Residents make rose jam in a village in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in June. ZHAO GE/XINHUA
China has been striking at terrorism and extremism in accordance with the law and giving top priority to a preventive approach, according to a white paper released on Monday.
Terrorism and extremism jeopardize human rights and sustainable development, since they propagate intolerance between different religions, cultures and societies, and challenge human justice and dignity, says the white paper, titled "The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang".
The situation is severe and complex in Xinjiang, according to the document released by the State Council Information Office. Members of all ethnic groups are insistent in their demands that violent and terrorist crimes be punished, and that their lives and property be protected, it says.
Therefore, a law-based campaign of de-radicalization has been launched in the region, which has effectively curbed the breeding and spread of religious extremism, it says.
Since 2014, Xinjiang has destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs, arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials, according to the white paper.
While maintaining high pressure on terrorism and extremism, the local government fully respects and safeguards civil rights, including freedom of religious belief, it says. While making sure that criminals are punished, judicial organs in Xinjiang protect the defendants' right to defense and the right to use their own language in legal proceedings to guarantee procedural justice and protect basic civil rights, the document says.
The white paper says China has been active in implementing the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly concerning the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and advocates comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes so that there will be no room for terrorism to breed.
Specific measures adopted by Xinjiang include improving public wellbeing, promoting knowledge of the law through education, and offering education and aid through vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law.
Education and training centers, established according to law, are to achieve the goal of educating and rehabilitating people guilty of minor crimes or lawbreaking and eradicating the influence of terrorism and extremism, in order to prevent them from falling victim to terrorism and extremism, and to nip terrorist activities in the bud, the document says.
Thanks to these preventive measures, Xinjiang has witnessed a marked change in the social environment in recent years, and people have a much stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, it adds.
Drawing experience from global efforts, Xinjiang has contributed to the international fight on terrorism through effective counterterrorism and de-radicalization campaigns based on its regional realities, the document says.
In addition, China supports more pragmatic international cooperation in the fight against terrorism on the basis of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing, it says.
"As a responsible member of the international community, China supports the United Nations in playing a leading and coordinating role in international cooperation against terrorism," the white paper says.