China says it supports and protects all cultures in Xinjiang

China says it supports and protects all cultures in Xinjiang

China has released a policy white paper boasting of its protection of ethnic cultures in Xinjiang, and defying mounting criticism that it is undermining the religious and ethnic identity of Muslim minorities through mass internment and indoctrination in the far western region, South China Morning Post reports.

The document, titled “Cultural protection and development in Xinjiang”, was issued on Thursday by the State Council Information ­Office and comes as Beijing faces a rising backlash from foreign governments for holding up to 1 million Uygurs and other Muslim groups in a sprawling network of re-education camps.

In an unusually broad and coordinated move to step up diplomatic pressure, a group of 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing have signed a joint letter requesting a meeting with Xinjiang’s top official, Chen Quanguo, for an explanation of the crackdown, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had not seen the letter. She said ambassadors were welcome to visit Xinjiang but if “they want to go with the intention of pressuring the Xinjiang government, then this is definitely problematic”.

Under growing international scrutiny, the Chinese government has in recent months turned from initial denial to an ardent propaganda drive, defending the facilities as “vocational training centres” where “trainees” learn job skills and live a “colourful life”.

However, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this week that the internment camp programme was intended as a preventive measure so that “it will be impossible for terrorism to spread and take root”.

The latest white paper does not make any mention of the camps, but trumpets the government’s wide-ranging protection of ethnic cultures, including their languages, religions, cultural heritage and cultural industries.

“China’s government is committed to protecting its citizens’ freedom of religious belief while respecting and protecting religious cultures,” according to the document, which cites examples such as how the state has translated, published and distributed religious texts and protected religious heritage.

It says also that spoken and written ethnic minority languages are protected in a “scientific” way, saying they are “extensively used” in administration, education and the media.

It says also that spoken and written ethnic minority languages are protected in a “scientific” way, saying they are “extensively used” in administration, education and the media.

Under a new piece of legislation introduced in Xinjiang last year, wearing burkas, growing long beards or using “unusual” names deemed likely to incite religious extremism are now banned.

“The ‘re-education’ camps are designed to forcibly compel Uygurs to essentially reject their language, culture and history,” said Michael Clark, a Xinjiang expert at the Australian National University in Canberra.

The white paper also describes ethnic cultures in Xinjiang as an “inseparable part” of Chinese culture, and plays up the diversity of ethnic cultures in the region, despite its designation as a Uygur autonomous region.

“Since ancient times, Xinjiang has been home to various ethnic groups, where different ethnic cultures coexist,” it says.

Instead of acknowledging their differences and distinctiveness, it stresses how they assimilate and integrate with each other.

“The ethnic groups of Xinjiang … influence, assimilate and integrate with each other in language, diet, costume, music, dance, painting, architecture and other aspects of social life, culture and art. A common feature of these ethnic cultures is that all are interrelated.”

Clarke said the narrative was consistent with Beijing’s “long-standing attempts to justify and to dilute the cultural history of the Uygur as the predominant ethnic group in the region”.

He said the document also echoed China’s first-ever white paper on Xinjiang in 2003, which downplayed the Islamic heritage of the Uygur and emphasised the pre-Islamic era in the region where Buddhist, Nestorian Christian and various pagan beliefs and cultures predominated.

“It is essentially arguing that as Uygur culture, via its particular historical narrative, is not the predominant one in the region, Beijing’s ongoing efforts at forcible assimilation does not represent a major assault on a unique and distinctive cultural heritage.”

Beijing has published a series of white papers on Xinjiang in recent years, declaring “great progress” on its protection of human rights, religious freedom, and its ethnic “equality, unity and development”.

Ukrainian president retests negative for COVID-19
Ukrainian president retests negative for COVID-19
EU promises 217 mln USD to debt relief for 29 poorest countries
EU promises 217 mln USD to debt relief for 29 poorest countries
Netanyahu met Saudi crown prince, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia on Sunday
Netanyahu met Saudi crown prince, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia on Sunday
Loading Bars
Latest
Uzbek-Chinese construction enterprise eyes increasing production
Demand for Turkish steel growing on Turkmen construction market
Total 10M2020 capital of Turkey-registered Azerbaijani companies revealed
Azerbaijan’s Baku Metro opens tender to buy equipment
Iran exports to CIS hit $692mn in six months: TPO
Flag of Azerbaijan raised at former secondary school of Gulabli village in Aghdam (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Teimur Radjabov defeats Levon Aronian at Skilling Open tournament
Ukrainian president retests negative for COVID-19
Turkey summons EU, Germany, Italy envoys after interception of Libya-bound commercial vessel
President Ilham Aliyev raises Azerbaijani flag in Aghdam city (PHOTO)
Georgian gov't administration head Natia Mezvrishvili resigns
EU promises 217 mln USD to debt relief for 29 poorest countries
It is time to rebuild, heal and revive Azerbaijani Fuzuli city - Algerian Ambassador (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit liberated from occupation Aghdam city (PHOTO)
Meeting with the leadership of the Interstate Television and Radio Company “Mir”
Turkmenistan participates to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference
Mine explosion in Karabakh injures Russian officer on search mission
Azerbaijan's Culture Ministry urges French cultural figures to be honest and impartial
Baku Metro, Almetcon LLC sign contract on installation of aluminum windows
Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone talks about ongoing projects
Azerbaijan expects growth of pomegranate yield
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale November 24
Azerbaijani First VP Mehriban Aliyeva shares footage from Aghdam (VIDEO)
Growth of monetary aggregates observed in 9M2020 - Central Bank of Azerbaijan
Iran preparing to use water reservoir on Araz River on border with Azerbaijan
Main source of self-financing for Tbilisi City Hall to be tax revenues
Azerbaijan to make amendments to e-mortgage & loan guarantee system
Lufthansa to resume flights to Iran
Azerbaijan investigating criminal case against Armenian ex-minister
CoE approves trilateral declaration to end all hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan
Goods stuck in Iran customs exceed 550,000 tons
Iran claims its COVID-19 death toll to decrease next month
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to rise
Uzbek currency rates for November 23
Turkmen Ministry of Construction extends tender for construction of checkpoints
Iran reveals investments for Markazi Province
Azerbaijani consumers prefer to buy car on credit - expert
Kazakhstan to establish facilities around big plants in Kyzylorda region
Azerbaijan to initially organize educational tourism in liberated districts - state agency
Expert explains Iran's current limits with its oil, oil product exports, revenues
Iran-Afghanistan, Khaf-Herat railway to open soon
Kazakhstan decreases exports to Netherlands amid COVID-19
Georgian Tskali Margebeli company may increase prices of products
Uzbek commodity exchange trading floor opened in Ukraine
Innovative Technology Park in Uzbekistan starts developing robots production
Azerbaijani mortgage fund issues regular bond interests
Prices of old apartments decline in Georgia
Azerbaijan confirms 634 more COVID-19 recoveries
Turkmenistan's Turkmentehnogurlusyk opens tender for audit
Turkey announces commissioning date for logistics center in Kars province
Iranian tourists reduce visits to Turkey amid COVID-19 pandemic
Azerbaijani organizations to benefit from Visa's updated Fast Track program
Azerbaijan discloses revenues from passenger, cargo transportations via TRACECA
Toyota leads re-exported vehicle brand from Georgia
Iran to launch Bostanabad-Tabriz railway line
Kazakhstan increases imports from France despite COVID-19
Transportation of Caspian oil via Baku-Supsa pipeline increases
Tbilisi’s residential property sales marginally down in October
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan holding negotiations on possible gas supplies
Kazakhstan to build desalination plants in Mangystau region
Iran to allocate funds for the rehabilitation of Anzali Wetland
Iran to distribute domestic COVID-19 vaccine by summer of 2021
Netanyahu met Saudi crown prince, Pompeo in Saudi Arabia on Sunday
Citizens of Russia and Ukraine will be able to return from Azerbaijan to their homeland
Lithuanian - Turkmen cooperation not affected by COVID-19
Rompetrol opens its flagship station in Georgian Borjomi
Lithuania interested in developing co-op with Turkmenistan in transport sector
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold to pay investor fee on placement of second tranche of bonds
Iran discloses number of licenses issued in Mazandaran Province
Fitch Ratings forecasts growing share of problem loans in Azerbaijan
Deputy minister talks tree-planting campaigns in liberated lands of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan boosts import of cars in 10M2020
Azerbaijan strengthens preventive measures related to coronavirus in justice system – Justice Ministry
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran surpasses 45,000
Gold, copper ores output decreases in volume in Kazakhstan
Iran eyes to link Persian Gulf with Caspian Sea via railway
Kazakhstan's revenue from maritime cargo transport increases
Azerbaijan aims to put Armenian ex-defense minister on int'l wanted list
Azerbaijan establishes Nagorno-Karabakh Regional Department of Justice Ministry
Uzbek-Korean JV announces tender for transport services
Russian shipbuilding corporation plans to start construction of ships in Turkmenistan
Iran reveals forecast on employment for Lorestan province
Ambassador Manig: Germany will strengthen Council of Europe by focusing on initiatives enabling better protection of citizens (INTERVIEW)
Batch of new Hyundai buses delivered to Turkmenistan
Uzbek commodity exchange to buy tires via tender
Azerbaijan ramps up exports to CIS countries
Ceyhan terminal transships 188 million barrels of ACG oil
Iran discloses balance of bank loans
Azerbaijani State Fire Control Service begins work in liberated districts
Uzbekistan boosts grape exports to Russia in September
Uzbek chemical enterprise starts commissioning of new fertilizer plant
Uzbekistan’s Jizzax Organic to import cattle from Europe
Uzbek Jizzax Organic predicts increase of purebred sheep herds in Uzbekistan
Famous UK-based poetess of Azerbaijani origin appeals on Armenian ecological terror (VIDEO)
Volume of gold exports stops growing in Uzbekistan
Iran doing research on several types of COVID-19 vaccines
Inflation rate in Iran increasing
Turkey sees decline in inflow of Azerbaijani tourists over 10M2020
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals funds attracted through auctions
Georgia reports 3,958 new cases of coronavirus
All news