China: There are no human right issues in Xinjiang
"There are absolutely no issues regarding Xinjiang's ethnic minorities, religion or human rights. What the Western media have been attacking are the measures taken by the Xinjiang local government to counter terrorism or extremism," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Tuesday.
Geng made the statement when asked about Beijing's comment regarding the "re-education camps" in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which many accused of violating human rights and religious freedom.
"There have been no violent or terrorist cases in Xinjiang ever since the local government stepped up efforts to combat violent crimes based on law," Geng said, recalling violent cases between 1990 and 2016 that hurt numerous people physically and financially.
Religious freedom well protected in China
The Chinese government protects its citizens' religious freedom based on our law, Geng stressed.
Currently, there are roughly 200 million believers in the country, among which, over 20 million are Muslims, 380,000 clergy, 5,500 registered religious groups, and 140,000 registry offices. Xinjiang alone has 24,400 mosques.
He encourages more visits to Xinjiang. "Since the end of last year, over a thousand foreign ambassadors and representatives from international organizations and media outlets have visited the region. They have seen firsthand the significant progress the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has made in preventing terrorism and extremism," he said.
Geng also urges foreign forces to stay out of China's internal affairs. "Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal issues," he said.
China will continue its efforts in developing and constructing Xinjiang, Geng said.