Government white paper hails Xinjiang human rights progress

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/1 15:33:39

A white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office on Thursday lauded the "great progress" that has been made in the protection of the human rights of all ethnic groups in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

According to the white paper titled "Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress," a new historical phase has been ushered in for the economic and social development of Xinjiang since China launched its epoch-making reform and opening-up drive in 1978.  

It said that before founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the "ethnic groups of Xinjiang were at the bottom of the social ladder and deprived of basic human rights," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The GDP of Xinjiang soared from 3.9 billion yuan ($573 million) in 1978 to 961.7 billion yuan in 2016, per capita GDP in the region rising from 313 yuan to 40,427 yuan, according to the white paper.

The white paper also hailed the legal progress made in the region. In 2016, Xinjiang's local courts waived litigation fees worth more than 26 million yuan for poor people.

By the end of 2016, Xinjiang's legislators had drafted 372 local regulations, including 153 regulations that have been enacted, said the white paper.

As of 2016, Xinjiang had 4,569 lawyers, said the white paper.

Meanwhile, the region has improved its Internet infrastructure to safeguard residents' freedom of expression. The number of Net users in Xinjiang increased from 448,000 in 2002 to 12.96 million by the end of 2016, the third fastest growth rate in China. 

In recent years, religious extremism has grown and expanded in Xinjiang under the influence of international trends, while extremists have twisted religious doctrines, fooled the public, forced others to accept extremist beliefs, violently conducted terrorist activities and injured religious people, the white paper said.

It added that the regional government has enhanced efforts to contain and eradicate extremism to safeguard religious freedom, and has effectively curbed the expanding of religious extremism.

On April 1, Xinjiang enacted an anti-extremism regulation, the first such local regulation in China, that clarifies what counts as a major act of extremism; proposes detailed measures to prevent, contain and purge extremists; and identifies the responsibilities of government departments and the public.

Posted in: SOCIETY,LAW

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