Foreign Experts, Officials Praise China's Ethnic Policy
    2009-07-24 21:52:56     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Zhang

Some foreign experts, scholars and officials are praising China's ethnic policies and voicing support for its efforts to defend its sovereignty and social stability in the wake of a deadly July 5 riot in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The riot in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, killed 197 people and injured more than 1,680 others.

Antoine Harb, an official with Lebanon's education ministry, told Xinhua that he learned of the incident with great shock and regret.

"China's economy is growing rapidly, and people there live happily...There are no reasons for such things to happen," he said.

Harb said he was impressed by China's prosperity and the hospitality of the Chinese people when he visited Nanchang and Beijing last year.

"China's policies on minorities set a good example for the world to learn from, so I believe the riot must be instigated by some forces outside China," he said.

Massoud Daher, president of the Lebanese-Chinese League for Friendship and Cooperation, also praised China's policies on minorities.

"I have visited northwestern China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region," Daher told Xinhua. "I saw that Muslims went to mosques to pray. It was an ordinary lifestyle of the local people. I did not find any limits on the freedom of religion."

Daher, also a history professor at Lebanese University, has visited a number of Chinese cities, including some in ethnic minority regions.

Concerning the deadly riot, Daher said that media have often been used by those who have ulterior motives, giving false accounts of the facts.

"Attempts to split the country will never succeed," and "I believe that the incident would not undermine China's integrity and unity," the scholar added.

Professor Raphael Israeli of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem expressed support for the measures being taken by the Chinese government to make the Xinjiang region more stable.

"They are doing what is obvious," the professor said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government is continuing its efforts to promote the economic development of Xinjiang, which is in the interest of people living in the region, Israeli said.

The professor said the riot was an incident obviously orchestrated by separatists from outside the country.

"There is no doubt about that," he said.

Turning to China's fight against the "three forces" of extremism,separatism and terrorism, the professor said that from the perspective of global security, the effort contributes greatly to world peace and development.

The general secretary of the Mongolia-China Friendship Association, M. Chimedtseye, also condemned the riot and said he likes the way the Chinese government has handled the situation.

"The Chinese government has punished the rioters according to law and maintained the country's security and stability, which is also very important for regional security," he said.

Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, said he was sad to learn that many innocent people were hurt or killed during the riot.

"Islam promotes peace and opposes violence, and violence has nothing to do with religion," he said.

Mahmoud Allam, the Egyptian ambassador to China, said the Chinese government has employed effective measures to safeguard national security and stability in the wake of the riot.

The government adopted the measures to protect people and property, which is the obligation of all countries and governments in the world, Allam said.


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