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China Thanks Kazakhstan on Xinjiang de-Radicalisation

Friday 29 March 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) — The Chinese government’s top diplomat has thanked Kazakhstan for its support for a controversial de-radicalisation programme in China’s far western region of Xinjiang, and said others should follow China’s example.

Critics say China is operating internment camps for Uighurs and other Muslim peoples who live in Xinjiang, although the government calls them vocational training centres and says it has a genuine need to prevent extremist thinking and violence. Xinjiang is home to a sizeable Kazakh minority, some of whom have also ended up in the de-radicalisation facilities, rights groups say.

Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said after meeting Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov in Beijing that China’s de-radicalisation measures in Xinjiang had been very effective, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement late on Thursday.

The steps had “vigorously protected local security and stability and made an important contribution to promoting regional peace and stability”, Wang said. They also gave a “useful reference for the international community in cracking down on violent terror forces and banishing extremist thought”, he said.

China has denied all accusations of rights abuses in Xinjiang and says it has a genuine need to ensure security there, where hundreds have been killed in unrest in recent years blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants and separatists.

“We appreciated the Kazakh government’s understanding and support for China’s position, and we will never let any person or any force damages the friendship and mutual trust between China and Kazakhstan”, Wang said.


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