By He Yin, People’s Daily
By creating an unprecedented happy life for people of all ethnic groups and enabling them to enjoy stability, security, development, and progress, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has made its most important achievement in respecting and protecting human rights.
During the 12th “China Tourism Day” celebrated across the country on May 19, various thematic activities were held in Xinjiang, making the culture and tourism brand, “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land”, more attractive.
The exuberant vitality and increasingly prominent role of Xinjiang’s tourism industry in driving economic and social development have reflected the region’s progress in human rights development to a certain extent.
Over the past more than six decades since the establishment of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the region’s GDP has expanded 160 times, its per capita regional GDP has grown 30 times, while its Uygur population has increased from 2.2 million to about 12 million, and its residents’ average life expectancy has climbed from 30 years to 74.7 years.
There is one mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang. The ratio is higher than that in many Western countries and Islamic countries.
Since December 2018, more than 2,000 people from all walks of life in more than 100 countries have visited Xinjiang and witnessed the region’s achievements in development, including social stability, economic prosperity, as well as ethnic unity, and harmony.
Sonia Bresley, a French writer and expert on China, has visited Xinjiang many times and written multiple monographs on the region. She pointed out that it is because of the Chinese government’s policies on ethnic groups and for the governance of Xinjiang that the vast region with a good number of ethnic groups has realized tremendous economic development, continuously improved local people’s living standards and heightened their sense of happiness.
The right to development is an inalienable human right. In Xinjiang, people of various ethnic groups have shaken off poverty, sought prosperity through hard work, and enjoyed an increasingly strong sense of gain, happiness and security, which is the best proof of human rights development.
Due to natural and historical reasons, Xinjiang used to be one of the main battlefields and key regions in China’s fight against poverty. Through painstaking efforts, the region eradicated extreme poverty and won the battle against poverty through the strategy of targeted poverty alleviation at the end of 2020.
The region has lifted all its nearly 3.06 million rural residents living below the current poverty line in China out of poverty and removed all its 3,666 poor villages and 35 poor counties from the poverty list, bringing about a historic solution to the problem of absolute poverty.
Personages from many countries have spoken positively of Xinjiang’s achievements in human rights protection, praised China’s people-centered development philosophy and efforts to promote human rights through development and believe that China’s remarkable achievements in human rights development have also contributed to global human rights progress.
Social stability is an important guarantee of the realization of human rights.
Xinjiang has suffered from the combined impact of ethnic separatists, religious extremists, and violent terrorists, and has been plagued by frequent terrorist attacks, which have severely jeopardized the safety of the lives and property of people of various ethnic groups and posed serious threats to people’s basic human rights, including the rights to life, health, and development.
In an effort to protect people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang from terrorist acts, China has carried out anti-terrorism and de-radicalization struggles in the region in accordance with the law, guaranteeing the people’s basic human rights to the greatest possible extent.
Since the end of 2016, there have been no violent terrorist cases and incidents in Xinjiang for over five consecutive years. In addition, the infiltration of extremism has been effectively curbed, and the right to life of people of all ethnic groups in the region has been fully guaranteed.
All foreigners who have visited Xinjiang and adopted an impartial and objective attitude toward China believe that Xinjiang’s experience in anti-terrorism and de-radicalization is worth learning from by the international community.
Ignoring the remarkable achievements Xinjiang has made in human rights development, some politicians in Western countries including the U.S. have cooked up and spread lies about Xinjiang to vilify China’s governance of the region, misrepresenting the region’s human rights situation, and seek excuses for abusive unilateral sanctions.
By despicably confusing right and wrong, these politicians have politicized human rights issues and used them as a tool, affronting and contaminating the global human rights cause.
Scholars and media outlets in many countries have published articles to share true stories of Xinjiang. They revealed that by concocting lies about Xinjiang, certain Western politicians have intended to contain China and sabotage Xinjiang’s ethnic unity, stability, and development.
Last year, representatives of nearly 100 countries voiced support for China’s legitimate position on Xinjiang-related issues in ways including making joint speeches and individual speeches and sending letters, at meetings of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The voices of justice have fully proven that justice naturally inhabits man’s heart.
Xinjiang is in the best period of development in its history and is constantly scoring new achievements in human rights development.
Looking forward, the more than 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang and their compatriots in the rest of the country are bound to embrace a better future, jointly create a new chapter of China’s human rights cause, and promote the sound development of global human rights cause.