We are educating Muslims to defeat terror propaganda: China
GENEVA: China is not mistreating Muslims in Xinjiang province but is putting some people through training courses to avoid extremism spreading, unlike Europe, which had failed to deal with the problem, a Chinese official told reporters on Thursday.
Reports of mass detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other ethnic Muslims in China's far western region have sparked a growing international outcry, prompting the Trump administration to consider sanctions against officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.
"It is not mistreatment," said Li Xiaojun, director for publicity at the Bureau of Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office. "What China is doing is to establish professional training centres, educational centres."
"If you do not say it's the best way, maybe it's the necessary way to deal with Islamic or religious extremism, because the West has failed in doing so, in dealing with religious Islamic extremism," Li told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
"Look at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some other European countries. You have failed." China frequently comes under fire for its human rights policies. On Wednesday, it was accused by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres of reprisals against activists, including the alleged torture of a human rights lawyer. Critics say its surveillance in Xinjiang approaches martial law conditions.
"As to surveillance, China is learning from the UK," Li said. "Your per capita CCTV is much higher than that for China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region."