In an editorial published on Sunday, Chinese state media ‘Global Times’ has justified the recent crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese officials, saying that ‘through the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the national strength of the country and the contribution of local officials, Xinjiang has been salvaged from the verge of massive turmoil’.
“Politicians and media outlets of the US and other Western countries have been lashing out intensively at China’s governance of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region recently, claiming massive human rights violations in Xinjiang and comparing the region to an open-air prison. Their purpose is to stir trouble for Xinjiang and destroy the hard-earned stability in the region,” the editorial states.
Claiming that police patrols and surveillance is a ‘phase’ that the province has to go through before ‘transitioning into normal governance’, it says that ‘there is no doubt that the current peace and stability in Xinjiang is partly due to the high intensity of regulations. Police and security posts can be seen everywhere in Xinjiang’.
“Some forces in the West are smearing Xinjiang governance. They either don’t understand the real situation or deliberately find fault in order to sabotage local governance by exerting external pressure. It can be imagined that the West will keep piling more pressure on Xinjiang and radical Western forces may even come up with new tricks to do so.”
“External public opinion about China’s governance in Xinjiang might further deteriorate and China should be prepared. Officials, the ordinary people of all of Xinjiang’s ethnic groups and Chinese society must not be affected by the influence and pressure put on us by Western forces. Maintaining peace and stability in the region is the core interest of people both in Xinjiang and all of China,” it states.
Attributing the avoidance of a ‘great tragedy’ to ‘powerful Chinese law and the strong ruling power of the Communist Party of China’, it says that ‘there should be no room for destructive Western public opinions. Peace and stability must come above all else. With this as the goal, all measures can be tried. We must hold onto our belief that keeping turmoil away from Xinjiang is the greatest human right’.
Earlier, Gay McDougall, a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, disclosed at a two-day UN meeting in China, that ‘there are credible reports that millions of Uygurs are being held by China in ‘counter-extremism centres’.
She expressed her concerns over reports that Beijing had “turned the Uygur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp”. China did not respond immediately and later stated that it would answer the concerns on Monday during the continuation of the session in Geneva.
The Uygurs are known to be a Muslim ethnic minority making up 45% of the population in China’s Xinjiang province. The province has been officially designated as an autonomous region.
There are been consistent reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that more and more Uygurs and other Muslim minorities are being detained in Xinjiang and being forced to swear loyalty to China’s President, Xi Jinping.