Ministry rips US paper over 'clumsy tricks' in report on Xinjiang

Tailors at work at a sewing factory in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

The New York Times is hyping up so-called internal documents and smearing China's efforts to tackle terrorism and extremism in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The New York Times report published on Saturday uses "clumsy tricks", including making interpretations by taking passages out of context, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference, pointing out that the newspaper is "turning a blind eye" to facts in Xinjiang.

The affairs of Xinjiang are purely China's affairs, and "Xinjiang-related issues are not those about religions, ethnic groups or human rights. They are issues about countering violence, terrorism and secession," Geng said.

Since 2015, China has issued seven white papers about its efforts to tackle terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang and about the work of vocational education and training there. The nation has made very clear explanations of all kinds of issues in the region, Geng said.

Thousands of violent and terrorist cases took place in Xinjiang from 1990 to 2016, killing or injuring innocent people and causing a large amount of property loss, the spokesman said.

"Facing such a grave situation, Xinjiang has cracked down on violent and terrorist crimes strictly and according to law, but also has attached importance to addressing the issues from the source, and has protected to a maximum degree citizens' basic human rights from terrorism and extremism," Geng said.

As a result of such preventive measures taken in time, Xinjiang, which once suffered from terrorism, has not seen any violent or terrorist incidents for the past three years, and people in Xinjiang wholeheartedly support these measures, the spokesman said.

China "will never be soft" on cracking down on violence and terrorism, and has gone to great lengths to protect the safety of its people, Geng added.

More than 1,000 foreign diplomats, officials from international organizations and reporters have visited Xinjiang, Geng said.

"Their consensus is that Xinjiang has made important contributions to the international struggle against terrorism and extremism, and the valuable experience it has gained is worth learning from," he said.

"It is the most powerful hit-back at the few critics that there is sustained prosperity, solidarity among ethnic groups and harmony of society in Xinjiang," he said.

The regional government of Xinjiang also refuted the report on Monday night.

Western anti-China forces and the forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism from home and abroad just don't want to settle for the fact that Xinjiang has been stable and has achieved harmonious development, so they often make up fake stories to attack and smear the region, according to a government statement.