Aerial photo taken on June 7, 2020 shows cattle and sheep in Keketuohai Geopark in Fuyun County of Altay, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)
BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The signing of the so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020" by the United States embodies some U.S. politicians' malicious intention of maligning China's efforts in counterterrorism and de-radicalization in the disguise of human rights.
As Xinjiang is part of China, its affairs are purely China's internal affairs and brook no foreign interference. The U.S. legislation on Xinjiang, which revealed some U.S. politicians' deep-rooted hegemonic mindset, is one among their series of actions to sling mud at China's domestic policies. Issues related to Tibet and Hong Kong are also being used by the U.S. as diplomatic leverage to serve its longtime strategic ambition to contain China.
Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about counterterrorism and de-radicalization. People can never enjoy happiness if they are plagued by terrorism, religious extremism and separatism. Thanks to counterterrorism and de-radicalization measures taken by the Chinese government in accordance with law, the security situation in Xinjiang has turned around and the rights to life, health and development of all ethnic groups there have been safeguarded. For three years in a row, no violent terrorist incident was recorded in Xinjiang. A safe, stable and prosperous Xinjiang is the best protection of human rights.
A resident dances during a community activity in Rasekam Village of Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Hu Huhu)
The U.S. side deliberately ignored the fact that freedom of religious belief is guaranteed in Xinjiang. There are 24,400 mosques across Xinjiang, one for every 530 Muslims. Xinjiang is also home to 10 religious colleges and more than 100 religious organizations. The Muslim population has been increasing, approaching 60 percent of the region's total.
From the economic perspective, Xinjiang's substantial development is also impressive. In the past seven decades since the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xinjiang's GDP has increased 200 times in real terms. With rapid economic growth, people's livelihood has improved significantly. Gone are the days of inadequate food and clothes, electricity and water shortage and poor transportation. This year, absolute poverty is expected to be eliminated in Xinjiang.
Successful stories of Xinjiang have won international appreciation while some U.S. politicians insisted on turning a blind eye. Last year, ambassadors from 50 countries to the United Nations Office in Geneva sent a joint letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice their support for China's position on issues related to Xinjiang. Over 60 countries spoke at the United Nations General Assembly to support China's Xinjiang policy, and more than 30 of them are Islamic countries.
Chen Xu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, speaks during the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition "Home: Glimpse of People from Various Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang" in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 2, 2020. (Photo by Li Ye/Xinhua)
It would be naive to consider the Xinjiang-related "human rights" legislation by the U.S. truly humanitarian and one with regard for Muslims' well-being. Don't forget the wars launched by the United States in Muslim countries which caused mass civilian casualties and severe humanitarian crises, and the controversial executive order issued in 2017, blocking immigrants, refugees and travelers from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
As a victim of terrorism, the United States should have supported China's counterterrorism measures, but it adopted double standards. The U.S. side should stop playing the Xinjiang card and using Xinjiang-related issues as a pretext to interfere in China's internal affairs. ■