08/13/2018, 13.02
CHINA
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The Global Times defends Beijing's clampdown on Uyghur Muslims: 'Necessary for peace'

An editorial in the state newspaper praises the repressive policies implemented in the region against the Uyghurs. Xinjiang has avoided becoming like "the Syria or Libya of China". Un Commission Report denounces a million Muslims locked up in internment camps.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Beijing's harsh clampdown on Xinjiang ethnic groups is an acceptable price to pay if one wants to maintain peace and stability in the region, reads a Global Times editorial published today.

The  Chinese Communist Party newspaper was in response to the findings of a report by a UN commission on the elimination of racial discrimination, which laments "massive violations of human rights" against Uyghur Muslims. 

The Chinese state newspaper claims the population must not be influenced by "the destructive public opinion of the West". On the contrary, it reiterates that "peace and stability must prevail first of all. With this goal, every road must be tried. We must support our belief that keeping riots outside Xinjiang is the biggest human right".

Beijing's reaction is due to the results of a report presented in Geneva on 10 August last. 

During the session, Gay McDougall, vice-president of the UN body, denounced the presence of a million Uyghur Muslims detained illegally and without formal charges in Chinese internment camps. According to the official, another two million are forcibly held in rehabilitation centers for political and cultural indoctrination.

The Uyghurs are an ethnic Muslim group living in Xinjiang, a north-western region of China. The persecution against this minority has intensified since April 2017, when Beijing started a "scorched earth" policy to block possible radical Afghan or Pakistani influences. Because of their religion, the Uyghurs are considered terrorists and for this they are imprisoned or deported en masse

The central government imposes a ban on fasting during the month of Ramadan and attending the mosque before the age of 18, the obligation to install on their mobile phones an application that allows them to be controlled and men cannot grow beards. In fact, there are only 10 million Uyghurs in the country, out of a total of almost 1.4 billion inhabitants: for this reason, activists and experts believe that the small number does not constitute a real danger that could challenge the central administration.

According to the Global Times, the aim of Western politicians and media is to "stir up the unrest in Xinjiang and destroy the hard-won stability in the region". The editorial rejects the criticism and emphasizes: "Through the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the national strength of the country and the contribution of local officials, Xinjiang has been salvaged from the verge of massive turmoil," the newspaper said. "It has avoided the fate of becoming 'China's Syria' or 'China's Libya.'"

"There is no doubt - concludes the article - that the current peace and stability in Xinjiang is partly due to the high intensity of regulations. Police and security posts can be seen everywhere in Xinjiang. But it is only a phase that Xinjiang is going through to rebuild peace and prosperity. In the end the normal government will come back ".

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