Extremism loses ground in Xinjiang: experts

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-6 23:13:01

Editor's Note:

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has been in the spotlight due to terrorism and the penetration of separatism and religious extremism. Some Uyghurs hence encounter misunderstandings when visiting other parts of the country. How is the situation now? As China vows to lift 70 million people out of poverty by 2020, what will Xinjiang, a region with large numbers of impoverished residents, do to provide a better life for its people? Global Times reporter Sun Xiaobo talked with three members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Yilisuya, former director of the Office of Ethnic and Religious Committee of the CPPCC

Xinjiang has long been used by anti-China forces as a fortress to counter China's peaceful rise and they orchestrate turbulences in Xinjiang in the name of ethnicity and religion. This requires us to keep highly vigilant.

China needs to firmly crack down on the challenges posed by separatism, extremism and terrorism. In the meantime, China must adhere to the principle of serving the people and use the good experiences to mobilize the people and have them play a predominant role in the battle against the three evil forces.

However, there are some deficiencies in the work of some institutions in some places. We cannot deviate from the guidance of the central government or put a special label on an ethnic minority and region just because of a few terrorist attacks. As the central government advocates ethnic groups' contact and exchanges and encourages Xinjiang people to visit other regions, other regions have to create good conditions and correct their deficiencies in community work so as to provide a favorable environment for these people to live in.

In this process, local governments should not apply administrative means or improper local rules that may hurt the feelings of these ethnic minorities. And for ethnic minorities working in other regions, services must be provided ahead of management and those with outstanding performance deserve encouragement. 

Erzat Zada, deputy director of the Xinjiang Health and Family Planning Commission

In Xinjiang, poverty alleviation efforts are combined with sending working teams to villages in a bid to visit the local people, improve their well-being and mobilize public support. Xinjiang will keep up with the rest of China and be confident in fulfilling the task.

In this process, Xinjiang faces a variety of difficulties and challenges. After all, Xinjiang lags behind many other parts of the country in economic development with 27 designated impoverished counties.

Besides, as a big portion of people in Xinjiang are not well educated, it's important to alter their consciousness and lift them out of poverty for good. We will help them get skills training and catch up with modern society so that they are able to live a better life. To complete this work in the five-year span brings considerable pressure. 

The terrorist incidents in the past years have dealt a heavy blow to Xinjiang's economic development. But the trend has been reversed. In a three-year program, 200,000 civil servants have been sent to work in around 12,000 villages and communities to eliminate extremist tendencies and improve the livelihood of local residents.

As a result, Xinjiang's tourism industry that has shrunk tremendously due to terrorism is recovering and last year 67 million tourists visited Xinjiang, which reflects the stability of the region. Xinjiang has largely maintained stability and ethnic groups there are well united. 

Qiaojifu, former deputy director of the Standing Committee of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional People's Congress

To lift all people out of poverty is a tough job for Xinjiang. Xinjiang has vast desert in its southern part and is often plagued by water shortages. The variety of different languages makes it hard for locals to communicate as 97 percent of the residents of southern Xinjiang are Uyghurs that don't speak Putonghua. It takes time to translate policies and new technologies into their language and teach them in an acceptable way.

I propose this year that the country organize a consultative meeting on poverty alleviation of ethnic minority groups to come up with targeted measures and improve efficiency.

As long as we can fulfill our work, the goal of poverty alleviation will be fulfilled. For this process, a peaceful and stable environment in and around China is needed.

With a package of measures taken by the central and local governments, terrorism in Xinjiang has been put under control.

vSmall disturbances that happen sometimes can do no harm to overall stability. There is exaggeration in some foreign reports about the situation in Xinjiang. Here extremism is also losing its ground.

Posted in: Viewpoint

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