Days after 22 countries urged Beijing to end its "mass arbitrary detentions and related violations" in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, UN ambassadors from 37 nations released a joint letter defending China's Xinjiang policy. "We commend China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights," the letter reads.
For years, some so-called rights groups have been accusing Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers of being "concentration camps." This is a sheer slander. The Chinese government has reiterated that the centers are anti-terrorism endeavors that aim to better protect human rights.
Since the 9/11 terror attack in the United States, the so-called East Turkestan group has been accelerating their terrorism collaborations across the globe. In Xinjiang, they deliberately distorted the region’s history and exaggerated cultural differences among ethnic groups in an effort to instigate extreme sentiments. From 1990 to 2016, thousands of terror attacks have been conducted in Xinjiang, taking many innocent lives.
But after the establishment of the vocational education and training centers, Xinjiang, which was haunted by separatism, terrorism and extremism, has seen no terror attacks in three years. More than 1,500 terrorist gangs have been destroyed, nearly 13,000 terrorists arrested and over 2,000 explosive devices seized in Xinjiang since 2014, according to a white paper released this year.
Better still, with their newly gained knowledge and skills obtained at the centers, the local residents have become more prepared for jobs. According to the Statistic Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a total of 1.4 million jobs were created in Xinjiang's urban areas in the last two years. In 2017, Xinjiang's GDP exceeded one trillion yuan for the first time. Stability brings economic prosperity. A prosperous economy, in turn, nips terrorism in the bud.
Xinjiang's practices are inspiring the global fight against terrorism. But certain Western countries are deliberately looking for trouble with China by politicizing the Xinjiang issue. For them, lashing out at China has become about "political correctness," which they believe carry much more weight than the anti-terrorism fight.
While accusing the Chinese government of trampling on human rights, some Western countries shamelessly shut the door on Middle East refugees, leaving them adrift at sea. For them, it is their anti-China campaign, not human rights, that matters.
It is interesting to note that while the majority of the 22 countries denouncing Beijing are from the West, most Muslim countries have openly voiced their support for China's Xinjiang policy in the jointly signed letter. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in particular, emphasized that residents in Xinjiang live happy lives during his trip to China.
This says a lot. Muslim countries, which have unique ties with people of the ethnic Uygur group in China, have a better grasp of the Xinjiang issue than the West and have strongly refuted Western allegations. Admittedly, some Muslim countries have misunderstood Beijing's Xinjiang policy in the past, but time has proved the effectiveness of Xinjiang's anti-terrorism endeavors. This is why they jointly defended China in the letter.
The anti-terrorism fight needs international cooperation. No country can shy away from the challenges of extremism, especially in the era of global integration. It is high time that the West abandon its bias against China, stop pouring dirty water on Beijing’s Xinjiang policy and join China in the anti-terrorism fight.