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Most terrorist groups knocked out at planning stage: White paper


Updated: 2015-09-24 11:47:11

BEIJING - Most terrorist groups in Xinjiang autonomous region have been knocked out at the planning stage, according to a white paper published Thursday.

The public security organs in Xinjiang are on high alert for signs of violent attacks and terrorism, and respond with heavy crackdown, said the white paper, Historical Witness to Ethnic Equality, Unity and Development in Xinjiang, published by the State Council Information Office.

It said, ever since its founding, the autonomous region has made constant efforts in strengthening rule of law, managing all affairs on the basis of law and remaining resolute in punishing violent terrorist crimes, in order to promote ethnic unity and achieve harmonious social development.

Meanwhile, judicial organs in the autonomous region rigorously distinguish commonplace criminal offenses from violent and terrorist crimes and handled the latter accordingly to firmly maintain social justice.

In the nationwide crackdown on violent and terrorist activities launched on May 2014, some violent terrorist gangs had been smashed, and some fugitives had turned themselves in taking advice of their families or inspired by the state policies, according to the white paper.

It also said, the tendency of frequent eruptions of violent and terrorist attacks in Xinjiang has been somewhat checked.

Since the 1990s, the three forces (ethnic separatism, religious extremism, and violent terrorism) working from bases both inside and outside China have planned and staged a series of incidents of terror and violence, in Xinjiang and elsewhere, causing great loss to the lives and property of innocent civilians of all ethnic groups.

Of them, the July 5 riot in Urumqi in 2009 killed 197, injured over 1,700, and caused huge property damage. The terrorist attack in Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture on July 28, 2014 claimed 37 lives and injured 13, with 31 vehicles being smashed or burned, according to the white paper.

China respects religious freedom

China respects and protects the religious belief freedom of people in Xinjiang, but will firmly curb religious extremism in line with the law.

"Suppressing religious extremism in accordance with the law is a just move that protects the fundamental interests of the state and the people, including Muslims," said the white paper featuring ethnic equality, unity and development in Xinjiang.

Religious extremists advocate extreme ideas, incite religious hatred and resentment against other religions, and undermine Xinjiang's religious harmony and ethnic unity. They also deny the traditional Islam in Xinjiang, distort and contravene Islamic theology, causing damage to its internal harmony and jeopardizing the fundamental interests of Muslims, it said.

With such heretical ideas as "the shahid (martyr) engaged in jihad (holy war) can live in the garden of Paradise," the religious extremism has turned some individuals, especially the young people, into extremists and even terrorists who are manipulated to frequently perform acts of violence and terrorism and kill innocent people of all ethnic groups, even their fellow Islamic clerics and Muslims, the white paper said.

The autonomous region has always pursued the policy of freedom of religious belief, protecting normal religious activities while strengthening fight against extremism to ensure the people's safety, it stressed.

There are 24,400 mosques with 28,600 clerical personnel in Xinjiang. The central government has allocated over 10 million yuan ($1.6 mln dollars) for maintaining or repairing a number of key mosques and religious sites since the 1980s, the white paper listed.

The Xinjiang Islamic Institute has trained 634 students since its founding in 1987, and since 2001 has held 132 training sessions for 28,665 clerical personnel, it added. By 2014, more than 1.76 million copies of religious classics, books, and magazines, including the Quran, had been published in Uygur and various languages.

 Ethnic culture thrives in Xinjiang

China has been vigorously promoting the preservation and inheritance of Xinjiang's cultural traditions since its establishment in 1955, safeguarding the equal cultural rights and interests among different ethnic groups.

Public cultural services have improved remarkably in Xinjiang, the white paper said. In 1955, Xinjiang had only one public library and 36 cultural centers. By 2014, Xinjiang had built 117 cultural centers, 107 public libraries, 82 museums (memorial halls) and 1,147 cultural activity venues, made radio and TV access to 3.46 million rural households.

Cultural heritages in Xinjiang have been effectively protected. Xinjiang has 113 cultural relic sites under state protection, and 550 under autonomous regional protection. The region boasts 128,894 individual items or sets of cultural relics. "Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor" has been designated as a World Heritage Site.

The autonomous region has collected and registered 11,194 copies of ancient ethnic minority books, and edited and published 140 of them.

In 2009, the autonomous region launched the Uygur Historic and Cultural Preservation Project - Renovation of Dilapidated Buildings in the Old Kashi City Proper. By 2014, Xinjiang had invested more than 3 billion yuan, renovating dilapidated buildings for 31,000 households.

Currently, Xinjiang has three projects on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The autonomous region has collected more than 700 long folk poems of the Uygur, Kazak, Mongol, Kirgiz and other ethnic groups. Vigorous efforts have been made to preserve traditional ethnic cultural treasures, such as the Mongolian epic, the Kazak' s ballad singing Aytes, the Hui folk song Hua' er, and the Xibe's West Moving Festival.

Literature and arts are prospering in Xinjiang. Since the founding of the autonomous region, Xinjiang' s folk and classical literature has been collected, collated, translated, published and studied. Writers, poets, translators, playwrights, performing artists, literary critics of all ethnic minority origins have rapidly matured, forming a multiethnic literary writing, performing and research contingent.

Press and publishing are making steady progress. In 2014, Xinjiang published 111 newspapers, including 51 in ethnic minority languages, and 199 periodicals, including 116 in ethnic minority languages and three in foreign languages.

By 2014, Xinjiang had five radio stations, eight TV stations, 92 radio and TV stations, and 66 medium and short-wave radio transmitter and relay stations. Some 96.5 percent of the local population had access to radio, and 96.9 percent to TV.

Xinjiang People's Broadcasting Station now provides 12 radio channels in five languages - Uygur, Han Chinese, Kazak, Mongolian and Kirgiz, and Xinjiang TV provides 12 TV channels in four languages - Uygur, Han Chinese, Kazak and Kirgiz.

New media is developing rapidly. Currently, Xinjiang has nearly 17,000 registered websites and 11.4 million netizens, and about 50 percent of the local population has access to the Internet.

Cultural exchanges with other countries are becoming increasingly lively. The autonomous region has sent delegations to more than 60 countries and regions, including the US, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Libya, to participate in academic exchanges, hold exhibitions of cultural relics and stage theatrical performances.

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