Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), on a visit this week to the Xinjiang region, where his government is widely accused of oppressing predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, showed no signs of backing off policies that have come under harsh criticism from the US and many European countries.
Xi stressed the full and faithful implementation of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) approach in the region, highlighting social stability and lasting security as the overarching goals, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
Under his leadership, authorities have carried out a sweeping crackdown on Xinjiang’s Uighur and Kazakh communities following an outburst of deadly separatist violence. While no exact figure has been released, analysts say hundreds of thousands and likely a million or more people have been detained over time.
Critics have described the crackdown that placed thousands in prison-like indoctrination camps as cultural genocide. The US and others have placed officials responsible under visa bans for their part in extralegal detentions, separation of families and incarcerating people for studying abroad or having foreign contacts.
Xi, on what was described as an “inspection tour” from Tuesday to Friday, said that enhanced efforts should be made to uphold the principle that Islam in China must be Chinese in orientation, Xinhua said.
While the needs of religious believers should be ensured, they should be united closely to the CCP and the government, the official news agency quoted him as saying.
He called for educating and guiding people of all ethnic groups to strengthen their identification with the Chinese nation and culture as well as the CCP.
The Chinese leader called Xinjiang a “core area and a hub” in China’s program of building ports, railways and power stations connecting it to economies reaching from Central Asia to eastern Europe.
The US has blocked some imports of cotton and other products from the region over reports of forced labor.
Xi met with leaders of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a supra-governmental body that operates its own courts, schools and health system under a military system imposed on the region after the CCP took power in China in 1949.
Xi “learned about the history of the XPCC in cultivating and guarding the frontier areas,” Xinhua reported.
China’s largest naval training ship sailed for the Philippines yesterday, its last stop of a regional “friendly” tour, amid growing unease over Chinese maritime activities in the South China Sea. The giant training vessel, Qi Jiguang, bigger than a typical destroyer, left Brunei on Thursday for the Philippines as part of a 40-day trip, which has included stops in Vietnam and Thailand. At the end of its trip, Qi Jiguang and its crew of 476 navy students and officers would have passed through the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Western Pacific. ‘FRIENDLY’ Training conducted by the ship,
A long trek across the desert of northeastern Niger brings visitors to one of the most astonishing and rewarding sights in the Sahel: fortified villages of salt and clay perched on rocks with the Saharan sands laying siege below. Generations of travelers have stood before the “ksars” of Djado, wondering at their crenelated walls, watchtowers, secretive passages and wells, all of them testifying to a skilled, but unknown hand. Who chose to build this outpost in a scorched and desolate region — and why they built it — are questions that have never been fully answered. Just as beguiling is why it
‘NATURAL CAUSES’: New evidence indicated Kathleen Folbigg’s two daughters died of myocarditis caused by genetics, while a son died of a neurogenetic disorder An Australian woman who spent 20 years in prison was pardoned and released yesterday based on new scientific evidence that her four children died by natural causes as she had insisted. The pardon was seen as the quickest way of getting Kathleen Folbigg out of prison and a final report from the second inquiry into her guilt could recommend that the state Court of Appeals quash her convictions. Folbigg, now 55, was released from a prison in Grafton, New South Wales, following an unconditional pardon by state Governor Margaret Beazley. Australian state governors are figureheads who act on instructions of governments. New South
RE-ENGAGEMENT: Both sides described the talks as ‘candid’ and ‘productive,’ with the US State Department saying that it wants to restore ‘high-level diplomacy’ Senior US and Chinese officials yesterday held “candid” talks in Beijing, days after the two countries’ defense chiefs squared off at a security forum. US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink met with Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu (馬朝旭), becoming the most senior US official to publicly travel to Beijing since an alleged Chinese spy balloon was downed in the US. Both sides described the talks as “candid” and “productive” in their readouts, with the US Department of State saying that the exchange was part of ongoing efforts to restore “high-level diplomacy.” The Chinese