The Chinese embassy in Ghana has dismissed what it said were “distorted reports” of the country’s fight against terrorism in Xinjiang.
According to China, the west, through its media, has over the years portrayed China as one that abuses the human rights of minority groups under the guise of fighting terrorism.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, at a press conference in Accra yesterday said as a responsible member of the international community, China supports the United Nations in playing a lead and coordinating role in the fight against terror.
“China opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism, and opposes double standards on fighting terrorism. It opposes linking terrorism and extremism with specific countries, ethnic groups or religions.
“It advocates comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and root causes, with the dual purpose of striking at terrorist activities and eliminating poverty so that there will be no room for terrorism to breed,” Mr Wang told the media.
Xinjiang, the home to the Uygurs, described as a marginalised group in China, has been the hotbed of terror in the asian country since the 1990s.
The attacks, championed by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group declared by the UN as a terrorist group; has resulted in the death of hundreds and injuries to thousands.
To combat the threat of the ETIM spreading its tentacles, the Chinese government intensified its crackdown on the group and built training camps in the area to deradicalise people who were coerced, incited, or induced into participating in carrying out the terror attacks.
Despite these efforts, China has been accused of being repressive, prompting a Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, to urge Congress to pass a bill to counter China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang.
But Mr Wang believes the West is on a course to discredit China.
“Counterterrorism and de-radicalisation in Xinjiang has always been conducted in accordance with law.
“Currently, China’s anti-terrorism law system is composed of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Criminal Procedure Law of China amongst other international conventions,” Mr Wang said.
Apart from upholding the principles of protecting lawful activities, curbing illegal actions, and resisting infiltrations, he said “China fully respects and safeguards civil rights including freedom of religious beliefs.”
Since 2014, he said, 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 religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious materials.
Mr Wang urged the world to disregard the negative publications about developments in Xinjiang adding that as a sovereign country, China was unbending in efforts that would guarantee the safety of its over 1.3 billion people.
“We have a good human right record,” he said declaring that “Xinjiang is safe.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI