Xin­jiang re­vises its antiex­trem­ism reg­u­la­tion

Global Times - - Front Page - By Liu Caiyu and Liu Xuanzun

North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion on Tues­day re­vised its anti-ex­trem­ism reg­u­la­tion to al­low lo­cal govern­ments to set up in­sti­tu­tions to pro­vide peo­ple af­fected by ex­trem­ist thoughts with vo­ca­tional skills train­ing and psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­sel­ing.

The amended reg­u­la­tion, ap­proved by the 13th Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of The Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion’s Peo­ple’s Congress, was re­leased on the web­site of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of Peo­ple’s Congress in Xin­jiang on Tues­day. The reg­u­la­tion

is now in ef­fect.

The new reg­u­la­tion pro­vides a de­tailed def­i­ni­tion of ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties, se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions, and govern­ment re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as well as counter-mea­sures. The new reg­u­la­tion also al­lows lo­cal govern­ments to hand out harsher penal­ties for ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.

The re­vised reg­u­la­tion in­cludes new clauses, al­low­ing lo­cal govern­ments to set up ed­u­ca­tion, skills train­ing and psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­sel­ing in­sti­tu­tions for peo­ple who have been af­fected by ex­trem­ist thoughts.

The in­sti­tu­tions will of­fer in­struc­tion on Pu­tonghua, laws, reg­u­la­tions and vo­ca­tional skills train­ing. They will also pro­vide counter-ter­ror­ism train­ing, and psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­sel­ing to peo­ple af­fected by ex­trem­ist thoughts to help them re­turn to so­ci­ety and their fam­ily.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive de­part­ments have been es­tab­lished that will be re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing the in­sti­tu­tions to pro­mote the le­gal­iza­tion and stan­dard­iza­tion of the “ed­u­ca­tion trans­for­ma­tion sys­tem,” said the reg­u­la­tion.

Zhu Weiqun, for­mer head of the Eth­nic and Re­li­gious Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence, told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day that the amend­ment to the reg­u­la­tion shows China is de­vel­op­ing a le­gal frame­work for its anti-ex­trem­ism ef­forts.

Zhu said that “the changes mark the deep­en­ing of the le­gal­iza­tion and stan­dard­iza­tion of antiex­trem­ism work in Xin­jiang.”

Ex­ist­ing vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­ters in Xin­jiang were set up to train un­em­ployed and dis­ad­van­taged youth, but were used by some peo­ple to spread ex­trem­ist ideas, Xiong Kunxin, an ex­pert of eth­nic stud­ies, told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day.

Most of those who took part in ter­ror at­tacks in Xin­jiang in re­cent years were un­em­ployed young peo­ple, so pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties and de-ex­trem­ism coun­sel­ing will ben­e­fit re­gional sta­bil­ity, Xiong noted.

As part of China’s ob­jec­tive to elim­i­nate ab­so­lute poverty by 2020 and cre­ate a “mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety,” the Xin­jiang’s re­gional govern­ment is de­ter­mined to help 22 im­pov­er­ished coun­ties erad­i­cate poverty.

The re­gional govern­ment says it has helped more than 60,000 un­em­ployed peo­ple in the most poverty-stricken south­ern part of the re­gion find jobs in the first half of 2018.

Harsher pun­ish­ment

Ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion, ex­trem­ism is de­fined as be­hav­ior that in­ter­feres with the re­li­gious free­dom of oth­ers as well as pub­lic cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, wear­ing badges that pro­mote ex­trem­ism or de­stroy­ing pub­lic prop­erty.

Peo­ple who vi­o­late the reg­u­la­tion will be pun­ished in ac­cor­dance with China’s Coun­terT­er­ror­ism Law, Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion Pun­ish­ments Law and Xin­jiang’s counter-ter­ror­ism reg­u­la­tions The amended reg­u­la­tion deletes pre­vi­ous clauses that de­tail the level of pun­ish­ment given to dif­fer­ent vi­o­la­tions and their se­ri­ous­ness. Pre­vi­ously, if the cir­cum­stances were rel­a­tively mi­nor, vi­o­la­tors would be crit­i­cized by the pub­lic se­cu­rity de­part­ment.

The amend­ment now al­lows au­thor­i­ties to give of­fend­ers harsher pun­ish­ment, said Xiong, not­ing that this shows the Xin­jiang re­gional govern­ment’s re­solve in deal­ing with ex­trem­ism in the re­gion.

Zhu said that while other coun­tries have crit­i­cized Xin­jiang’s anti-ex­trem­ism mea­sures, ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties and rad­i­cal move­ments are on the rise in their own coun­tries.

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