Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 11, 2019
Q: For some time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been making remarks on Xinjiang, saying that the Chinese government has detained at least one million Muslim minorities in "re-education camps", devastated the religious freedom of local Muslim communities and tried to eliminate Uyghur culture and Islamic belief. What's your comment?
A: There is a saying in both China and the US, "seeing is believing". I wonder whether Mr. Pompeo has been to Xinjiang ever, but judging from those baseless remarks, he lacks the basic knowledge and understanding of Xinjiang.
In response to his wrong remarks, let me share with you some basic facts about Xinjiang. First, there is no so-called "re-education camps" in Xinjiang at all. The vocational education and training centers legally operated in Xinjiang aim to help a small number of people affected by terrorist and extremist ideologies and equip them with skills, so that they can be self-reliant and re-integrate into society. Since the establishment of the vocational education and training centers, Xinjiang has not witnessed any violent terrorist incidents in the past three years or so. The security situation there has been greatly improved.
Second, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang fully enjoy freedom of religious belief in accordance with law and the fact is there for all to see. There are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, which means on average 530 Muslims share one mosque. According to readily available statistics, the number of mosques in the US is even less than one tenth of that in Xinjiang.
Third, Uyghur culture has been effectively protected and promoted. People of Uyghur ethnicity in Xinjiang have the right to use their own spoken and written languages in accordance with the law. In Xinjiang, multiple languages including Chinese and Uyghur are used in press, publishing, on air and on television. The art of Xinjiang Uygur Muqam has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
I just said that Mr. Pompeo lacks the basic knowledge and understanding of Xinjiang, but that's not the whole point. What really matters is whether he is willing to know about the real Xinjiang. It will be a totally different matter if he chooses to ignore the facts, becomes obsessed in telling lies and fallacies and attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and religion.
I would like to remind Mr. Pompeo that the more he puts such drama on stage, the more his true colors will be exposed. Any attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs is doomed to fail.