China’s soft power policy

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MASSIVE propaganda campaign by some circles in the West notwithstanding, reports emanating from Xinjiang speak of China implementing soft power policy in the province to curb extremist ideologies, which has started paying dividends as Uyghur Muslims are fully cooperating in efforts aimed at safeguarding their short, medium and long term interests and their social, economic and intellectual mainstreaming.

Contrary to vested propaganda, the measures introduced by the Chinese Government drew on the international community’s experience in combating terrorism and de-radicalization and implemented the idea of using development, education and other resources to curb extremist ideologies, as advocated in the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

The success of the Chinese approach and its acceptability for the Uyghur population is confirmed by the ground realities as there has been no terrorism incident in the region for the last four years.

Contrary to false reports that millions of Chinese Muslims have been kept in the ‘detention camps’, the Chinese Government has established modern, fully equipped ‘re-education centres’, which are imparting vocational education and training skills to locals in accordance with the law.

These centres offered a curriculum that included standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law and training in vocational skills to achieve the goal of de-radicalization.

Most of the trainees who have completed their studies and graduated, have found stable jobs and lived a peaceful life along with their families. Similarly, neutral observers who visited the area have confirmed that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region enjoy full freedom to preserve or reform their own customs and habits.

The Region strictly abides by the Constitution and laws, and attaches great importance to the protection and development of excellent traditional culture of all ethnic groups. These observers have also found no confirmation of the allegation that graveyards of some ethnic minorities are destroyed adding that, instead, Xinjiang has always respected the funeral and burial customs of ethnic minority groups and formulated a series of regulations and policies to protect their basic funeral and burial rights including allocation of land for burial purposes.

In fact, Chinese have demonstrated to the world how the problem of extremism can be handled through change of mindset while ensuring preservation of all fundamental rights of the people.