China Cables: One mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, says Beijing

Updated on Nov 26, 2019 05:52 PM IST
The leak of documents was followed by critical statements from the US, UK, Germany and the European Commission, who also demanded access to the camps in the remote and troubled region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang(AP file photo)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang(AP file photo)
Hindustan Times, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis

China on Tuesday aggressively countered new international allegations on the “brainwashing” internment camps for Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, saying there were no ethnic, religious or human rights issues in Xinjiang and the crackdown in the remote province was against “violent and terrorist crimes”.

Beijing’s strong reaction was largely in response to possibly the largest leak of classified Chinese government documents in recent times to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) describing the repressive manual followed in camps where more than a million members of the Uyghur Muslim community are being held – many without having committed a crime.

The leak of documents was followed by critical statements from the US, UK, Germany and the European Commission, who also demanded access to the camps in the remote and troubled region.

A lengthy response from the Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday called the news articles and statements “smearing and slandering accusations”.

The statement said the current governance policies in Xinjiang will be continued; “…we will continue to do our own thing well”.

The foreign ministry statement, however, didn’t mention the prison camps, which Beijing instead called “vocational and reeducation camps”

“From 1990 to the end of 2016, thousands of violent terrorist incidents occurred in Xinjiang, causing a large number of innocent casualties and property damage,” spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said in a written statement issued by the ministry.

“Since Xinjiang has severely cracked down on violent and terrorist crimes in accordance with the law and attached importance to source control, there have been no violent terrorist incidents in the region for three consecutive years,” Geng said.

Geng said there were no “ethnic, religious, or human rights issues in Xinjiang” and accused western media of attacking the counter-terrorism de-extremisation” measures taken by Xinjiang’s local governments.

And there is full religious freedom for Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, Geng said, giving out a bunch of statistics.

“There are nearly 200 million religious believers in China, of which more than 20 million are Muslims, more than 380,000 religious staff, about 5,500 religious groups and more than 140,000 places for religious activities registered according to law,” he said.

There is one mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, Geng said.

“There are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, and an average of one mosque per 530 Muslims. This information can be found in seven white papers on Xinjiang issued by the Chinese government since 2015”.

China, he said, had sent invitations to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner to visit Xinjiang.

“Since the end of last year, thousands of foreign envoys, officials of international organisations, and media have visited Xinjiang, and they have personally seen the remarkable results of Xinjiang’s preventive counter-terrorism and de-extremisation measures,” the spokesperson said.

“Obviously, what some people in the West lack is not the methods and ways to understand information, but the conscience and courage to acknowledge facts”.

It is better to give up their (western media’s) inherent prejudice and obsession as soon as possible, and really make efforts to deepen their understanding of Xinjiang, Geng added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Hadi Matar, 24, in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, New York.

    Father of man who tried to kill Rushdie locks himself, refuses to speak: Report

    The father of a man charged with attempting to murder novelist Salman Rushdie has locked himself in at his home in southern Lebanon and is refusing to speak to anyone, town mayor Ali Tehfe said on Sunday. The suspect in Friday's attack in New York state has been identified by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. Matar is originally Lebanese and his family comes from the south Lebanon town of Yaroun.

  • Indian-British author Salman Rushdie.

    Salman Rushdie off ventilator and 'road to recovery has begun,' agent says

    Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalized on Friday with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent and a son said on Sunday. One of Rushdie's sons said his father remained in critical condition but was able to say a few words after getting off the ventilator.

  • FILE PHOTO: Honour guard members take part in a flag-raising ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan August 6, 2022. REUTERS/Jameson Wu/File Photo (REUTERS)

    Taiwan to coordinate with India, US, Japan to consolidate peace

    The Taiwan government on Sunday expressed gratitude to more than 50 countries, including India, that have called on all sides to exercise restraint and avoid unilateral actions to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had called for “exercise of restraint, avoidance of unilateral actions to change status quo [and] de-escalation of tensions”. Bagchi had said India's policies are well-known and consistent, and “do not require reiteration”.

  • US Representative John Garamendi (L) shaking hands with Taiwanese diplomat Douglas Yu-tien Hsu upon his arrival at Sungshan Airport in Taipei. (Photo by Handout/MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS/AFP)

    US lawmakers arrive in Taiwan amid China tensions

    The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.

  • Taliban fighters fire in air to disperse Afghan women protesters in Kabul.

    EU scolds Taliban after crackdown on women's rally

    The EU on Sunday said it was "particularly concerned" about worsening conditions for women and girls in Afghanistan after the country's ruling Taliban violently broke up a women's rally. Taliban fighters on Saturday fired in the air and beat up protesters taking part in a women's "bread, work and freedom" march in Kabul. It also stressed that "Afghanistan must also not pose a security threat to any country" per UN Security Council resolutions.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, August 15, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now