CHINA / SOCIETY
Western anti-China politicians turn blind eye to stable life, happy festivals in Xinjiang
Xinjiang has ‘nothing to hide’
Published: May 13, 2021 10:13 PM Updated: May 14, 2021 02:01 PM
Foreign and local Muslims gathered on Thursday morning in Niujie Mosque, the largest mosque in Beijing to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the first public celebration since the epidemic outbreak. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Foreign and local Muslims gathered on Thursday morning in Niujie Mosque, the largest mosque in Beijing to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the first public celebration since the epidemic outbreak. Photo: Li Hao/GT



 Wearing traditional clothes and a hat, a senior Uygur resident in Kashi danced happily with hundreds of local residents and visitors in front of the Id Kah Mosque - this is the way some Muslim residents in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr on Thursday.

On the same day, Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and foreign diplomats from more than 15 countries watched via a live stream in Beijing how Muslim residents in China's Xinjiang region perform their salat al-Eid in mosques.

This is the first time that the Xinjiang regional government held such a reception for Eid al-Fitr and invited foreign diplomats to observe - a move, officials and observers said, showed the region's sincerity and openness amid outside slander, as Xinjiang has nothing to hide.  

While Xinjiang residents greet "Eid Mubarak!" to each other and enjoy the one-day holiday peacefully and happily with their family and friends, the US and some Western countries continue to play dumb to peddle lies on China's Xinjiang, by exploiting UN venues and releasing so-called religious freedom reports to smear China.

US State Department official Daniel Nadel smeared Xinjiang as an "open-air prison," according to media reports, it contrasted the live videos and pictures showing local residents dancing happily to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr. Continuing to turn a blind eye to the facts, the US State Department released its annual report on the state of religious freedom around the world on Wednesday, slamming China for "criminalizing religious expression."

The US, along with the UK and Germany, hosted a virtual UN event regarding China's Xinjiang on Wednesday. But as analysts point out, it's truly a hypocritical show: The US, the country that has killed the most number of Muslims across the world in numerous wars, has ganged up with some allies saying they are attempting to protect the human rights of Muslims in Xinjiang. 

No matter how many times those Western officials and anti-China figures repeat the lies, the lie is always a lie. Local residents in Xinjiang disproved those Western politicians and anti-China figures with stable and peaceful life, and Chinese officials confronted those lies at different multilateral occasions with facts, numbers and true stories. 

People dance to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Kashi, Xinjiang on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of Memet

People dance to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Kashi, Xinjiang on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of Memet



Voice of the majority 

Foreign diplomats watched the salat for al-Eid in the Yanghang Mosque of Urumqi, Xinjiang Islamic institutes, Id Kah Mosque in Kashi, the Shaanxi Grand Mosqu in Yining and Jama Mosque in Hotan on Thursday morning. In the video, local Muslims kneel in lines, perform their morning prayers under the guidance of the imams and listen to lectures on doctrines. 

A video taken by a young man in Yining who introduced their life during the month of fast was also streamed at the Thursday reception, which refuted previous rumors of Xinjiang "banning" Muslims from fasting.

Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, delivered a keynote speech at the reception. He recalled his visit to Xinjiang in April and said that he was impressed by the economic developments in Xinjiang and the multi-language education offered to local students.

Uygur boys and girls learn not only the language of their own ethnic groups, but also Putonghua and English, which help them to become the talent for China's future development, Norov said.

Abdureqip Tumulniyaz, president of Islam Association of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and principal of Xinjiang Islamic institute, said that the US and some Western countries are telling lies about Xinjiang's religious and human rights situation, and even attempt to sow discord between China and Muslim countries.

Ignoring the normal life in Xinjiang, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield claimed that "in Xinjiang, people are being tortured. Women are being forcibly sterilized," at the event on Wednesday, while Amnesty International secretary general Agnes Callamard told the event "there were an estimated 1 million Uyghurs and predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities arbitrarily detained," according to Reuters. 

Chinese diplomat Guo Jiakun rebutted those false claims at the event. As a member of Chinese delegation, Guo was quoted as saying in media reports that "China has nothing to hide on Xinjiang. Xinjiang is always open," and everyone is welcomed to visit. 

Guo pointed out how the Xinjiang issue was used as a political tool to attack China. The representative said China's attendance is to show its stance and present the truth about Xinjiang and it does not mean China recognized the UN panel. A Chinese delegation staff member presented a pad before Guo's camera and played a video of a speech from Lawrence Wilkerson, US Army Colonel and former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, in August 2018. 

In the video, Wilkerson said that if the CIA wanted to destabilize China, the best way would be to stir up unrest and join with Uygurs in putting pressure on China internally, rather than from outside.

Before conducting a live broadcast of Eid al-Fitr on Thursday to foreign diplomats as a way to demonstrate its openness, local authorities and companies in Xinjiang have been inviting groups of diplomats, foreign companies and organizations to the region in recent years. 

"In the past few years, when the terrorist attacks occurred frequently in Xinjiang, during Eid Al Adha, the whole region enhanced the security measures. But this year, we see a festive mood," Wang Jiang, a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for Frontier Region of China, Zhejiang Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

On one side, China has successfully contained the coronavirus outbreak, creating conditions for mass gatherings, and on the other side, our anti-terrorism policy has been very effective, bringing the place back to normal, Wang said. 

Pretending to represent the international community, the participants to the UN virtual event are actually a small amount of people who are either anti-China organizations or anti-China figures, who exploit the UN title to spread their political bias, but the majority of the international community won't "buy it," according to Chinese officials and experts. 

Organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are always full of bias, distorting the facts and spreading rumors, Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a routine press conference on Thursday. And the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is also the completely anti-China secessionist group, with Dolkun Isa, head of the WUC, also a long-term terrorist target identified by the Chinese government and has been making up Xinjiang-related lies and rumors, spreading radical religious thoughts and instigating terrorist and secessionist activities, she noted. 

The US always uses these so-called false testimonies, and US scholars repeatedly lie. Several Western countries believe those lies rather than the voices of 25 million residents in Xinjiang and 1.4 billion Chinese people, Hua added. 


Western double standards 

The Biden administration has a clear view about pressuring China on human rights issues by lobbying and uniting as many countries as possible through multilateral channels. But the countries supporting the Chinese stance, however, outnumber the US-led Western allies, which is stuck in an inward circulation of its own opinion about Xinjiang with its small group of allies, Chinese experts said. 

Among dozens of foreign diplomats who attended the reception of the local government in Xinjiang, the majority are from the Middle East and African countries where Muslims account for a large part of their populations. They praised and applauded China's Xinjiang policy, especially as it brings happiness, stability and development to the region.

"The US seems to take special 'care' to Muslims in China's Xinjiang region, but in fact it turned a blind eye to its own notorious record of violating Muslims' human rights. For example, the US is the only country in the world that bans Muslims from entering; and in recent years, it picks up wars under the disguise of anti-terrorism in Syria, Iraq and other areas, causing thousands of deaths and homeless people. All these countries that suffered are Muslim countries," Abdureqip said.

The US had pointed its finger at China's Xinjiang policy since the Trump administration, but in the end, more and more countries supported China, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"With Biden as president, the US government will go further on human rights and ideology in confronting China, on which China is prepared," Xin said. 


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