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Monday, March 18, 2019, 14:19
China issues white paper on rights protection in Xinjiang
By Xinhua
Monday, March 18, 2019, 14:19 By Xinhua

Women dressed in colorful outfits perform at the 27th Silk Road Turpan Grape Festival in Turpan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Sept 3, 2018. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINADAILY.COM.CN)

BEIJING — The State Council Information Office on Monday issued a white paper on the fight against terrorism and extremism, as well as human rights protection in Xinjiang.

According to the white paper, titled "The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang," the Chinese government stands firmly against all forms of terrorism and extremism, and is relentless in striking hard, in accordance with the law, at any conduct advocating terrorism and extremism and any action that involves organizing, planning and carrying out terrorist activities, or infringing upon citizens' human rights.

China's fight against terrorism and extremism is an important part of the same battle being waged by the international community, the white paper read, adding that it is in line with the purposes and principles of the UN to combat terrorism and safeguard basic human rights

For some time, China's Xinjiang, under the combined influence of separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, has seen frequent incidents of terrorist attacks, which have been detrimental to the life and property of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and have trampled on people's dignity, it read.

As a country under the rule of law, China respects and protects human rights in accordance with the principles of its Constitution, the document also read.

ALSO READ: Xinjiang's progress on rights detailed at UN event

China's fight against terrorism and extremism is an important part of the same battle being waged by the international community, the white paper read, adding that it is in keeping with the purposes and principles of the United Nations to combat terrorism and safeguard basic human rights.

In today's world, faced with the severe challenges of terrorism and extremism, no country can shy away from them, it read.

"Only by strengthening our community of shared future, abandoning double standards, enhancing political mutual trust, reaching strategic consensus, and promoting exchanges and cooperation, can we effectively curb and combat terrorism and extremism in the interests of world peace and stability," the white paper reads. 

Besides a foreword and a conclusion, the white paper consists of seven main sections: "Xinjiang Has Long Been an Inseparable Part of Chinese Territory," "The Origin of Terrorism and Extremism in Xinjiang," "Violent Terrorism and Religious Extremism Are Grave Abuses of Human Rights," "Striking at Terrorism and Extremism in Accordance with the Law," "Giving Top Priority to a Preventive Counterterrorism Approach," "Finding Experience for Counterterrorism and De-radicalization," and "International Counterterrorism Exchanges and Cooperation."

Promotion of separatist activities slammed

The white paper slammed terrorist and extremist forces for beating the drum for separatist activities in Xinjiang.

Separatism is the hotbed in which terrorism and extremism take root in Xinjiang, according to the white paper

Separatism is the hotbed in which terrorism and extremism take root in Xinjiang, the white paper read.

For a long time, terrorist and extremist forces have been beating the drum for separatist activities by distorting, fabricating and falsifying the history of Xinjiang, exaggerating the cultural differences between ethnic groups, instigating isolation and hatred, and advocating religious extremism, it read.

ALSO READ: China's foreign minister says to ignore rumours on Xinjiang

The white paper stated that since the founding of the People's Republic of China, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, have worked together to build a better Xinjiang. The people have maintained social stability, achieved economic growth and improved lives for the people, it added.

The white paper also noted that religious extremism under the banner of Islam runs counter to Islamic doctrines. 

Terrorism, extremism bring enormous suffering

Terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang have brought enormous suffering to all ethnic groups in the region, the white paper read.

Terrorist and extremist forces in Xinjiang have engaged in sabotaging activities, "badly undermines local stability"

Terrorist and extremist forces in Xinjiang, driven by the goal of separatism, engaged in sabotaging activities, it read, adding that they "badly undermines local stability."

Incomplete statistics show that from 1990 to the end of 2016, separatist, terrorist and extremist forces launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers and causing immeasurable damage to property.

Striking at terrorism, extremism in accordance with law

In accordance with the law, the local government strikes at all sorts of violent and terrorist activities that violate human rights, endanger public security, undermine ethnic unity, and split the country, according to the white paper.

Counterterrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang have always been conducted in accordance with the law, the white paper read

Counterterrorism and de-radicalization in Xinjiang have always been conducted in accordance with the law, it added.

Since 2014, Xinjiang has destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials, the white paper read.

While making sure real criminals are punished, judicial organs in Xinjiang protect the defendants' right to defense and the right to use their own language in litigation to guarantee procedural justice and protect basic civil rights.

READ MORE: Region chairman: Situation in Xinjiang stable

Law-based de-radicalization has been launched in Xinjiang, which has effectively curbed the breeding and spread of religious extremism, according to the white paper.

Priority given to preventive counterterrorism approach

China has been giving top priority to a preventive counterterrorism approach, the white paper read.

Xinjiang has been making every effort to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens from violation by terrorism and extremism

Based on its own conditions, Xinjiang has been making intensive counterterrorism and de-radicalization efforts. Upholding the principle of fighting and preventing terrorism at the same time, the region has been taking aggressive action against violent terrorist crimes, and at the same time, addressing the problem at its source, the document read.

It has been making every effort to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens from violation by terrorism and extremism. Specific measures include improving public well-being, promoting knowledge of the law through education, and offering education and aid through vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law.

READ MORE: Xinjiang to keep pressure on terrorism

Education and training centers have been established with the goal of educating and rehabilitating people guilty of minor crimes or law-breaking, as well as eradicating the influence of terrorism and extremism in order to prevent them from falling victim to terrorism and extremism, and to nip terrorist activities in the bud, the white paper read.

Thanks to these preventive measures, Xinjiang has witnessed a marked change in the social environment in recent years and people have a much stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, it added.

Experience found for counterterrorism, de-radicalization 

China has found experience for counterterrorism and de-radicalization, according to the white paper.

China has worked to explore effective and law-based approaches to counterterrorism and de-radicalization to protect people of all ethnic groups from the scourge of terrorism and extremism, and identified successful experiences and effective measures

Counterterrorism and de-radicalization effort in Xinjiang is based on the reality of the region and the rest of the country, while drawing on the experiences of other countries, it read.

Starting by addressing deep-seated problems, China has worked to explore effective and law-based approaches to counterterrorism and de-radicalization to protect people of all ethnic groups from the scourge of terrorism and extremism, and identified successful experiences and effective measures, it added.

The experiences include combating terrorism in accordance with the law and protecting human rights, upholding the practice that counterterrorism does not target any specific region, ethnic group or religion, balancing compassion and severity and taking measures for prevention, education and rehabilitation, and maintaining stability and improving the standards of living, the white paper read.

Active role in global counterterrorism exchanges

China has been active in international exchanges and cooperation in counterterrorism, and "has played an important role in maintaining international and regional security and stability," the white paper read.

China advocates comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes, with the dual purposes of striking at terrorist activities and eliminating poverty, so that there will be no room for terrorism to breed, the white paper noted

China opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism, and opposes double standards on fighting terrorism, the white paper read, adding that it opposes linking terrorism and extremism with specific countries, ethnic groups or religions.

The country advocates comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes, with the dual purposes of striking at terrorist activities and eliminating poverty, so that there will be no room for terrorism to breed, it noted.

China also supports more pragmatic international cooperation in the fight against terrorism on the basis of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing, it added.

China upholds the UN Charter and other principles and norms of international law, and has supported a series of resolutions on combating terrorism adopted by the UN Security Council and contributed to the full implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy, according to the white paper.

China has joined most of the international counterterrorism conventions, and under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China and countries involved have signed several documents in this field, it added.

In recent years, under the care and support of the central government, Xinjiang has carried out pragmatic exchanges and cooperation with neighboring countries in areas including intelligence, joint border control and the investigation and capture of suspected terrorists, according to the white paper.

Drawing experience from global efforts, Xinjiang has contributed to the international fight on terrorism through effective counterterrorism and de-radicalization campaigns based on its regional realities, it added.

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