China's top legislature, political advisory body oppose Xinjiang-related bill signed by Trump
Updated 21:53, 18-Jun-2020

The foreign affairs committees of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Thursday issued statements expressing strong indignation over and firm opposition to a Xinjiang-related bill signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The responses came after Trump signed the so-called "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020" into law on Wednesday.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC said in a statement that Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about fighting violence, terrorism and separatism. China urged the U.S. to stop using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, said the statement.

The statement noted that from 1990 to the end of 2016, thousands of terrorist attacks were launched in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China, causing substantial losses of innocent lives and damages of property.

The measures China has adopted to counter terrorism and extremism, including setting up vocational education and training centers, are in line with Chinese laws and the international community's shared expectations for counter-terrorism, the statement said.

Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, April 8, 2019. /VCG

Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, April 8, 2019. /VCG

For more than three years, not a single terrorist attack has taken place in Xinjiang, which has, to the greatest extent, protected the rights to life of the 25 million people of all ethnic group there, it noted.

"This is the best embodiment of respecting human rights, which has been endorsed by the Chinese people and widely supported by the international community," said the statement. "Xinjiang-related issues are nothing about human rights, ethnicity or religion at all, but about combating violence, terrorism and extremism."

In the name of human rights, however, the United States has maliciously attacked China's counter-terrorism and deradicalization efforts, attempting to destroy the favorable situation of stability and development in Xinjiang, according to the statement.

"It is typical double standards on counter-terrorism," it said.

China is unswervingly committed to defending its national sovereignty, security and development interests, the statement said.

"We urge the U.S. side to immediately stop its interference in China's internal affairs and its wrongdoings that have seriously damaged China-U.S. relations," it said.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC said that both China and the U.S. are victims of terrorism. No force can stop Xinjiang from moving toward stability, development and prosperity, the statement added.

The Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday also strongly condemned and firmly opposed to the signing of the Xinjiang-related bill.

The bill seriously tramples on international law and basic norms governing international relations, the committee said in a statement, adding that it severely interfered in China's internal affairs and hurt the feelings of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover image: Street view of Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. /VCG)