|The Wall Street Journal: We Are Protecting All Our Citizens, Uighur and Han|
The Chinese government and people are very much displeased with the Journal's decision to publish Rebiya Kadeer's "The Real Story of the Uighur Riots" (op-ed, July 8), which is full of political lies and separatist rhetoric that are schemed to mislead the American public.
What is the truth about the July 5 rioting that ravaged Urumqi, capital city of China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region? On that tragic day, highly violent crimes involving beating, smashing, looting and arson took place. A large number of innocent civilians and armed policemen of both Han and Uighur Chinese were killed and many others were injured. These were premeditated and organized crimes of violence, directed and instigated by separatists abroad and organized and carried out by separatists inside the country.
The World Uighur Congress (WUC), an overseas organization headed by Rebiya Kadeer, was behind the riots. These elements made an issue of an incident on June 26 -- a brawl between workers from Xinjiang and local workers, an ordinary case of public disorder -- in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province to vilify China's ethnic and religious policies for the purpose of creating publicity and stirring up trouble.
Some people with ulterior motives inside China acted in collusion with the WUC. They played up the Shaoguan incident and made a lot of noise on the Internet, calling for an unlawful gathering at key downtown areas in Urumqi on the evening of July 5, to answer the call from the WUC for a demonstration and to "be braver" and to "do something big." Rebiya Kadeer clamored for "a big event in Urumqi on 5 July" and urged people to "follow closely the developments and collect relevant information."
Hundreds of people gathered at the dictated time and areas, and started beating, smashing and looting at about 8:18 p.m. The rioters began their barbaric sabotage of arson and killing, wreaking havoc in streets, alleys and the area connecting the city and the countryside. They tried to kill any Han person within sight, and smashed and set fire to stores and vehicles.
The government of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region speedily deployed police to those places where the situation was grave. The police sent in small teams to rescue people across the downtown area and search for criminals. The public security authority has arrested and detained over 1,000 suspects who will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The violent crimes committed by the outlaws in Urumqi have inflicted heavy losses in life and property. According to figures as of July 13, at least 184 people were killed, of whom 137 people were Han Chinese, 46 Uighur Chinese and one Hui Chinese. A total of 1,680 people were injured, of whom 939 are hospitalized, with 216 of them seriously injured and 74 on the verge of death. Property losses are huge.
Public life and order in Urumqi have now returned to normal. History has repeatedly shown that stability is a blessing and chaos is disaster for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. We are unequivocally against ethnic separatism, terrorism, extremism and violence committed in whatever name. Unity among people of all ethnic groups, social harmony and stability represent the highest interests of the Chinese nation, the 21 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang included. The Chinese government's actions against the Urumqi rioting are completely lawful and justified. It is doing what any responsible government is obliged to do under any similar situation, and will redouble its effort to ensure that people of all ethnic groups will continue to work as one for common prosperity and development.
In the past few days, Rebiya Kadeer and her like have been exceptionally active in spreading political lies. Their trick is to try to clear themselves of their evil acts, mislead the international community, and win its sympathy and support by playing the "victim card," and disguising mobsters as the "underprivileged" and "peaceful protestors." At the same time, they are tarnishing the Chinese government's ethnic policies, sabotaging national unity and continuing their separatist activities by fanning hatred between the people of Han and Uighur Chinese.
Rebiya Kadeer's various claims on the death toll of the Uighur Chinese in the rioting have been rejected by international media. We sincerely hope that the American public will see the true nature of people who are committed to violence and separatism, and understand and support the justified measures taken by the Chinese government in restoring law and order and safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.