights in accordance with law, she said.
People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy equal legal status and constitutional and lawful rights, including right to elect and be elected, to participate in management of state affairs, to use the spoken and written languages of their ethnic groups, to inherit their ethnic culture, as well as freedom of religious belief and right to education.
The United States has selectively forgotten its brutal acts of persecuting the Native American Indians, turning a blind eye to the bloody history and tragic reality. Instead, it slanders and smears China's successful ethnic policies without any bottom line, especially Xinjiang-related policies, said Hua.
"Their attempt to use Xinjiang-related issues to drive a wedge among China's ethnic groups, undermine the prosperity and stability of Xinjiang and prevent China from growing stronger will only further expose its double standard on the issue of counter-terrorism and will only further expose its hypocrisy and sinister intentions to the world," she said.
Hua added that in recent years, the U.S. used human rights and counter-terrorism as a cover to wage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, killing millions of innocent civilians and turning more into displaced refugees.
"Such acts in total contempt of people's right to life and development are a real 'outrage to the collective conscience of the world'!" she said.
"Terrorism and extremism are the common enemies of human beings, and the international community has a common responsibility to fight terrorism and eliminate extremism," Hua noted.