Beijing is taking an increasingly harsh tone in defending its so-called de-radicalization program in China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang, telling foreign diplomats recently that “absurd preachings” from Islamist extremists in the province have yielded “murderous devils,” Reuters reported Thursday.
In response to growing international criticism about China allegedly sending members of its Muslim minorities — mainly Uighurs (or Uyghurs) — to concentration camps, Beijing has stepped up diplomatic efforts to counter condemnation of the prisons, particularly following Turkey’s rebuke at the United Nations. China has invited foreign envoys from various countries to tour the camp.
Reuters obtained a copy of a speech in Beijing last Friday to about 80 foreign envoys by Xinjiang Deputy Governor Erkin Tuniyaz, an ethnic Uighur closed to Beijing.
The terrorists, extremists and separatists have been preaching that ‘killing a pagan is better than 10 years of prayers, and those who do so can go directly to heaven’, and that ‘jihad is to kill, and martyrdom is to sacrifice one’s own life’.
These and other absurd preachings have turned some ordinary people into murderous devils, who eventually committed crimes.
The U.S. and the United Nations have accused Beijing of forcibly detaining up to a million members of the country’s Muslim minority in Xinjiang in camps where prisoners are forced to renounce their religion in favor of loyalty to China’s communist party through systemic torture, disappearances, executions, and arbitrary detentions, among other human rights abuses.
The prisons— known as re-education camps and mind-transformation centers — mainly hold Uighurs, but also ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz Muslims.
Arguing that the detention facilities in Xinjiang province are vocational and educational centers aimed at combatting terrorism and religious extremism in the province, China has vehemently denied allegations of human rights abuses at the hundreds of prisons.
Xinjiang’s deputy governor argued that China’s detention centers for Muslims “fully respect and protect residents’ rights, and offer vocational training and halal food, though religious activities are not permitted,” Reuters noted.
“They ensure that the trainees’ personal dignity is not violated, and strictly prohibits any form of insult or abuse against the trainees,” he claimed, dismissing criticism of the camps as “nothing but ill-intentioned smearing aimed at confounding right from wrong.”
According to an account of the recent meeting between Beijing officials and foreign envoys released by China’s foreign ministry on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui reportedly told diplomats that “China should be applauded for creating a new method of tackling extremism.”
In early January, the Epoch Times noted that Chinese officials were “drastically” intensifying efforts to conceal evidence of hundreds of tortuous “re-education centers” for Muslims in Xinjiang ahead of a scheduled international inspection
Beijing is reportedly expanding its crackdown on Muslims to areas other than Xinjiang in the country that also house Islam adherents. A Reuters investigation revealed there are up to 1,200 so-called re-education centers in the predominantly Muslim Uighur- Xinjiang province alone.
“Turkey has a long history of sympathy for the Uyghurs, who share cultural and linguistic similarities with other Turkic ethnic groups in the broader Central and West Asian region,” the Diplomat noted in February.
Pakistan, China’s all-weather ally, has defended Beijing’s mistreatment of Muslims.
Considered China’s largest province, Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and India.