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Home > Press and Media Service > Spokesperson's Remarks
Embassy Spokesperson's Letter to The Economist on the Latter's Unjustified Comment on China's Policies on Ethnic Affairs and Religion

Ms. Zeng Rong, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, recently wrote a letter to The Economist about the latter's unjustified comments on China's policies on ethnic affairs and religion. The Economist published the letter on 7 September, the full text of which is as follows:

The comment about China’s policies on ethnic affairs and religion in “And hell is just a sauna” (August 18th) is inconsistent with the facts. China has many ethnic groups and religions; harmony and inclusiveness are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. We oppose ethnic discrimination of all forms against any group, and fully respect and protect all citizens’ freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law.

The number of Chinese Christians has risen from 700,000 in 1949 to more than 23m today. There are more mosques per person in Xinjiang and Ningxia than in many other parts of the world. China practices the rule of law. Chinese law protects normal religious activities. But China will also defend itself against religious extremism and terrorism, from which Xinjiang and some other Chinese regions have suffered deeply.

Religious extremism is the breeding ground for terrorism; it incites hatred towards believers of other faiths, or pagans. The education and training measures taken by the local government of Xinjiang have not only prevented the infiltration of religious extremism and helped those lost in extremist ideas to find their way back, but also provided them with employment training in order to build a better life. Thanks to such policies, Xinjiang, Ningxia and other ethnic-minority areas in China have achieved rapid development in recent years, and local people of all ethnic groups are living and working in harmony and enjoying stability. The growth rate of Xinjiang’s GDP ranked the fourth among all Chinese provinces in 2014. Southern Xinjiang is the first region in the country to roll out a 14-year free education scheme. Ningxia became the first province in China to reverse desertification. The incidence of poverty there fell from 26% in 2011 to 6% in 2017.

These notable achievements are clear evidence of the success of China’s policies on ethnic affairs and religion .

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