Eliminate roots of terrorism

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Wang Kejian| The Daily Star

Last July, ambassadors from 50 countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva have co-signed a letter to the president of the U.N. Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to voice their support for China’s position on issues related to its Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Moreover, individuals from some other countries also expressed their support in separate letters or press statements to commend China for its remarkable progress of human rights cause and effective counterterrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang.

China’s State Council Information Office has issued three White Papers this year on Chinese Xinjiang issue, giving a comprehensive, accurate and true understanding of the situation in Xinjiang, meanwhile refuting rumors and slanders out of ulterior motives.

In recent years, the surge in religious extremism around the world has caused a rise in religious extremism in Xinjiang, resulting in an increasing number of incidents of terror and violence. Under the guise of Islam, religious extremism trumpets “theocracy,” “religious supremacism,” “actions against pagans,” “holy wars” … It instigates terror and violence, incites hostility between different ethnic groups. From 1990 to the end of 2016, terrorist, separatist and extremist forces launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing large number of innocent citizens and hundreds of police officers, and causing immeasurable damage to the social stability and people’s lives and properties.

With the support of international anti-China forces, the separatists have resorted to all means to organize, plan and carry out acts of separatism and sabotage in Xinjiang, trying desperately to establish “East Turkistan” through “Jihad.” It should be noted that, Xinjiang, one of China’s autonomous regions, has been part of Chinese territory since ancient times, it was never independent and there has never been any state known as “East Turkistan.”

Being faced with severe threats of terrorism and extremism, the Chinese government has taken a series of counterterrorism and deradicalization measures according to law. Those measures have always complied with the U.N. charter and other principles and norms of international law, and have been implemented under China’s anti-terrorism law system.

Those measures have always adhered to the combination of maintaining stability and improving people’s livelihood, and the combination of preventing and combating. It has been making every effort to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens from violation by terrorism and extremism. Specific measures include improving public well-being, promoting knowledge of law through education and offering education and aid through vocational education and training centers.

Through a series of counterterrorism and deradicalization measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes, the frequent occurrences of terrorist activities in Xinjiang have been effectively curbed. For nearly three years, not a single violent and terrorist incident took place in Xinjiang. The region now enjoys social stability and unity among all ethnic groups, local residents are living a happy life with a stronger sense of fulfillment and security, endorsing the government’s policies and measures wholeheartedly.

“The white paper on the fight against terrorism and extremism and human rights protection in Xinjiang” has illustrated relevant issues and the successful experience explored by China. The remarkable progress in China’s human rights cause is there for all to see and has been spoken highly of by the international community.

Recently, A group of journalists from 24 countries, including the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran visited Xinjiang and other areas in China. During the trip, the journalists interacted extensively with trainees at vocational education and training centers, Islamic clerics, as well as people of different ethnic groups. They commended the Chinese government for its efforts in cracking down on and preventing terrorism according to law, safeguarding the religious freedom of the citizens, preserving traditional cultures of minor ethnic groups and developing the economy to improve people’s livelihoods. They have also agreed with the significant role of vocational education and training centers in preventing and combating terrorism.

Terrorism and extremism have become the common enemies across the world. Striking aggressively at terrorism and furthering the deradicalization effort is the common responsibility of the international community and essential to the protection of human rights.

Some countries, organizations and individuals that apply double standards to terrorism and human rights have issued unjustified criticism to other countries. This kind of criticism betrays the basic conscience and justice of humanity.

Seventy one years ago, China was involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been an important practitioner of the universal human rights cause. China will always fully guarantee the development of human rights cause in Xinjiang, exert its utmost to eradicate the roots of terrorism, as well as maintain open and collaborative gesture to enhance dialogues with different nations and peoples, so as to join hands with other countries to build a world of freedom, peace and basic human rights shared by all.

Wang Kejian is China’s ambassador to Lebanon.

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