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Friday, November 01, 2019, 15:24
US cannot shame anti-extremism efforts in Xinjiang
By Wang Yu
Friday, November 01, 2019, 15:24 By Wang Yu

Certain Western countries represented by the United States have concocted a human rights issue in Xinjiang by disregarding the truth and employing the media and what they call "experts" to distort the reality in the region. Some of them have even tried to sow discord between Islamic states and China, albeit to no avail.

Peace and stability are the common aspirations of people worldwide, as well as the starting point for a good life. Establishing peace and stability worldwide requires the concerted efforts of all countries and peoples. Terrorism and extremism, in any form and to any end, should be firmly opposed. The fight against them should not be turned into a political tool with which to attack another country.

However, it seems that the US cannot quit the habit of using terrorists and extremists to pursue its political agenda. In this sense, what it does in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is no different from its interference in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The alleged support for freedom and human rights only masks its desire to create chaos in China and thus hamper China's peaceful rise.

China is never fond of lecturing other countries like the US. But perhaps, the US is crying for a lesson from China since Xinjiang’s innovative measures in countering terrorism and extremism are conducive to the global fight against terrorism

What the US has deliberately concealed or downplayed is that from 1990s to 2016, terrorists and secessionist conducted thousands of violent attacks, in which a large number of innocent people were killed. When ordinary people's right to life is seriously threatened, their rights to health and development are also at risk.

President Xi Jinping once pointed out that the key to assess the government's performance in Xinjiang is how well it wages the fight against separatism and whether stability, unity and harmony are maintained in the political and social spheres. As of now, there has not been a terrorist attack in Xinjiang for 33 consecutive months and people of all ethnic groups are benefiting from the region's newfound peace and stability.

While 1,127 terrorist attacks were conducted globally last year, resulting in the deaths of more than 13,000 people. The effectiveness of China's fight against terrorism and extremism is crystal clear. Local people in Xinjiang, not politicians and experts who have never visited the region, are the most qualified to talk about Xinjiang's development. Now they say that they do not fear for their lives when going out at night like they did a few years ago. And this is evidenced by large numbers of people that can be seen dancing outside in the evenings and people walking on the streets even in the early hours of the morning. Interactions among people of different ethnic groups have also become more evident. In 2018 alone, marriages between Han Chinese and minorities in Hotan prefecture exceeded 80. Which was unimaginable in the past. All these have shown the progress and achievements made in unifying the people and improving people's livelihoods.

Xinjiang's fight against terrorism and radicalization has effectively safeguarded people's right to life and development. With the introduction of a series of deradicalization measures targeting illegal religious activities, Xinjiang, especially its southern part, has undergone enormous changes. The illegal religious shackles put on the minorities have been removed. Now Uygurs can engage in normal business activities without dreading the pressure and exploitation of religious extremists. Uygur women can wear what they like, Uygur men can lead a normal life and Uygur children can play with children of other ethnicities without fearing the retribution and restrictions of religious extremists.

As a country troubled deeply with all kinds of human rights issues such as gun violence, racism and white supremacy, the US should stop pointing fingers at others and reflect more on its internal problems.

After all, it is the least qualified to criticize others in terms of human rights. The US had about 246 gun cases that have resulted in 8,758 deaths by August this year. China is never fond of lecturing other countries like the US. But perhaps, the US is crying for a lesson from China since Xinjiang's innovative measures in countering terrorism and extremism are conducive to the global fight against terrorism.

The author is an associate researcher at the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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