THIS is with reference to the article ‘Double Standards’ (Aug 4). Apparently, the writer knows little about Xinjiang and China’s policy.
The Uighur ethnic group is a member of 56 ethnic families in China and fully enjoys the rights and freedom granted by the Chinese Constitution. The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting Muslim rights.
Facts speak louder than words. Over the past 60 years or so, since the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region was established, its economic aggregate has grown by almost 200 times.
From 2014 to 2019, 2.92 million people of 730,000 households were lifted out of poverty, and the region’s poverty rate dropped to 1.24 per cent from 19.4pc in 2013.
In 2019, Xinjiang received 200 million tourists, and its economic growth rate reached 6.2pc. The per capita GDP increased to 48,000 RMB (6800 USD) and poverty will be completely eliminated in 2020.
The Uighur population in Xinjiang has grown to 11.65 million, accounting for 46.8pc of the total population of the region, and doubled over the past 40 years.
There are more than 24,000 mosques in Xinjiang, and an average of 530 Muslims have one mosque. There has been no single terrorist attack in Xinjiang in the past four years. The Xinjiang Muslim community is among the happiest and most prosperous in the world.
Since the end of 2018, more than 1,000 officials of international organisations, foreign government officials, diplomats stationed in China, media personnel and scholars have visited Xinjiang in over 70 groups.
Last month, 46 countries jointly supported China’s position on Xinjiang-related issues at the 44th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. China’s policy in Xinjiang has been well recognised across the international community.
China has been cooperating with all the Islamic countries for economic development and the people’s well-being. On the contrary, some Western countries condone discrimination against ethnic minorities and incite Islamophobia. It is clear to see who is adopting double standards.
Pakistan is a major Muslim country and has always been advocating the rights and just causes of the Muslim world. We really appreciate that. The China-Pakistan relationship is a model for state-to-state relations among countries with different cultures and different social systems. The Sino-Pak friendship is based on mutual respect and equality.
As the starting point of the CPEC, Xinjiang is actively promoting cooperation with Pakistan. Provocation or instigation will not affect China and Pakistan since the two countries know how to develop our relations. I doubt the purpose of such an article based on misinformation that is to smear China and misguide our relationship with Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020