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Experts: White paper showed China’s success against terrorism

The white paper on Xinjiang released by the State Council Information Office last week helps clarify the situation in the multi-ethnic region and shows China’s success in protecting human rights and containing terrorism and extremism, experts said.

Pakistan’s Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence and National Security Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the white paper, titled “Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang”, is timely in rebutting misinformation about Xinjiang,the hub of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

He said the white paper showed that Xinjiang has witnessed a “historic transformation from extreme poverty to moderate prosperity in all respects”, with extreme poverty having been eradicated.

With no more recurring terrorist attacks in the past four years, China has resorted to vocational and educational training, which is a peaceful manifestation of state authority to achieve the goal of deradicalization, he added.

Pakistan’s Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence and National Security Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the white paper, with its comprehensive factual data, is timely in rebutting misinformation about Xinjiang,a hub of the Silk Road Economic Belt

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While those against China have been trying to exploit the so-called “Xinjiang Card” or the “Tibet Card”, the senator noted those who have killed, maimed, injured or displaced millions of Muslims through their “war on terror” are now becoming "bleeding hearts" on Xinjiang. 

Such hypocrisy exposes their real agenda, which is aimed at demonizing and destabilizing China, he added. 

Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan, said the latest white paper shed considerable light on the economic and social dividends of Beijing’s approach, which was centered on the welfare of the people in the region.

The paper lists “the right to life” as being fundamental guaranteed by the state, which prompted the Xinjiang government to introduce two regulations as part of its peace and security regime: the Measures on Implementing the Counter-Terrorism Law, and the Regulations on Deradicalization.

Both regulations stem from the primary considerations of protecting all Chinese citizens, and countering “terrorist activities that infringe upon human rights and endanger public security, and illegal and criminal activities that make use of extremism to undermine the law”.

The fact that Xinjiang has not seen a single terrorist incident since the end of 2016 is a testament to the success of the peace and development strategy, Gul said.

The researcher noted  “astounding progress” in the judicial system along with ever increasing representation of all of Xinjiang’s ethnic groups at the national and provincial level. As many as 61 deputies represent Xinjiang in the 13th National People’s Congress, the paper said when explaining political liberties and chances of social mobility Xinjiang residents enjoy.

It also noted that 38 of the deputies or 62.3 percent are from ethnic minority groups of the region. Among 548 deputies to the local 13th People’s Congress of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, as many as 353 or 64.4 percent belong to various ethnic minority groups.

READ MORE: Respecting and Protecting the Rights of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang

Emeritus Fellow of University of Rajasthan of India Professor Karori Singh said extreme poverty is a ”disabler” when it comes to human rights regardless of legal and constitutional guarantee of their  restoration.

He stressed that evidence suggest that the rights of people under extreme poverty are being manipulated on the pretense of electoral democracy. China has, therefore, developed the wisdom that overcoming extreme poverty is the necessary condition for enabling the rights of the people.

The Xinjiang white paper is a response to the criticism of China on the issue of human rights by some media and think tanks with special reference to Xinjiang, Singh said. 

It makes clear that the Chinese nation reaffirms the civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights to all 56 ethnic groups. Special attention is also being focused on vulnerable sections of the society, like women, children and religious minorities expressing freedom of religious belief, he said.

The fact that Xinjiang has achieved moderate prosperity in all respects together with rest of the country is reaffirmation of the 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 added.