ISLAMABAD, Dec.25 (China Economic Net) – Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights ethnicity or religion but about fighting violence, terrorism and separatism, Tang Tianru – a Chinese entrepreneur based in Islamabad said.
Speaking at a news conference here on Tuesday, she said the US House of Representatives had passed the controversial Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019 which was an interference in China’s internal matters.
“This bill deliberately smears the human rights condition in Xinjiang, slanders China’s efforts in de-radicalization and counter-terrorism and viciously attacks the Chinese government’s Xinjiang policy. It seriously violates international law and basic norms governing international relations, and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs. China is strongly indignant at and firmly opposed to it,” she said.
Previously, Tang Tianru said, Xinjiang suffered gravely from extremism, violence and terrorism. “Faced with severe circumstances, the government of Xinjiang Autonomous Region lawfully fought violent and terrorist crimes while addressing the root causes. Our efforts include advancing de-radicalization, economic growth, ethnic solidarity, social harmony and stability. Thanks to those efforts, Xinjiang hasn’t seen a single terrorist attack over the past three years. Those endeavors are endorsed by all 25 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They are also China’s contribution to the global counter-terrorism cause,” she added.
The international community, she said, speaks highly of China’s Xinjiang policy. “Since the end of 2018, over 1,000 representatives have visited Xinjiang in more than 70 groups, including officials from various countries, regions and international organizations, and people from the press, religious groups and the academic circle,” Tang Tianru said,
She said they acclaimed that Xinjiang’s experience in counter-terrorism and de-radicalization was worth learning from.
“In March this year, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation adopted a resolution which commended China’s efforts in providing care to Muslim citizens. In July, ambassadors of over 50 countries to the UN Office at Geneva co-signed a letter to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, applauding China’s respect and protection of human rights in its counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts. In October, at the Third Committee session of the 74th UNGA, more than 60 countries commended in their statements the tremendous human rights progress achieved in Xinjiang, China,” she elaborated.
Tang Tianru said all those were strong proof that the US accusations on Xinjiang-related issues are entirely against facts and the mainstream public opinion of the international community.
“We state our position clearly to the US that as Xinjiang is part of China, its affairs are purely domestic affairs that allow no foreign interference. This US bill smears our efforts in counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, which only reveals America’s double standards on counter-terrorism and further exposes to the Chinese people its hypocrisy and malicious intentions,” she remarked.
The Chinese entrepreneur said Chinese government and it’s people were determined in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.
“Under the pretext of Xinjiang-related issues, the US attempts to sow discord among various ethnic groups in China, undermine prosperity and stability in Xinjiang, and contain China’s growth. But its attempt will never succeed. We urge the US to correct its mistakes at once, prevent this bill from becoming law, and stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere China’s internal affairs. China will take further reactions according to how the situation develops,” she said.
About the US act, she said: “I don’t know what you think of those US lawmakers, but I’ve heard that some of them don’t even have passports. They have never been to China, let alone 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!”
She said the US politicians were talking about “conscience” with China on ethnic minorities. “What ignorance, what brazenness, what hypocrisy! Have they forgotten? The two-century long American history is tainted with the blood and tears of native Indians, who were originally master of the continent. Starting from the 19th century, the US army occupied millions of square kilometres of land and grabbed countless natural resources by expelling and slaughtering native Indians through the Westward Expansion,” Tang Tianru said.
Apart from that, she said, the US also conducts 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 US 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. Faced with all these shocking facts, can the US politicians feign ignorance? Where is their conscience?” she questioned.
She said China implemented the system of ethnic regional autonomy, upholds ethnic equality and unity, respects and protects freedom of religious belief, protects normal religious activities and safeguard religious groups, religious venues, and believers’ rights in accordance with law.
“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,” Tang Tianru said.
She said since the 1990s, especially after the September 11 attacks, elements of terrorist, separatist and extremist forces launched several thousand terrorist attacks there, causing massive casualties as well as property loss.
“In the ‘July 5’ incident alone,197 people were killed and more than 1,700 injured. 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,” she added.
She continued: “I wonder if the US lawmakers have read the document through? Perhaps they never bother about UN resolutions or action plans. As the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism points out, poverty, unemployment, lack of job opportunities, poor education and the cynical distortion and misuse of religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies by violent extremist groups, are all backgrounds and motivations of violent extremism.”
The document, she said, also proposed to encourage members of violent extremist groups to leave such groups by providing them with educational and economic opportunities as well as vocational training resources.
“To this end, many countries have set up de-radicalization centers and education transformation centers. Some countries have developed both in-prison and community-based education transformation of terrorists and high-vulnerability groups. In the UK, the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) makes it mandatory for all terrorism-related offenders to receive training. There are also segregation units in prison to prevent the spread of radical violent terrorism,” Tang Tianru said.
As has been proven, she said, the measures taken in Xinjiang are useful exploration of the UN action plan. The security situation there has significantly improved, with not a single terror attack for three years.
“The preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts have not only gained the support of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also received international recognition. The US should also recognize and learn from China’s effective measures instead of discrediting them,” she maintained.
The US is being selectively forgetful of its brutality towards the American Indians and turning a blind eye to their past pain and present misery, she added,
However, Tang Tianru said: “It is slandering China’s successful ethnic policy, in particular our Xinjiang policy, in an attempt to sow discord in ethnic relations, undermine Xinjiang’s prosperity and stability, and contain China’s development. This only further exposes to the world double standards of US on counter-terrorism, its hypocrisy and malicious intentions. After all, the 25 million people in Xinjiang and the 1.4 billion Chinese people are in the best position to say how the situation in Xinjiang is. The US lawmakers cannot even represent the interests of all American people. How can they speak for the Chinese people or the people in Xinjiang? What makes them think they can judge us?”
In recent years, she said, the US 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’! Terrorism and extremism are common enemies of human beings. Counter-terrorism and de-radicalization is the shared responsibility of the international community. It hasn’t been long since the September 11 attacks. The US should not forget the pain as wounds heal. If it continues to play with double standards or even infringe upon other countries’ sovereignty and security, it will end up swallowing a bitter fruit with its own interests harmed,” she added.
Tang Tianru said; “I just heard AP and others are broadcasting this press conference live. I would like to ask a favor. Please convey to the American people this message. Do you know what ordinary Chinese people think of this stupid bill the US Congress just passed? This is what they say: the US messed up Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Syria, then Yemen. Now it is trying to mess up China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong. This is only wishful thinking and a pipe dream. It will never succeed. I do hope you will let the American people hear the Chinese people’s voice. It would be much appreciated.”
About the China-US trade deal, she said China’s position was consistent and clear, and “We always honor our word. ”
On the trade issue, she said, “we hold that only a mutually-beneficial agreement acceptable to both reached on the basis of equality and mutual respect will last and serve the interests of the two peoples.”
With regard to Hong Kong and Xinjiang, she said, “we have also stated the Chinese government’s solemn position repeatedly. No one should underestimate the Chinese government’s resolve and ability to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,”
Tang Tianru said it feels like people can no longer sit and watch what the US is doing, and “so are calling on us to take stronger measures in response. Please rest assured. As I just said, the Chinese government has the resolve and ability to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. Attempts to contain China with Hong Kong or Xinjiang issues will prove to be nothing but day-dreaming.”