An online meeting to introduce the human rights situation in Northwest China’s Xinjiang region was held on the sidelines of the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday with representatives including senior officials and scholars sharing their stories of how the region fights against terrorism, protects human rights and strives for economic development.
The meeting was jointly held by Xinjiang regional government and China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland. More than 100 diplomats, journalists and nongovernmental organizations from 50 countries attended the meeting.
The Xinjiang region has put priority on improving people's welfare, safeguarding social stability in accordance with laws, promoting high-quality economic development, and continues to improve residents' livelihoods, consolidate unity among different ethnic groups and fully protect religious freedom, Shewket Imin, director of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said at the meeting.
Shewket pointed out that the region is opening up and has become an important communication hub for countries along the Belt and Road route.
The senior office welcomed friends to come to Xinjiang to see its prosperity and harmony and witness the achievements on human rights.
After unremitting endeavor, the Xinjiang region has made unprecedented achievements on economic developments and human rights. However, out of political purpose, some Western countries neglect such achievements and made and spread lies and disinformation about the region. These countries have politicized human rights issues, using these topics as tools to incite confrontations and division on multilateral platforms on human rights, Chen Xu, China's Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva, said at the meeting.
Chen noted that their squalid actions have been firmly opposed by the international community and are doomed to fail.
During the meeting, a video to give an overall introduction of the Xinjiang region had also been streamed and officials on laws and security later offered more details on the region’s efforts and practices on fighting against terrorism and extremism.
Zuliyati Simayi, vice president of the Kashi University who also attended the meeting, said that Xinjiang residents are working in a free, equal and safe environment and have made a better life for themselves. There is no forced labor in the region.
Representatives from Xinjiang region, including the imam from a mosque in Urumqi and former trainees from the vocational education center also shared their own stories of the region’s development via video link.
Many foreign diplomats who attended the meeting praised the region’s achievements in poverty alleviation, countering terrorism and extremism, promoting human rights and economic developments. They also expressed support to China’s stance on topics related to the Xinjiang region and opposed using these topics to interfere with China’s internal affairs.