Question: Today The Scotsman published an editorial in response to the letter from Consul General Ma Qiang on the Xinjiang-related issues. Do you have any comment?
Spokesperson: Our position has already been stated in Consul General's letter, which was published in The Scotsman's Letters to the Editor. Due to the maximum word limit, we were unable to provide many more facts about Xinjiang and the so-called Uygur Tribunal in the letter. That said, I would like to make more clarifications on this for the better understanding of Xinjiang-related issues.
1. About the vocational education and training centers
The fight against terrorism and extremism is the shared responsibility of the international community. In Xinjiang, extremist forces have incited or coerced religious believers to engage in terrorist and extremist activities through psychological control. The government therefore established vocational education and training centers which offer systematic education and training to help trainees lead a more fulfilling life, so as to curb frequent terrorist incidents, eradicate the breeding ground for religious extremism, and most of all, safeguard social stability and long-term peace in Xinjiang. This has been not much different from UK's Desistance and Disengagement Programme or France's deradicalization centers, and proven to be effective.
2. About the“witness accounts”
People in the West may be shocked by the sensational stories by the“witnesses”of these centers--what they call "detainment camps". But who knows what their real experience was? For example, Zumret Dawut, who told the“tribunal”that she was“forced to go through sterilization”in a center has actually never studied in any vocational education and training center, as clarified by her brother Abduhelil Dawut. Instead of“sterilization”, she was given an operation of cesarean section and tubal ligation at her consent when giving birth to her third child at hospital. We don't know her motivation, but she certainly has become a political tool by separatist groups to attack China. How credible is the“tribunal”final ruling when the evidences were fabricated?
It's imperative for the media to provide readers with nothing but the truth. I do hope that some western media can abandon bias and report China in an objective, fair and balanced manner.