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White paper on Xinjiang hailed globally

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels, XIN ZHIMING in London,XIN ZHIMING and XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-19 09:51

People promote Hami melons via livestreaming in Turpan of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, May 19, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Those making false accusations urged to go and see the truth for themselves

To Juergen Kurz, a German Greens party member who recently traveled to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, China's new white paper on Xinjiang is just a reflection of facts on the ground.

He was referring to China's eighth white paper on Xinjiang, titled "Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang", issued by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.

The document details China's progress in protecting the rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang since 2016, covering seven major fields such as civil rights, political rights, economic and cultural rights and freedom of religious belief.

Kurz, who has lived in China for 18 years and has traveled extensively in the country, said the information in the white paper confirmed what he has observed in China, including in Xinjiang. Living conditions have improved in the region, especially for women and girls, he said. "There is no reason to suspect forced labor or genocide in Xinjiang," he said.

Kurz said that despite malicious reporting in Western news media, the people in Xinjiang now live safely in one of the most beautiful places in China.

Western allegations against China are geopolitically driven, he said.

"I wish that Europe (wouldn't) get drawn into this dirty, backward-looking competition, and I hope the Western world will find (a way back) to cooperation."

Graham Perry, an arbitration lawyer and China expert in the United Kingdom, said the word genocide evokes images of the systematic mass murder of more than 650,000 Armenians by Turks in 1916 or of 6 million Jews in Nazi concentration camps.

"But in Xinjiang there is no evidence-there are no killing camps, mass graves, crematoria, death squads, streams of refugees, chaos at borders, mass executions, or victims killed by falling into their self-dug burial pits-the images of Nazi Genocide in World War II at Auschwitz, Belsen, Dachau," he said.

There is no genocide by forced sterilization, he said, and all the allegations by Adrian Zenz, a German researcher who spread the misinformation about genocide in Xinjiang, have been disproved by Grayzone, an independent and investigative journalism website.

Perry said he favors China speaking up against all those false allegations instead of staying quiet.

Pakistan's Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence and National Security Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the white paper is timely in rebutting misinformation about this sensitive and strategic part of China, which is the hub of the Silk Road Economic Belt, with comprehensive factual data.

Elements inimical to China have been trying to exploit the so-called Xinjiang card or the Tibet card, he said. "Those who have killed, maimed, injured or displaced millions of Muslims through their 'war on terror' are now becoming bleeding heart, good Samaritans on Xinjiang. Such hypocrisy exposes their real agenda, which is aimed at demonizing and destabilizing China."

Professor Karori Singh, emeritus fellow of the University of Rajasthan in India, said the white paper is an articulated response to the criticism of China on protecting human rights by some media and think tanks with special reference to Xinjiang. It makes clear that China reaffirms the guarantee of civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights to all 56 ethnic groups. Special attention is also being focused on vulnerable sections of the society such as women, children and religious minorities expressing freedom of religious belief.

The fact that Xinjiang has achieved moderate prosperity in all respects with the rest of the country is reaffirmation of China's abiding faith in the United Nations and multilateralism for realizing the goals of the promotion of prosperity and protection of the rights of the people, Singh said.

Muhtar Yalkun, a student from Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, who is preparing for his graduate school examination in Tokyo, said it is because of China's good policies that he is studying abroad.

"As the white paper says, China is making progress in every aspect of protecting rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region," Yalkun said.

Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan, said the white paper sheds considerable light on the economic and social dividends of the peoples' welfare-centric development approach that Beijing has pushed in the region.

James Muiga, a senior associate in the Africa Policy Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, said contrary to the Western-led narrative of abuse of human rights in Xinjiang, China for more than 70 years has upheld a people-centered approach to human rights protection, treating the rights to subsistence and development as the primary human rights.

Wang Xu in Tokyo and Wang Xiaodong in Beijing contributed to the story.

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