Politicizing Xinjiang won’t help stamp out extremism in the West

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By Mu Lu Source: Global Times

Xinjiang. File Photo: VCG

A history teacher was beheaded on Friday in a street in a Paris suburb after he discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Saturday. French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” and urged the nation to stand united against extremism, the AP reported. Some two weeks ago on October 2, Macron announced in a speech plans for tougher laws to tackle “Islamist separatism.”

Standing united against extremism is what the Chinese government has been devoted to in the past few years. It has made remarkable achievements in this regard. Before Chinese government adopted resolute de-extremism measures, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region suffered dozens, even hundreds of, terrorist attacks every year. However in recent years, such outrage has ceased due to the Chinese central government’s anti-terrorist efforts. Xinjiang has reported no violent terror attacks for over 40 consecutive months with residents of different ethnic groups enjoying their rights to peaceful life and development.

The hard-won stability and prosperity have come at a price that is being shouldered by people of all ethnicities in Xinjiang. But some Western media outlets never stopped their smear campaigns against Xinjiang realities in the past years.

US-led Western forces have repeatedly hyped that China violates human rights in Xinjiang and slandered vocational education and training centers as “concentration camps,” trying to mess up the hard-won situation there. They do not really care about ordinary people’s lives in Xinjiang, but rather aim to use it as a political tool to attack China.

Some Western elites never stop being vicious to Xinjiang. Instead, they have become even more hysterical over China’s effective, successful policies in Xinjiang governance. US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Friday told an online event hosted by the Aspen Institute that China was perpetrating at least “something close to” a genocide in its Xinjiang region. This is deliberately confusing black and white.

China’s Xinjiang governance is vital to the region’s stability and welfare of the people living there, which is the top priority. Attacks and groundless accusations from the West will not change the resolution of the Chinese government when it comes to its Xinjiang policies.

In the meantime, the tragedy in Paris makes clear that standing united against extremism is a long-term tough task. We must firmly persist in the current successful governance model, further stabilize the situation, and constantly better the life of people living in Xinjiang. This is the greatest practice of human rights.

Eradicating extremism is a huge challenge of governance for all countries. China has proactively explored feasible ways in its Xinjiang governance and generated positive outcomes. Stigmatizing China’s Xinjiang governance for political purposes will not help any country tackle the problems of extremism they are facing.

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