China's Global Times blames the West for stoking Xinjiang unrest

Police patrolling in a night food market near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang, on June 25, 2017.
Police patrolling in a night food market near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang, on June 25, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI • Turbulence in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang was caused by "external factors", a state-run newspaper said yesterday in an editorial responding to calls by a group of United States lawmakers for sanctions on Chinese officials.

"Western accusations of Xinjiang governance seriously misled the extremists, making them believe they were launching religious jihad and won sympathy and support from Western and international society," said the editorial in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily.

"Some forces have slandered China's governing efforts" in Xinjiang, the editorial added, accusing a "West-centred (value) system" of making "empty statements about human rights regardless of the purpose and effect of Xinjiang governance and the grim reality it targets".

"Such empty talk inspires extremists, which meets the purposes of some Western politicians trying to undermine the governance achievements in Xinjiang and push the region into turmoil," the editorial said.

Whether Xinjiang governance abuses human rights must be judged by whether its results safeguard the interests of the majority in the region, it added.

Last Wednesday, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers called for sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses against minority Muslims in China's Xinjiang region, saying it was being turned into a "high-tech police state".

The next day, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing that the US did "not have the right" to make "unwarranted criticism" of China's policies towards ethnic minorities.

A United Nations human rights panel last month said it had received many credible reports that one million ethnic Uighurs in China were held in what resembled a "massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy".

China has said that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.

Hundreds have died in unrest there in recent years.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline 'China's Global Times blames the West for stoking Xinjiang unrest'. Print Edition | Subscribe