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What China is doing in Xinjiang is being deliberately distorted: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2018-08-14 20:58
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A villager picks roses in a rose field in Hotan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 6, 2018. The rose industry has increased the income of local people. [Photot/Xinhua]

To foreigners, foreign media in particular, who have misinterpreted or even exaggerated the security measures China has taken in its Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, we say that only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.

As outsiders, they do not appreciate that tight security measures are badly needed to prevent the country’s far-west from being turned into an abyss of chaos. The terrorist attacks that have taken place there in recent years, and the ones committed elsewhere in the country by terrorists from that region, portends such a possibility.

Some Uygurs, who harbor the intention of splitting the region from China and turning it into an independent country, spread false stories about how their fellow residents are suffering and being detained or arrested due to draconian security measures. They consider smearing the image of China and its government in this way to be part of their mission.

It is impossible for foreign reporters to get a whole picture of what is happening in the region from such misinformation. Yet that is what they claim to be doing when airing the accusation of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that Xinjiang is a “no rights” zone.

It is true that China shows no leniency in cracking down on terrorists and extremists in Xinjiang and other parts of the country. It is also true that China has tightened security in Xinjiang as it is badly needed to squeeze the space for terrorists and extremists, especially with Islamic State fighters dispelled from Iraq and Syria spreading their poison in the wider region.

Yes, the government in Xinjiang is trying to prevent terrorist attacks and curb extremism, but to claim the government can detain 1 million Uygurs, the largest ethnic group, in the region is far-fetched.

Those Uygur secessionists and extremists will continue to do what they can to tarnish the reputation of China and its government. In their eyes, nothing China has done and is doing in Xinjiang is right. If foreign reporters prefer to believe what they hear, they will continue to harbor prejudice against China on the matter and turn a blind eye to the government’s efforts to consolidate the unity of all ethnicities in the autonomous region.

However, the country will continue to do whatever it believes is in the interests of the majority of people of different ethnicities in the region and of the nation as a whole.

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