GENEVA, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat has stressed here that stability and security are indispensable to development and enjoyment of human rights, saying only under overall social stability can China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region achieve great progresses.
Addressing a side-event titled "Human Rights Progress in Xinjiang, China" Wednesday, Chen Xu, head of the Chinese mission to UN at Geneva, told the audience that Xinjiang is enjoying its fastest development and greatest stability ever seen in its history.
Chen said Xinjiang's gross domestic product topped 1.2 trillion yuan (about 174.4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, 2.3 million people in Xinjiang were lifted out of poverty. Last year, Xinjiang received 150 million tourist visits, and the figure is expected to reach 200 million in 2019.
"Freedom of religion, cultural rights, (and) the right to use spoken and written languages of all ethnic groups are guaranteed by a host of measures," he said.
"The people in Xinjiang today are offered greater happiness, benefits, and security," he added.
Chen told the audience that Xinjiang was once plagued by terrorist attacks. Since the 1990s, ethnic separatists, terrorists, and religious extremists in and outside China orchestrated thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, taking many innocent lives and inflicting inestimable property loss.
Undaunted by the enormous challenge, Xinjiang was determined to take lawful actions to fight crimes of violence and terrorism, and at the same time to take preventive and de-radicalization means to address the root causes.
"Setting up vocational education and training centers is the centerpiece of the program. These centers provide courses on the country's common language, legal knowledge, and vocational skills in response to the needs of the trainees and integrate de-radicalization throughout the entire education and training process," Chen said.
"Trainees were able to get back on track to a normal life and stop from falling prey to terrorism and extremism," he added.
"For almost three years, Xinjiang has not seen a single terrorist attack," the Chinese diplomat noted, adding that this is China's contribution to the global combat against terrorism and radicalization.
Unfortunately, he added, some politically-driven anti-China forces are telling downright lies about Xinjiang "unashamedly", and fictions are churned out to fool the international community.
"Recently, we invited a number of diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations, members of political parties, and journalists to Xinjiang. They have been impressed by the beauty, prosperity, and stability of the region," Chen said.
More than 160 people, including diplomats such as permanent representatives of more than 20 countries in Geneva, officials of international organizations, and representatives of media and non-governmental organizations, attended Wednesday's meeting.