Dou­ble stan­dards hin­der coun­tert­er­ror­ism work

22 na­tions’ let­ter based on ‘ground­less guess­work’

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Liu Xin

China is­sued on Thurs­day a stern re­sponse to coun­tries which signed a joint let­ter to the UN crit­i­ciz­ing China’s poli­cies in Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, with ob­servers say­ing their crit­i­cism is based on ground­less guess­work and dou­ble stan­dards on hu­man rights is­sues would hin­der the global counter-ter­ror­ism work.

Hu­man Rights Watch re­leased on Wed­nes­day a joint let­ter signed by 22 coun­tries at the UN’S top hu­man rights body, urg­ing China to “end its mass ar­bi­trary de­ten­tions and re­lated vi­o­la­tions against Mus­lims in the Xin­jiang re­gion.”

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry Spokesper­son Geng Shuang said at a press brief­ing on Thurs­day that China strongly op­poses the 22 coun­tries that politi­cize hu­man rights is­sues and urges these coun­tries to aban­don their bi­ases and cease in­ter­fer­ence in China’s do­mes­tic af­fairs on the pre­text of Xin­jiang-re­lated is­sues.

Geng called the ac­cu­sa­tions a dis­re­gard for the truth and ground­less slan­der and at­tacks on China, and noted that China has in­vited mem­bers of the Of­fice of the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights to visit Xin­jiang.

The 22 coun­tries in­clude 18 Euro­pean coun­tries, Ja­pan, Canada, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

A source close to the Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion to the United Na­tion­als Hu­man Rights Coun­cil (UNHRC) told the Global Times that China is not the coun­try un­der the Uni­ver­sal Pe­ri­odic Re­view at the UN this time and the 22 coun­tries may want to hype China’s Xin­jiang poli­cies by re­leas­ing the joint let­ter now.

China has in­vited many diplo­mats and for­eign me­dia re­porters to Xin­jiang and shown them the

ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing cen­ters, in the hope to help the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity get more in­for­ma­tion about what is re­ally hap­pen­ing in Xin­jiang, the source said.

“The 22 coun­tries, all de­vel­oped ones, can­not rep­re­sent the whole world. Se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity is nec­es­sary for peo­ple to en­joy their hu­man rights and the view suits the in­ter­ests of the ma­jor­ity of so­ci­ety,” Qian Jinyu, ex­ec­u­tive dean of the Hu­man Rights In­sti­tu­tion of North­west Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence and Law based in Shaanxi Prov­ince, told the Global Times.

“En­voys who signed the joint let­ter have never been to Xin­jiang. They have never talked to trainees in the ed­u­ca­tion and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­ters, nor have they had a full pic­ture of what is hap­pen­ing in Xin­jiang. Their un­der­stand­ing of the train­ing cen­ters is based on bi­ased re­ports,” Qian said.

He noted that there are three kinds of trainees in the cen­ters – peo­ple who were in­cited, co­erced or in­duced into par­tic­i­pat­ing in ter­ror­ist or ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties in cir­cum­stances that were not se­ri­ous enough to con­sti­tute a crime; those who par­tic­i­pated in ter­ror­ist or ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties that posed a real dan­ger but did not cause ac­tual harm; those who were con­victed and re­ceived prison sen­tences for ter­ror­ist or ex­trem­ist crimes and af­ter serv­ing their sen­tences, have been as­sessed as still posing a po­ten­tial threat to so­ci­ety.

“From this we can see that launch­ing train­ing cen­ters is not ‘ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion’ of any eth­nic group, but is aimed at help­ing those who need help to get rid of the in­flu­ence of ex­trem­ism and re­turn to nor­mal life,” Qian said.

Mi­jiti Mer­moti, prin­ci­pal of an ed­u­ca­tion and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­ter in Kashi, said that the train­ing cen­ter does not tar­get any par­tic­u­lar eth­nic group or re­li­gion.

The Global Times re­porter met Pa­her Tur­sun at a train­ing cen­ter in Shule county in Xin­jiang’s Hotan Pre­fec­ture. Tur­sun said that he is not a Mus­lim. He was sent to the cen­ter be­cause out of cu­rios­ity, he watched some videos that spread ex­trem­ism and shared them with his friends.

Fo­cus on own threats

“These for­eign en­voys’ crit­i­cism of China’s Xin­jiang poli­cies is based on ground­less guess­work and fake news spread by some Western me­dia. The dou­ble stan­dards held by some Western coun­tries have be­come the big­gest ob­sta­cles for the global counter-ter­ror­ism work,” Li Wei, a counter-ter­ror­ism ex­pert at the China In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions in Bei­jing, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

Re­cent ter­ror­ist at­tacks that hap­pened in de­vel­oped coun­tries, in­clud­ing a gun ram­page in New Zealand in March, in which a right-wing gun­man at­tacked two mosques and killed 51, showed that some de­vel­oped coun­tries are fac­ing prob­lems in deal­ing with im­mi­grants and cope with ter­ror­ism threats in their own coun­tries, Li said.

“In­stead of fo­cus­ing on solv­ing their own prob­lems, they crit­i­cize China’s poli­cies in Xin­jiang, which has helped bring sta­bil­ity and peace to the re­gion and ef­fec­tively pro­tect lo­cal res­i­dents’ rights to safe life and de­vel­op­ment,” Li said.

The joint let­ter and the con­tin­u­ing crit­i­cism of China’s Xin­jiang poli­cies show that some de­vel­oped coun­tries hope de­vel­op­ing coun­tries re­main in tur­moil and stag­na­tion on de­vel­op­ment, which would fit the de­vel­oped coun­tries’ in­ter­ests. And this is an in­hu­mane prac­tice, Li said.

On the side­lines of the 41th ses­sion of the UNHRC, China in­vited peo­ple from Xin­jiang and en­voys to the UN who had vis­ited Xin­jiang to share what they have ex­pe­ri­enced in Xin­jiang.

Many of them said that Xin­jiang has pri­or­i­tized pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of peo­ple of all eth­nic groups and taken mea­sures to fight ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism, chi­ re­ported on July 3.

Tra­di­tions of re­li­gious peo­ple in Xin­jiang have been given full re­spect. For ex­am­ple, res­i­dents in Xin­jiang are given one day off to cel­e­brate the Eid al­fitr on June 5.

If the train­ing cen­ters are re­ally “con­cen­tra­tion camps” as they de­scribed, how could they man­age to es­cape from the “strict sur­veil­lance” of the gov­ern­ment? There are many loop­holes in their sto­ries which some Western me­dia choose not to dou­ble check, ex­perts said.

Peo­ple who live in Xin­jiang should have the right to say whether they are happy, not those who have other po­lit­i­cal pur­poses or seek per­sonal gains un­der the guise of car­ing for Xin­jiang res­i­dents, they said.

A me­dia group from In­done­sia and Malaysia talks to trainees in an ed­u­ca­tion and vo­ca­tional train­ing cen­ter in Hotan, North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in Fe­bru­ary.

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