China slams UN letter on Xinjiang human rights as ‘slander’


July 2019 09:15 

AFP 

China on Thursday labelled as “slander” a letter sent to top United Nations officials by more than 20 countries condemning Beijing’s treatment of ethnic minorities. 

An estimated one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are held in internment camps in the northwest region of Xinjiang – a system that Beijing defends as necessary to counter religious extremism and terrorism. 

Satellite Imagery of Xinjiang “Re-education Camp” No.36 in Turpan. Photo: Google Earth. 

The UN letter “attacks, slanders, and has unwarranted accusations against China,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing in Beijing. 

“It is a public politicisation of human rights issues and wantonly interferes in China’s internal affairs,” he added. 

The letter was co-signed by UN ambassadors from 22 nations – including Australia, Britain, Germany and Japan – and was sent to the Human Rights Council president and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

The text included concern about “credible reports of arbitrary detention… as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.” 

It also called on China to stop arbitrary detention and allow “freedom of movement of Uighurs and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang.” 

Spokesperson Geng Shuang. File photo: Ruptly, via YouTube screenshot. 

After initially denying their existence, Beijing has gone on a public relations blitz in a bid to counter the global outcry against what it calls “vocational education centres”. 

Since last October, the local government has also organised tours of the camps for diplomats and media outlets. 

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has requested a fact-finding mission to Xinjiang and China has extended an open invitation for her to visit the region. 

But the international official typically only undertakes such national visits provided the host government offers guarantees on certain conditions – including unfettered access to key sites. 

Beijing was also forced Thursday to defend its human rights record from criticism by Slovakia and Britain. 

Slovak president Zuzana Caputova warned of a “deteriorating human rights situation” to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, while British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt took aim at the jailing of activists and said countries that abuse journalists should pay a “diplomatic price.” 

Geng warned that Hunt, who is hoping to become prime minister, should not “use China” as a way to campaign for votes and noted Wang had outlined China’s “tremendous progress” in human rights, ethnic minority, and religious policies during his meeting with Caputova. 

Source: HKFP “China slams UN letter on Xinjiang human rights as ‘slander’ 

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views. 

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Saudi Arabia and Russia among 37 states backing China’s Xinjiang policy


Tom Miles 

July 12, 2019 / 11:33 PM / Updated 10 hours ago  

GENEVA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, Russia and 35 other states have written to the United Nations supporting China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters on Friday, in contrast to strong Western criticism.  

China has been accused of detaining a million Muslims and persecuting ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang, and 22 ambassadors signed a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council this week criticizing its policies.  

But the letter supporting China commended what it called China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.  

“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers,” the letter said.  

The letter said security had returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there had been safeguarded. It added there had been no terrorist attack there for three years and people enjoyed a stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security.  

As well as Saudi Arabia and Russia, the letter was signed by ambassadors from many African countries, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.  

Beijing has denied any human rights violations in the region and Chinese Ambassador Xu Chen, speaking at the close of the Council’s three-week session on Friday, said China highly appreciated the support it had received from the signatories.  

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Frances Kerry 

Source: Reuters “Saudi Arabia and Russia among 37 states backing China’s Xinjiang policy 

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views. 


New Xinjiang report slammed


By Liu Caiyu and Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/26 22:48:40

Ideology, not ethics, motivates Western media: observer

A worker poses next to a pile of iced sugar at a vocational training center in Hotan’s Yutian county, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on October 20. Photo: Fan Lingzhi/GT

Another story on a so-called victim of the vocational training centers in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region made up by a Canadian media outlet was verified as “fake” on Wednesday, and experts called on some Western media to stick to journalism ethics and make fair reports on Xinjiang.

“It has been verified that Nurmuhemmet Tohti, as reported by The Globe and Mail, had never been in Xinjiang’s vocational education and training center and had never been arrested,” the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

The Globe and Mail reported on June 25 that Tohti had been detained and taken to an indoctrination camp in Xinjiang in November 2018.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada said that “by fabricating stories and adopting a double standard, some international anti-China forces wantonly hype and distort the Xinjiang related issue with sinister intentions.”

The Globe and Mail’s report on Tohti is the latest report from Western media on the “victims” of the training centers in Xinjiang, which were later verified as “fake” by the Chinese side.

At a regular news conference on June 18, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that the ministry has made efforts to obtain more information and offered responsible feedback to journalists who asked about individual cases related to Xinjiang, but “those same journalists failed to give it open and accurate coverage.”

Some Western media do not practice professional ethics, which made fake news on Xinjiang policies, and it seems they will not stop fabricating similar stories on the 10th anniversary of the riots in Urumqi on July 5, 2009, experts said.

The riots left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured. Terrorists from the “East Turkistan” forces engineered the riots, according to a white paper on Xinjiang released by the State Council Information Office in March.

Although China has reiterated on many occasions that the purpose of its policies in Xinjiang is to fight terrorism and extremism, but some Western media insist on telling unreliable stories of so-called victims of the training center, Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Li said that due to their long-term bias and political stance, some Western media would rather spread rumors than make fair points of view on Xinjiang.

Erkin Öncan, a Turkish journalist who focuses on China’s Xinjiang reports, told the Global Times on Wednesday that “Western media is ideologically motivated and ‘forgets’ journalism ethics when it comes to China.”

Li continued to note that China and its media should keep telling the truth about Xinjiang.

Erkin said China has taken some efficient actions against fake news on Xinjiang in the diplomatic sphere, although the Western media will always find a way to spread more fake news.

Aierken Tuniyazi, a senior Xinjiang official, said at the ongoing 41st UN Human Rights Council session on Tuesday that Xinjiang aims to educate and save those influenced by religious extremism by setting up vocational education and training centers. No violent and terrorist attacks have occurred in Xinjiang for nearly three years and local residents’ sense of security has been greatly improved.

Erkin invited members of the UN Human Rights Council to Xinjiang.

Source: Global Times “New Xinjiang report slammed”

Note: This is Global Times’report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Have Western media given up duty of objective reporting?


By Ai Jun Source 2018/12/3

Time magazine recently published an article about Mihrigul Tursun, a Uyghur woman who claimed she came from a Xinjiang vocational training center, and tweeted a video clip of her testimony of alleged torture with tears and sobs.

I did an experiment: Sending the link to ordinary Chinese I know. Most of them laughed when they heard Tursun’s testimony. “It’s nonsense,” was their first reaction. Why did they react this way? The question should be left for editors from Time magazine to answer. If they treated her testimony more skeptically, figured out how outdated was the language she used and whether her remarks were reasonable, then the magazine wouldn’t have made such a fool of itself. China has made enough explanation. But those editors are still unimaginably ignorant of China. Will more explanation work?

Similar reports and interviews with Tursun can be found in many other Western media outlets. Western media love her, as if they hit the jackpot and finally seized the testimony of a witness to attack China, while being so indifferent to all the loopholes in her words.

Some foreigners buy Tursun’s stories as they have a severe misunderstanding of China which stems from ignorance. Quite a few Westerners still believe that China is generally an underdeveloped country where its people work in sweatshops and have very little freedom. Does China have cars? Does China have electricity? Do Chinese love freedom? These are the tip of the iceberg of questions raised on the Quora question-and-answer website in 2017.

It is supposed to be the mainstream media’s responsibility to answer these questions with objective and comprehensive information. Sadly, editors from Time have no basic knowledge of China and they have become the creators and spreaders of rumors.

Their mind-set is still stuck in the Cultural Revolution. Before publishing relevant articles, they might have hardly had any chance to actually visit China or talk to a real Chinese. How can people trust their reports?

Tursun’s stories alike are hardly new. It happened more than once that the testimonies given before the US Congress were found to be false with fabricated stories. The purpose was to support US political and military actions.

It is unfortunate to see Time magazine, which enjoys an influential readership among US intellectuals, degenerating into one of the media that focuses more on selling eye-catching, groundless stories rather than proven facts.

At least these reports showed some insights into the US perception of China. Why did the trade war occur? Why are there always radical thoughts against China in the US? Why is there constant untrue speculation about the number of Muslims who have been sent to vocational training centers, which can be 1 million today or 2 million tomorrow? One can’t help but wonder if the Western media have given up their responsibility to objective reporting.

Source: Global Times “Have Western media given up duty of objective reporting?”

Note: This is Global Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


War of Words before Trade War Truce?


Reuters describes the oral war between US and Chinese high officials at their joint press conference after their talks in its report “U.S. presses China to halt militarization of South China Sea” yesterday.

The two sides argued about Taiwan, South China Sea, human rights, etc. but not trade.

The report says, “While Pompeo spoke little about trade in his public comments, Yang (Yang Jiechi, Politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party) said he hoped the two sides would find a mutually acceptable solution on the issue ‘before long.’”

It seems there will be a truce in their trade war as neither of them wants to be hurt by it, but the conflicts on other issues will remain and be the major themes of their cold war in the future as cold war is unavoidable since the US has fallen deep in Thucydides trap.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china/u-s-presses-china-to-halt-militarization-of-south-china-sea-idUSKCN1NE2C4.


China rejects allegations of detaining million Uighurs in camps in Xinjiang


Stephanie Nebehay August 13, 2018

GENEVA (Reuters) – China rejected on Monday allegations raised by a U.N. panel that 1 million Uighurs may be held in internment camps in the restive Xinjiang region, but said that some people underwent re-education after being deceived by extremists.

Hu Lianhe, a senior Communist Party official, said authorities in the far western Xinjiang region guarantee citizens freedom of religious belief and protects “normal religious activities”.

China says that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.

Gay McDougall, a panel member, said on Friday it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs were held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no rights zone”.

“The argument that 1 million Uighurs are detained in re-education centers is completely untrue,” Hu told the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

“There are no such things as re-education centers.”

Speaking on the second day of the review of China’s record in protecting the rights of its 55 ethnic minorities, Hu accused foreign terrorists and extremists of trying to ignite secessionist forces in Xinjiang, leading to assassinations, arson and poisonings.

He said China had clamped down on such crimes in accordance with the law and did not seek “de-Islamisation” of the region, but added: “Those deceived by religious extremism … shall be assisted by resettlement and education.”

He said China had imprisoned people for grave crimes, while minor criminals were assigned to vocational training and not subject to arbitrary detention or ill-treatment, without giving numbers.

U.N. human rights experts and Uighur activists voiced dismay with the delegation’s comments. The panel will issue its findings on Aug. 30.

“I notice that you didn’t quite deny that these re-education or indoctrination programs don’t take place,” McDougall told the Chinese delegation on Monday, seeking clarification on how many people undergo re-education.

She told Reuters after the review: “We have quite a long way to go in terms of our dialogue with China.”

Panelist Gun Kut described most of the delegation’s answers as “very defensive”, adding: “I’m sure you didn’t come all the way from China to basically say that everything is okay and there is not much to be done.”

Dolkun Isa, president of the exiled World Uighur Congress who attended the session, voiced disappointment.

“They even denied there are re-education camps. This is not a couple of hundred people – it is more than 1 million to 3 million in detention. But the Chinese government just closes its eyes,” he told Reuters.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Alison Williams

Source: Reuters “China rejects allegations of detaining million Uighurs in camps in Xinjiang”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


One More Example of China Can Say No in Xi Jinping Thought


In respond to what a UN human rights panel said on August 10 that the panel had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China were held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy” (see Reuters report “U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps” ), Reuters says in its report “China has prevented ‘great tragedy’ in Xinjiang, state-run paper says”, “In joint editorials in its Chinese and English versions, the widely-read Global Times tabloid said criticism of the rights record in Xinjiang was aimed at stirring trouble there and destroying hard-earned stability.”

The state-run paper says, “Peace and stability must come above all else. With this as the goal, all measures can be tried. We must hold onto our belief that keeping turmoil away from Xinjiang is the greatest human right.”

The clear massage given by the editorials is that China says no to Western human rights and upholds its own “belief that keeping turmoil away from Xinjiang is the greatest human right”.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports, full text of which can be viewed aaa at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-rights-un/china-has-prevented-great-tragedy-in-xinjiang-state-run-paper-says-idUSKBN1KY01B and https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-rights-un/u-n-says-it-has-credible-reports-that-china-holds-million-uighurs-in-secret-camps-idUSKBN1KV1SU.