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Fact Check: Lies on Xinjiang-related issues vs. the truth

Some anti-China forces in the West, including the United States, have concocted and disseminated plenty of false information about China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion at all, but about combating violent terrorism and separatism. The Chinese government has launched anti-terrorism and deradicalization efforts in Xinjiang in accordance with the law to protect people’s lives, which has garnered ardent support of people from all ethnic groups.

People in the region continue to embrace peace and prosperity and Xinjiang society continues to develop steadily. These facts are the most powerful tool to debunk lies on Xinjiang.

Facts and truthfulness will eventually bust all lies. Please see the attachment for the full text. 

Fact Check: Lies on Xinjiang-related Issues Versus the Truth

Preface

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is a land of beauty, diversity and unity. Fifty-six ethnic groups are closely united as family members, just like pomegranate seeds that stick together, to build a beautiful homeland, maintain social stability, and realize economic development and prosperity, flourishing cultural heritage preservation, ethnic unity and harmony, and freedom of religious belief, with people of different ethnic groups living and working in peace and contentment.

However, some anti-China forces in the West, including the United States, have concocted and disseminated plenty of false information about Xinjiang. They have smeared China’s image, slandered its policies on Xinjiang, interfered in China’s internal affairs, and attempted to deceive the international community and disrupt the stability and development of Xinjiang.

Lies may mislead people for a while, but cannot win the trust of the world. Facts and truthfulness will eventually bust all lies.

Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion at all, but about combating violent terrorism and separatism. The Chinese government has launched anti-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts in Xinjiang in accordance with the law to protect people’s lives, which has garnered ardent support of people from all ethnic groups. People in the region continue to embrace peace and prosperity and Xinjiang society continues to develop steadily. These facts are the most powerful tool to debunk lies surrounding Xinjiang.

We have chosen some typical Xinjiang-related rumors and lies fabricated by anti-China forces, and debunked them with facts to set the record straight.

Lie No. 1: Mike Pompeo claimed that the Chinese government had committed “genocide” against the Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Facts: In recent years, the Uygur population in Xinjiang has been growing steadily. From 2010 to 2018, the Uygur population in Xinjiang rose from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, an increase of 2.55 million or 25.04 percent. The growth rate of the Uygur population is not only higher than that of Xinjiang’s total population, which is 13.99 percent, but also higher than that of all ethnic minority groups, which is 22.14 percent, let alone the Han population’s two percent.

– Xinjiang enjoys social stability, with the people living and working in peace and contentment. The region has made unprecedented achievements in economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood. From 2014 to 2019, the GDP of Xinjiang increased from 919.59 billion yuan to 1.36 trillion yuan, with an average annual growth rate of 7.2 percent. The per capita disposable income in Xinjiang increased by an average annual rate of 9.1 percent. Remarkable achievements have been made in poverty alleviation. All 3.09 million impoverished people in Xinjiang have been lifted out of poverty. The absolute poverty problem in Xinjiang has been resolved historically.

– The legitimate rights and interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been protected. All ethnic groups, regardless of their population, have the same legal status and enjoy various rights in accordance with the law, including participation in the management of state affairs, freedom of religious belief, receiving education, using their own languages, and preserving their traditional culture.

Lie No. 2: Adrian Zenz released reports claiming Xinjiang has carried out “forced sterilization” on the Uygur women, resulting in a sharp decline in the Uygur population.

Facts: Adrian Zenz is not a so-called “expert on China studies,” but a member of the far-right group “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation” sponsored by the U.S. government. He is also a key figure in an anti-China organization set up by U.S. intelligence agencies and a notorious racist.

– Adrian Zenz’s “reports” are full of fabrications and data manipulation. The so-called evidence of “forced sterilization” in the “reports” claims that 80 percent of the new intrauterine device (IUD) insertion procedures in China for 2018 were performed in Xinjiang and that the natural population growth rate in Hotan and Kashgar of Xinjiang in 2018 was only 2.58 per 1,000 people. The “evidence” is extremely inconsistent with the facts.

– According to data from the China Health Statistics Yearbook 2019, published by the National Health Commission, the number of new IUD insertion procedures in Xinjiang in 2018 came in at 328,475, accounting for only 8.7 percent of China’s total, which was 3,774,318.

– According to the 2019 Xinjiang statistical yearbook released by the statistics bureau of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the natural population growth rates in Kashgar and Hotan were 6.93 per 1,000 people and 2.96 per 1,000 people, respectively, in 2018.

Lie No. 3: BBC Newsnight once reported that Zumrat Dawut (Zamira Dawut) was “forced to go through sterilization” in a vocational education and training center.

Facts: Zamira Dawut has never studied in any vocational education and training center. Her elder brother Abduhelil Dawut has previously clarified that.

– She claimed that after “her release” from a center, she was forced to be sterilized and her uterus was removed because she has already had three children. In fact, in March 2013, when Zamira Dawut gave birth to her third child in Urumqi Maternal and Child Care Service Center, she signed a childbirth consent form voluntarily to have a cesarean section and tubal ligation, and then the center conducted the operation. She was never sterilized, not to mention uterus removal.

– She claimed that her aging father was repeatedly detained and investigated by Xinjiang authorities, and died not long ago from an unknown cause. In fact, her father had been living with his children until he died from heart disease on October 12, 2019. He had never been investigated or placed in detention. Her brothers Abduhelil Dawut and Elkin Dawut have both substantiated the facts.

– She claimed that she was served with pork in a relative’s home. In fact, the relative she referred to is her elder brother Abduhelil Dawut’s pairing relative Zhao Qilin. In October 2017, Abduhelil was paired up with Zhao as “relatives,” as part of an ethnic unity program. In January 2018, Abduhelil was invited to Zhao’s home as a guest, in company with his younger sister Zamira Dawut. The meal was prepared by Zhao’s mother, who herself is an ethnic Hui and a Muslim, and only eats halal food. It was impossible for her to provide a “pork meal.”

Lie No. 4: In interviews with foreign media, Mihrigul Tursun said that she was forced to take unknown medications in a vocational education and training center and was diagnosed as infertile by American doctors.

Facts: On April 21, 2017, Mihrigul Tursun was taken into custody by the public security bureau of Qiemo County on suspicion of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination. During this period, she was found to have infectious diseases such as syphilis. Out of humanitarian consideration, the county public security bureau terminated the measures against her on May 10, 2017. Except for the 20 days of criminal detention, Mihrigul was totally free while in China. She was never sentenced, nor did she study in any vocational education and training center, let alone being forced to take medications. There are no records of her undergoing a sterilization procedure in China.

Lie No. 5: Xinjiang sets up “re-education camps” to detain millions of Uygur Muslims.

Facts: Xinjiang has never had any so-called “re-education camps.”

– The vocational education and training centers established in Xinjiang in accordance with the law were education and training institutions in nature and were preventive counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures taken by Xinjiang. The aim was to eradicate the breeding ground for terrorism and extremism from the source. 

The relevant measures drew on the international community’s experience in combating terrorism and deradicalization and implemented the idea of using development, education, and other resources to curb extremist ideologies, as advocated in the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. It fully complied with the principles and spirit of a series of international counter-terrorism resolutions, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. 

Xinjiang’s counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures have achieved positive results. There have been no violent terrorist cases for over four consecutive years in the region.

– The vocational education and training centers offered a curriculum that included standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law and training in vocational skills to achieve the goal of deradicalization. By October 2019, all the trainees at such centers had completed their studies and graduated, and most of them have found stable jobs and lived a peaceful life.

Lie No. 6: Xinjiang vocational education and training centers exercised “religious control,” political indoctrination, intimidation and torture over the trainees.

Facts: The vocational education and training centers fully respected and protected trainees’ freedom of religious belief, ethnic customs and habits, and the right to use their own ethnic spoken and written languages. The trainees could decide on their own whether to take part in legal religious activities when they got home; a variety of nutritious Muslim food were provided free of charge; and the regulations, curriculum, and menus at the centers all used local ethnic languages as well as standard Chinese.

– The vocational education and training centers fully guaranteed the trainees’ personal freedom and dignity. They employed a residential education model that allowed trainees to go back home on a regular basis, ask for leave to attend to personal affairs, and enjoy the freedom of correspondence. The centers strictly prohibited any form of humiliation or mistreatment. There were no such things as “suppressing ethnic minorities” or “persecuting Muslims.”

– The centers had well-equipped facilities. The dormitories were equipped with radio, TV sets, air-conditioners or electric fans. Medical facilities, legal-counseling and mental-counseling rooms provided relevant services free of charge. The centers had sports venues for basketball, volleyball and table tennis, facilities for cultural activities, such as reading rooms, computer rooms and movie-screening rooms, as well as cultural and art performance venues, such as small auditoriums and open-air stages. 

Extracurricular activities, such as folk songs and dances, sports competitions, etc., were held regularly to meet the various needs of trainees in study, life and entertainment to the maximum extent. All the trainees were covered in the public pension and medical insurance schemes, and were entitled to free health examinations.

Lie No. 7: Some overseas Uygur people have been claiming “their relatives or friends in Xinjiang cannot be contacted and have gone missing” on overseas media and social media platforms.

Facts: Xinjiang protects the freedom of travel of people of all ethnic groups, including the Uygurs, and their communication with overseas relatives according to the law.

– Verification with relevant departments shows that some allegedly “missing” people, mentioned by the “East Turkistan” separatists overseas, are living a normal life, while other “missing” incident reports are pure fabrications.

– The Australian Broadcasting Corporation once reported that Azmat Omar, a Chinese citizen living in Australia, claimed that he had lost contact with his family in Xinjiang, including his father, stepmother, three brothers, two sisters and over 20 other relatives. However, the fact is that all his relatives in China are living a normal life.

– During a UN Human Rights Council session in February 2020, the “World Uygur Congress” organized an activity outside the Palace of Nations in Geneva. They posted pictures of so-called “Uygurs persecuted by the Chinese government.” These pictures were later discredited as disinformation. Those in the pictures are living normal lives. Separatist groups stole their photos and personal information.

Lie No. 8: Xinjiang uses the coronavirus to wipe out Uygurs, with many tragic deaths after infection.

Facts: Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Xinjiang has resolutely fought against the virus and effectively contained the epidemic within a short period. Thanks to the support of the expert team from the State Council’s joint prevention and control mechanism, the local government made all-out efforts to treat patients. 

The regional government adopted a targeted prevention and control approach with differentiated, scientific measures. It also strengthened epidemic prevention and control in places such as crowded and key venues to minimize the risk of virus spread. The local government has also made every effort to ensure the production and supply of food and other daily necessities while maintaining their sufficiency, quality and stable prices. 

These measures were widely supported by people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Thanks to the concerted efforts, all 826 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Xinjiang have been discharged from hospital after treatment, without even a single death.

Lie No. 9: China systematically transferred 80,000 Uygurs out of Xinjiang and assigned them as “forced labor” to factories in other provinces.

Facts: The government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region works with a strong sense of responsibility to promote employment. 

Southern Xinjiang was an underdeveloped area with a low degree of industrialization and urbanization, where many people suffered from poverty due to lack of job opportunities. Based on the realities, local governments at all levels have taken active measures to help those in need of secure employment. These measures included creating job opportunities nearby, facilitating work in other areas in Xinjiang, or transferring workforces to other provinces and cities paired up to assist Xinjiang. 

Such measures have helped residents shake off poverty through employment and lead fulfilling lives, while guaranteeing various ethnic groups’ right to labor and employment.

– Since 2018, 151,000 people in poverty-stricken families in southern Xinjiang have secured jobs away from their homes. Most of them worked in other parts of Xinjiang, while about 14,700 worked outside the region with the help of fellow villagers and relatives, or through human resources agencies. Those who work outside Xinjiang have their rights to customs, language and culture, and religious beliefs fully guaranteed. Many earn an annual income of 45,000 yuan, several times higher than the income from farming or working in their hometowns.

Lie No. 10: Xinjiang forced a large number of the Uygurs to pick cotton, contaminating the global supply chain.

Facts: A few years ago, when cotton matured in autumn, many migrant workers from Henan, Sichuan and other places would take trains to Xinjiang to pick cotton. They were called “the cotton-picking forces.” Migrant workers of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang would also go to pick cotton. They worked together, cared for each other and forged a deep friendship. These cotton pickers in and out of Xinjiang were all voluntary, and their incomes could reach over 10,000 yuan in just a month.

– In recent years, with the development of science and technology, cotton production has been highly mechanized in Xinjiang. Even in the busy cotton harvesting season, there is no need for a large number of cotton pickers. For example, since 2015, most of the cotton in the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin in Xinjiang has been harvested by machines.

Lie No. 11: Xinjiang adopts an assimilation policy towards ethnic minorities in an attempt to systematically eliminate the Uygur culture.

Facts: All ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region enjoy full freedom to preserve or reform their own customs and habits. The local government strictly abides by the Constitution and laws and attaches great importance to the protection and development of the excellent traditional culture of all ethnic groups.

– The cultural heritage of all ethnic groups has been protected in Xinjiang. A batch of renowned architectural sites representing the preeminent historical and cultural heritage of the Uygurs, the Mongolians, the Huis, the Xibes and other ethnic groups have been properly renovated and preserved, including the Tomb of Afak Hoja in Kashgar, the Tomb of Tughluk Tumur in Huocheng, Zhaosu Lamasery, the Former Residence of a Mongolian Prince in Hejing, and Chimtoghrak Manor.

– The excellent traditional culture of the ethnic groups has been passed on. Traditional cultural events, such as the Uygur’s “Meshrep,” the Kazak’s “Aytes,” the Kirgiz’s “Kobuz Ballad Singing Fair,” the Mongolian “Nadam Fair,” the Xibe’s “West Moving Festival” and the Han’s “Lantern Festival,” have been widely carried out. A number of impressive dramas with rich ethnic and regional characteristics have been staged, such as the Uygur play “Gherip and Senem,” the Kazak “Aytes,” and the Kirgiz “Manaschi” ballad drama “Manas.”

– The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has fully protected the customs and habits of all ethnic groups in the diets, festivals, weddings and funerals. Large and medium-sized cities and small towns with Muslim people in Xinjiang maintain a certain number of halal restaurants; “halal canteens” or “halal kitchen facilities” are set up in major traffic arteries and institutions with ethnic minority employees; beef and mutton supplied to Muslim people are slaughtered, processed, stored, transported and sold according to their customs. All ethnic groups enjoy statutory holidays during their traditional festivals, such as Corban Festival and Eid al-Fitr.

– Currently, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang mainly use 10 spoken and written languages. Ethnic minority languages are widely applied in various sectors, including the judiciary, administration, education, press and publishing, radio and television, and the internet. Xinjiang People’s Broadcasting Station offers 12 radio channels in five languages: Mandarin, Uygur, Kazak, Mongolian and Kirgiz. Primary and secondary schools in Xinjiang offer courses in ethnic minority languages, such as Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Mongolian and Xibe. Chinese RMB banknotes have five languages on them: Chinese, Tibetan, Uygur, Mongolian and Zhuang.

Lie No. 12: Some places in Xinjiang destroyed graveyards of ethnic minority groups.

Facts: Xinjiang has always respected the funeral and burial customs of ethnic minorities and formulated a series of regulations and policies to protect their basic funeral and burial rights. Measures, including allocating designated land and establishing special public cemeteries, are taken for some minority groups who traditionally bury their deceased in the ground. Their traditional practices such as funeral pray, burial and holding Nazer (memorial activities), are preserved.

– With the economic and social development and the improvement of people’s living standards in Xinjiang, governments at all levels have stepped up the planning and construction of public welfare cemeteries. Cemetery facilities and their environment are continuously improving. People of different ethnic groups in some places have relocated graveyards on their own free will.

Lie No. 13: The Chinese government sends children of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang to boarding schools and “forces” them to be separated from their parents.

Facts: The Compulsory Education Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates: “Where necessary, the people’s government at the county level may set up boarding schools to ensure that school-age children and adolescents who are dwelling in scattered areas receive compulsory education.” 

Xinjiang is a vast region with long distances between villages and towns, and it is not convenient for some students to go to school, making it hard to ensure their study quality. Parents have a heavy burden to transport their children to and from schools. To solve this problem, Xinjiang built 400 primary and secondary boarding schools in the 1980s. 

In recent years, Xinjiang, like the rest of the country, made scientific plans and reasonable arrangements for boarding school construction. They comply with relevant construction standards of the state and the autonomous region to ensure sufficient learning and living facilities. Time has proved that boarding education has become an effective measure to accelerate education modernization and aid targeted poverty alleviation in Xinjiang. Parents of students of all ethnic groups support the boarding school model.

– The construction of boarding schools is an arrangement made by Xinjiang in light of the actual conditions of the autonomous region to alleviate poverty through education and improve the quality of compulsory education. It helps improve education modernization at primary and secondary schools of ethnic minorities and promote exchanges among different ethnic groups in Xinjiang. The practice here is not fundamentally different from that of other parts of China or the rest of the world.

Lie No. 14: Schools in Xinjiang replace ethnic languages with Chinese to “brainwash” the students. Xinjiang has banned ethnic minority students from using their own languages and closed schools of the Uygur language.

Fact check: The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language stipulate that citizens have the right to learn and use the standard Chinese spoken and written language. The state provides them with related conditions. While promoting education in the Chinese language, Xinjiang also offers courses in the spoken and written languages of ethnic minority groups in accordance with the national curriculum plan for primary and secondary schools. This safeguards the right of students from the minority groups to learn their own spoken and written languages. It also effectively promotes the inheritance and development of the minority languages and cultures.

– Primary and secondary education in Xinjiang is conducted in seven languages. At present, preschools and primary and secondary schools across Xinjiang provide bilingual education in the national-standard spoken and written language, as well as one ethnic language. Learning to use the national-standard language can help people better integrate and adapt to modern society. It brings more convenience in studies, job hunting, communication, business, and work.

Lie No. 15: Xinjiang suppresses ethnic minorities under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Facts: Incomplete statistics show that from 1990 to 2016, ethnic separatists, religious extremists, and violent terrorists plotted and conducted several thousand violent terrorist acts. They killed many innocent civilians and several hundred police officers and caused immeasurable property losses. These terrorist activities inflicted untold suffering on the people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

– In the face of a complicated counter-terrorism situation and the demands from people of all ethnic groups to stop terrorism, Xinjiang has taken a series of active measures. 

Responding to the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other counter-terrorism resolutions, Xinjiang has upheld the principle of not linking terrorism with any particular region, ethnic group, or religion. It acted within the law to crack down on violence and terrorist activities that violate human rights, endanger public security, undermine ethnic unity, and aim at separating the country. 

Since 2014, a total of 1,588 violent and terrorist groups have been taken out, 12,995 violent terrorists arrested, and 2,052 explosive devices seized. Such operations have effectively curbed the infiltration of extremism, significantly improved public security, and protected the right to life, right to health, right to development, and other basic rights of people of all ethnic groups. Xinjiang has reported no violent terrorist cases for more than four consecutive years.

Lie No. 16: The “fanghuiju” campaign, in which civil servants are dispatched to grass-roots communities to offer help to people of various ethnic groups, as well as the “ethnic unity campaign” and solidarity activities among cadres and people of different ethnic groups, are all adopted by Xinjiang with the aim of intervening in and monitoring Uygur families.

Facts: Xinjiang has been carrying out the “ethnic unity campaign” and solidarity activities among cadres and people of different ethnic groups since 2016. More than 1.1 million cadres and workers of different ethnic groups have paired up with 1.6 million people of different ethnic groups as “relatives” and made friends with each other. Among them, Han cadres have paired up with ethnic groups, including the Uygur. Cadres of ethnic minority groups, including the Uygur, have also paired up with Han people.

– Based on mutual exchange, communication, integration, respect and help, cadres and workers of different ethnic groups have given full play to their own advantages, guiding the grassroots residents to expand their approaches to prosperity, and helping them solve problems in healthcare, employment and education, and doing many good deeds that have won public support. 

According to the statistics, the cadres and workers participating in the “ethnic unity campaign” and solidarity activities among cadres and people of different ethnic groups have donated 940 million yuan and more than 49 million material items to the grassroots people, accomplishing some 18 million deeds that benefit locals.

Lie No. 17: Xinjiang monitors Uygur Muslims through ubiquitous cameras, mobile phone apps, the internet and other high-tech means.

Facts: In accordance with the law, Xinjiang has installed cameras in urban and rural public areas, major roads, transportation hubs and other public places in order to improve social governance and effectively prevent and crack down on crime. These measures have enhanced social security and won widespread support from people of all ethnic groups. The measures do not target any particular ethnic group.

– The use of modern scientific and technological products and big data to improve social governance is a common practice in the international community. According to the South China Morning Post, a new study found that Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands are among the top 10 countries in the number of surveillance cameras in the world.

Lie No. 18: Chinese embassies and consulates have refused to renew the passports of overseas Uygur people, forcing them to return home to face extrajudicial detention or imprisonment.

Facts: Chinese citizens’ personal freedom and rights of exit and entry are protected by law. As long as they are Chinese nationals and admit themselves that they are Chinese citizens, and do not violate Chinese laws and regulations, they can apply to the Chinese embassy or consulate where they live for the renewal or replacement of passports.

– Chinese embassies and consulates conduct their services in accordance with the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Passport Law of the People’s Republic of China and other laws and regulations to protect the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese of different ethnic groups. Chinese citizens from Xinjiang who apply for the renewal or replacement of passports at Chinese embassies and consulates have been accepted and approved after being examined to comply with relevant laws.

Lie No. 19: The Chinese government bans foreign journalists from going to Xinjiang for reporting.

Facts: Xinjiang is an open place. Foreign journalists are allowed to report in Xinjiang on condition that they abide by Chinese laws and go through relevant procedures, according to the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organizations and Foreign Journalists. There are no circumstances in which the Chinese government forbids foreign journalists to report in Xinjiang.

– Since the end of 2018, more than 1,200 people from over 100 countries and regions, including officials from international organizations, diplomats, journalists and religious leaders, have visited Xinjiang.

– From September 3 to 7, 2019, NBC reporters went to Xinjiang for reporting.

– In December 2020, BBC reporters went to Kuqa County and other places in Xinjiang for reporting.

Lie No. 20: The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights will be restricted from visiting Xinjiang.

Facts: China welcomes the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to visit China and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and has always maintained close communication with the UN.

Lie No. 21: Xinjiang suppresses Islam and freedom of religious belief.

Facts: Respecting and protecting the freedom of religious belief is a basic long-term policy of the Chinese government. Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that Chinese citizens have freedom of religious belief. The principle of religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution has been fully implemented in Xinjiang. Xinjiang citizens’ right to freedom of religious belief has been fully guaranteed. The religious feelings, belief-based needs and customs of religious believers have been fully respected, legal religious activities guaranteed by law, and religious and cultural heritage protected.

– Xinjiang has translated and published religious classics and books, such as the Koran and Selections from Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari, in Mandarin Chinese, the Uygur, Kazak and Kirgiz languages, providing convenience for religious believers of all ethnic groups to acquire religious knowledge.

– Since 1996, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government has organized local Muslims to take charter flights for a pilgrimage every year, except for the cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and has provided high-quality services in entry and exit, medical care, catering, etc., so as to ensure the safe and orderly pilgrimage activities and ensure that local Muslims of all ethnic groups successfully complete their pilgrimage.

Lie No. 22: Xinjiang demolishes many mosques.

Facts: Mosques in Xinjiang meet the regular religious demands of followers in terms of quantity. Governments at various levels in Xinjiang have consistently improved the public services of mosques. 

The government has funded the introduction into mosques of running water, electricity, natural gas, roads, communication, radio and television, and libraries. Ablution facilities and flushing toilets have been installed. Mosques have also been equipped with medical services and electronic displays. 

They also have computers, electric fans or air conditioners, firefighting equipment, drinking water dispensers, shoe coverings or machines for shoe coverings, and lockers. These measures have been welcomed by religious personnel and believers.

Lie No. 23: Xinjiang “persecutes” religious personnel.

Facts: The cultivation and training of clerical personnel have been strengthened in Xinjiang. The region has 10 religious colleges and schools, including Xinjiang Islamic Institute, its eight branches in places like Kashgar, Hotan and Ili, and Xinjiang Islamic School. These colleges recruit a certain number of undergraduate, junior, and technical secondary school students every year, with student numbers exceeding 3,000.

Lie No. 24: Xinjiang bans fasting of Muslims.

Facts: Muslims of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, in accordance with their teachings, canons, and traditional customs, practice regular religious activities such as fasting and Islamic festivals in mosques and their own homes. Such activities are totally of their own free will, without any interference or restriction.

– During Ramadan every year, it is an entirely personal choice for Muslims to fast or not fast. Governments at all levels in Xinjiang make every effort to ensure the market supply and security of religious activities of Eid al-Fitr and other festivals.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.