Refutation of all Xinjiang charges: China Daily editorial
President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of upholding lasting peace and stability in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at a two-day symposium that concluded on Saturday in Beijing. His remarks not only charted the course for the region's future development but also served as a powerful weapon to defend against the attempts by some US politicians to use the policies being implemented in Xinjing as a means to attack China.
In recent times, some biased US politicians, with the intention to divert attention from domestic issues and alleviate the pressure on the US administration, have concocted various lies about Xinjiang under the pretext of human rights, smeared China's policy in the region and distorted Xinjiang's development achievements.
What is the real situation in Xinjiang then?
In his speech, Xi offered a comprehensive picture of Xinjiang's development in recent years in four fields — economic development, people's livelihoods, poverty alleviation and government support.
From 2014 to 2019, Xinjiang's GDP increased from less than 920 billion yuan ($135 billion) to 1.36 trillion yuan, an average annual increase of 7.2 percent and higher than the national average. Local residents' per capita disposable income has registered an annual increase of 9.1 percent.
The percentage of the population living in poverty against the total population of the region has been brought down from 19.4 percent to 1.24 percent. And the region will eliminate absolute poverty this year along with the rest of the country.
As a region that occupies a unique position in the Belt and Road Initiative, Xinjiang plays an important role in the country's opening-up drive. So far, it has handled more than 3,700 China-Europe freight trains, an annual increase of 80 percent.
As a region that used to be a target for terrorist attacks, building long-term stability has always occupied center stage in Xinjiang's development. Thanks to the deradicalization efforts that are being implemented, no violent terrorist incident has been recorded in the region for three years in a row.
As such, anyone who respects facts will appreciate that through its dedicated efforts to improve the lives of residents in Xinjiang, which includes the establishing of vocational education and training centers to improve their skills and employability, and fighting terrorism and extremism in accordance with law, China has effectively curbed the terrorist activities in Xinjiang and successfully safeguarded people's rights to life, health and development.
Hence, the real intention of some US politicians to play up the Xinjiang issue is to sow discord among the ethnic groups in China, harm Xinjiang's prosperity and stability, and contain China's development. But their efforts to hoodwink people are in vain, as the Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about counterterrorism and deradicalization.
To date, more than 1,000 foreign observers from 91 countries have visited Xinjiang, and in general they have acknowledged that Xinjiang has set an example in counterterrorism and deradicalization for the whole world.