FM refutes US accusations about suppressing Xinjiang ethnic minorities' cultures and languages
Global Times


Video compiled by Liu Kechen

The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US government over its accusations that China is wiping out languages, cultures and religions of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In an online video posted on the US Department of State official website and Twitter account, China was portrayed as an "Orwellian-style" place that punishes Uygur students and other Muslim minorities who speak their mother tongues, which is untrue and false.

"Xinjiang protects the right of all ethnic groups to use and develop their own spoken and written languages in accordance with law," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at Wednesday's press briefing.

China's Constitution and the Law on the Spoken and Written Language stipulate that citizens have the right to learn and use the spoken and written languages of the country. At the same time, the right of all ethnic groups to use and develop their own spoken and written languages is fully guaranteed.

"The spoken and written languages of Xinjiang's ethnic minorities are widely used in education, justice, administration, social and public affairs. Authorities at all levels in Xinjiang use both the spoken and written languages of the state and of ethnic groups in performing their official duties," Zhao said.

Xinjiang People's Broadcasting Station offers 12 programs in five languages: Chinese, Uygur, Kazak, Mongolian and Kirgiz. Courses in these languages are widely offered in primary and secondary schools, Zhao said.

"Walking in the streets of Xinjiang, you can find multilingual services in shops, pharmacies, post offices and public transport," Zhao said.

People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live in peace and contentment, enjoying unprecedented convenience in their life, work and study, Zhao said.

"Some US politicians and officials always accuse China of not respecting minority languages. I suggest that they look at the RMB paper currency, which is printed in five languages, namely Chinese, Tibetan, Uygur, Mongolian and Zhuang," Zhao said.

"In addition to English, are there any other languages on US dollar bills?" he asked.