Ambassador He Xiangdong interviewed by RTÉ
2020/09/29

On September 29th, Ambassador He Xiangdong took an exclusive interview with RTÉ, and clarified some facts about Xinjiang.

In response to a report of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) indicating that China broadens the definition of extremism, prohibits Uyghurs with long beards, and massively detains Uyghurs, Ambassador He said that some media and NGOs from the United States and some western countries keep trumped-up tarnishing and making unfounded accusations on China’s measurements against separatism, religious extremism and terrorism. It is regretful that some experts of OHCHR misbelieve those arguments. As a matter of fact, watching video clips of the daily life of people in Xinjiang, people can find plenty of Uyghurs with long beards. The so-called mass detention of Uyghurs by the Chinese government is a groundless statement, which is unworthy to refute.

Ambassador He emphasized that there are no abstract human rights. Every country must find its own way to protect and promote human rights in light of its cultural traditions and peoples’ needs, and strengthen dialogue and communication with each other on a basis of equality and mutual respect. In fact, most member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council spoke highly of achievements on human rights development in Xinjiang and supported China’s efforts in fighting against terrorism in Xinjiang. That is the mainstream opinion of the international community.

With regard to the vocational education and training centre in Xinjiang, Ambassador He said that some people in Xinjiang are suffering from lack of education, with very limited command of the country's common language and limited sense and knowledge of the law, and thus lack of employment skills, which leads them into poverty and vulnerable to extremism. The fundamental goal in setting up the vocational education centers is to help those people command the country's common language, acquire legal knowledge and vocational skills, and escape the influence of extremism, so they would be able to pursue a better and happier life.

With regard to the so-called forced labor of Uyghur people in Xinjiang, Ambassador He stressed that China is working hard to accomplish the goal to lift its people out of poverty and build moderately prosperous society in all respects. Like all Chinese people, people in Xinjiang, including the Uyghur people, have the right to pursue wealthy and happy life. The Chinese government encourages and supports ethnicities in Xinjiang to continuously improve their living standards. That is a fundamental guarantee of the human rights of people in Xinjiang. Smearing vocational education and poverty alleviating efforts as forced labor is pure hypocrisy and ulteriorly motivated.

With regard to the so-called mass demolition of mosques in Xinjiang, Ambassador He pointed out that such absurd lies are fabricated by some people to smear China. In fact, in late 1970s, there were around 2,000 mosques in Xinjiang, which had now increased to more than 24,000. The freedom of religious belief of all ethnicities in Xinjiang is fully guaranteed.

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