Muslims population’s rights in China fully protected: Spokesperson

BEIJING, April 19 (INP): China will continue to uphold the religious rights of its 20 million Muslim population, guaranteeing them their basic human-rights.

This was stated by a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Lu Kang at a regular news briefing. Like other countries, they manage religious affairs in accordance with the law, resolutely oppose and combat religious extremism, and at the same time guarantee the normal religious needs of religious believers and respect the customs of religious believers, he added.

China, he further said has more than 20 million Muslims and more than 35,000 mosques. The majority of religious believers can freely engage in religious activities in accordance with the law.”

He hoped that the relevant media should not be keen on some untrue words, let alone concoct false news, but should abide by the journalistic professional ethics.

To a question about the “re-education camp” in Xinjiang and having any of its link to the demolitions of Muslim mosques across China, the spokesperson said, they have said many times that the vocational skills education and training institutions established in Xinjiang have a very clear purpose.

Like other countries in the world, they are taking preventive measures based on the need to fight terrorism and de-extremism. Such measures may be different in different countries, but the objectives are the same.

The spokesperson rejected perception of existing anti-Islamism in China, stating there is no such situation. China implements the policy of freedom of religious belief.

Meanwhile, according to an official report, Xinjiang has shown remarkable progress in its socio-economic development.  In the first month of this year, Xinjiang’s total foreign trade stood at 13.94 billion yuan (about 2 billion US dollars), up 11.7 percent year on year, according to Urumqi Customs.

Three comprehensive bonded zones, located in Xinjiang’s Alataw Pass, Kashgar, and the regional capital Urumqi, saw their combined foreign trade value rising more than 40 percent year-on-year in January.

Last year, imports and exports between Xinjiang and 36 countries along the Belt and Road increased by 13.5 percent year-on-year to about 291.5 billion yuan.

Behind all the prosperity is the Belt and Road Initiative, which is gaining steam.

An international Belt and Road forum will be held in Beijing later this month, with representatives from over 100 countries, including about 40 government leaders, having confirmed their attendance. The forum is expected to boost people-to-people connectivity among countries participating in the development of the Belt and Road.

Over the past few years, China has signed 171 cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative with more than 150 countries and international organizations.

In the past few months, many foreign officials and media delegates visited Xinjiang farmers, artists and people involved in religious affairs, as they got to know the region’s opening-up efforts.

Senior diplomats from permanent missions of eight countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva visited Xinjiang from Feb. 16 to 19 at the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The diplomats from Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, Cambodia, Russia, Senegal and Belarus spoke with trainees at vocational education and training centers, teaching clerics and other members of the public during their visit.