The Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands lead by H.E. Mr. Jian Tan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China together with the Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) hosted a virtual conference named “Xinjiang is a wonderful land” to hear Xinjiang locals sharing their life stories and experiences in the region.
After ambassador’s remarks on Friday June 18, more than a hundred diplomats, academics and journalists joined the discussion in a Q&A online session that lasted an hour.
Xinjiang is located in the north-west of China with 12 million inhabitants, most of them Muslim Uighurs speaking their traditional language. Here one can find also Christians, Muslims Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. Xinjiang has become a hot topic receiving critics on human rights abuses from some 39 countries while 45 UN countries support China policies in the region. Controversies are mostly focused in the Vocational Education and Training Centres located in Xinjiang used to confront anti-Han and separatist movements which started during the 90’s resulting in at least 200 casualties in 2009.
The government of China decided to face the situation by increasing surveillance and installing the education and vocational system where the minorities learn Chinese, and follow vocational trainings to be able to integrate the society as regular citizens preventing itinerancy, terrorism and Islamist extremism.
Many Chinese embassies around the word organised online press conferences and meetings to talk about the issue. On the other hand, more than 50 ambassadors and senior diplomats from Africa, Latin America and Caribbean countries were invited to visit Xinjiang vocational education and training centres in June.
“Our Xinjiang is a wonderful land” is a popular song in China, started Ambassador Tan.
“In the past 60 years, the average life expectancy of Xinjiang’s population has increased from 30 to 72 years, the total economic volume has increased by more than 200 times, the per capita GDP has increased by nearly 40 times, and more than 3 million people have all been lifted out of poverty. The Uighur population in Xinjiang has more than doubled in the past 40 years.”
In 2019, Xinjiang received more than 200 million domestic and foreign tourists
In the past few years, more than 1,400 diplomats, journalists, and religious figures from more than 100 countries have visited Xinjiang. There are also many short videos showing the true face of Xinjiang released by ordinary people in Xinjiang and tourists visiting Xinjiang on social media at home and abroad. In their eyes, Xinjiang is a good place with beautiful scenery, rich resources, brilliant ethnic culture, rapid economic development, and social unity and stability.
“But at the same time, some people with ulterior motives never mention the achievements of Xinjiang’s development and construction, but deliberately spread lies about large-scale violations of human rights in Xinjiang, instigating ethnic and religious contradictions.”
“The essence of the Xinjiang issue is not a human rights, ethnic, or religious issue at all” explained Ambassador Tan, “but an issue of fighting violence, terrorism, and separatism. Xinjiang has suffered from terrorism and religious extremism. From 1990 to the end of 2016, thousands of violent and terrorist cases occurred in Xinjiang, resulting in the killing of a large number of innocent people and the death of hundreds of police officers.”
“These terrorist attacks are bloody, and their impact is as bad as the violent terrorist attacks launched by the “Islamic State” in France, Belgium and other European countries in recent years. Completely different from the practice of some country that have launched anti-terrorism wars, only resulting in more terrorism.
Xinjiang is committed to eradicating the root causes of terrorism by promoting development, poverty reduction, job creation and de-radicalization.
After hard work, there has not been another terrorist attack in Xinjiang in the past four years, and people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been able to live and work in peace again.”
“Second, the fundamental purpose of some countries’ hype about the Xinjiang issue is to disrupt Xinjiang and contain China.”
In the image H.E. Mr. Jian Tan, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to the Netherlands.