BEIJING – Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited the Xinjiang area where his government has been widely accused of oppressing mainly Muslim ethnic minorities. He showed no sign of backing down from policies that have come under severe criticism by the U.S.A. and other European countries.
Xi emphasised the faithful and complete implementation of the Communist Party’s strategy in the region. He also highlighted social stability and long-term security as his overarching goals.
In the wake of a violent outburst by separatists, authorities in Xinjiang have launched a massive crackdown against Uyghurs and Kazakhs. Analysts estimate that hundreds of thousands, and possibly a million people, have been held over the years.
Critics referred to the crackdown which placed thousands of people in indoctrination camp-like prison cells as cultural genocide. U.S. officials and other countries have made them responsible for extralegal detentions and separations of families, as well as the incarceration of people studying abroad and having foreign contact.
Xi said, during an “inspection trip” that lasted from Tuesday through Friday, that it was important to make greater efforts to maintain the principle that Islam must have a Chinese-orientation.
While religious believers need to be met, they must be closely connected with the Communist Party, and the government. This is what he said, according to an official news agency.
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He urged for the education and guidance of people from all races to help them identify with China’s culture, nation and Communist Party.
The Chinese leader called Xinjiang a core area and a center in China’s plan to build ports, railways, and power stations that will connect it with economies from Central Asia to Eastern Europe. Due to reports of forced labor, the U.S. blocked certain imports from this region of cotton and other products.
Xi met leaders of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. This supra-governmental organization operates its own courts and schools under a military system imposed upon the area after the Communist Party took control in China. 1949.
Xi, Xinhua reports that Xi had “learned the history of XPCC in cultivating the frontier areas”
Xinjiang is bordered by Russia, Afghanistan, and volatile Central Asia. China sought to bring these countries within its orbit using economic incentives and alliances.