China calls repressive Xinjiang internment reports defamatory

Chinese police patrolling in Kashgar, in the Xinjiang (Photo courtesy: Uyghur American Association)

(, Dec28, 2018) – China has on Dec 25 described as defamatory the widely reported incarceration by it of a million or so Muslim minorities, mostly Uyghurs, in a network of camps set up in the Xinjiang region, claiming it was only carrying out a de-extremism efforts there.

China firmly opposes officials and media of certain countries “politicizing and stigmatizing” the efforts and measures taken by China to fight terrorism and eliminate extremism in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the official Xinhua news agency Dec 25 cited the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as saying.

Reports, including by the UN Human Rights Council, say the interns were being subjected to an indoctrination campaign to wean them away from even the most mundane of their religious faith and practices which the government sees as indications extremism. Recent reports say the interns were also being subjected to forced labour at export factories.

“Those sensational news reports are irresponsible, either based on hearsay or citing false or fictional sources,” Hua was quoted as saying, adding that some Western politicians and media outlets had made a “fundamental mistake” by defining China’s efforts of fighting terrorism and upholding stability as specifically targeted at Uygurs or Muslims.

Claiming that the vast majority of the Uygur people lived in harmony with people of other 55 nationalities in China and enjoy a happy and contented life, Hua has said it was only for those affected by terrorism or religious extremism that a series of measures had been taken in Xinjiang to get them back to a normal life, including vocational education for them to learn languages and professional skills.

And she has justified the current policy measure by saying, “No single violent terrorist attack has ever happened in the past 24 months.” She has called it proof of positive and remarkable results achieved by Xinjiang in countering terrorism.


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