Uygur suppression claim 'groundless', official says


A resolution approved by the European Parliament claiming that the Chinese government suppresses Uygur people in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region via its COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control policies is "groundless and ridiculous", a Xinjiang official said at a news conference on Friday.

Xu Guixiang, a spokesman for the regional government, said that the region's latest coronavirus outbreak, which began in August, has been a major public health emergency that is the most difficult to contain in the region's history, with the fastest spread, the most extensive coverage, and the largest number of infections.

During the outbreak, Xinjiang authorities have put the people first, taking into consideration all ethnic groups. They have prioritized ensuring and improving people's livelihoods, have listened carefully to their concerns and aspirations and have worked vigorously to ensure smooth logistics, stable supply chains and agricultural production to meet the people's needs, effectively safeguarding the lives and health of Xinjiang residents, Xu said.

The European Parliament adopted the resolution earlier this month.

The virus spreads indiscriminately, Xu said. "It doesn't target any ethnic group, and no epidemic prevention policies that have been formulated and implemented in Xinjiang have been aimed at any specific group.

"The European Parliament will only damage its credibility by fabricating information, attacking and discrediting China's ethnic relations, interfering in China's internal affairs, and going against common sense and basic norms governing international relations," he said.

Xu also refuted an accusation made by the commerce department of the United States that Chinese companies have "violated and trampled on human rights" in Xinjiang.

On Dec 15, the department added 36 Chinese technology companies to its so-called Entity List, saying that China's Tiandy Technologies Company in particular is suspected of carrying out "human rights abuses" against Uygur, Kazakh and other Muslim ethnic groups in China through "repression, massive arbitrary detention and high-tech surveillance".

Xu said that Tiandy is a legally registered company and its products help boost digitalization and improve the level of social governance to build a harmonious society in Xinjiang.

"It does not target any specific ethnic group, let alone carry out any 'human rights violations or high-tech surveillance'," he said.

"The use of high-tech products for social governance is a common practice in the international community, but the US smears Chinese companies in Xinjiang's information and technology development," he added.

"It aims to suppress Chinese enterprises, hinder the development of Xinjiang's information industry and undermine social stability in Xinjiang. We are firmly opposed to this."

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