August 8, 2022

Chinese language President Xi Jinping visited Xinjiang this week, making his first journey in eight years to the once-restive northwestern frontier area the place the USA has accused China of genocide towards the principally Muslim Uyghur minority.

State media, which tends to launch information of Xi’s actions after the very fact and with few preliminary particulars, reported on Friday that Xi had visited websites from Tuesday via Thursday together with a college and a commerce zone within the regional capital of Urumqi.

A photograph by the official Xinhua information company confirmed a maskless Xi surrounded by smiling and clapping residents, lots of them showing to be Uyghurs sporting ethnic costumes and Muslim prayer caps.

Xinjiang had been the scene of sporadic anti-government and anti-Han Chinese language violence earlier than a crackdown that the United Nations stated in 2018 had put a million Uyghurs into “large internment camps” arrange for political indoctrination.

China has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of Uyghurs. It initially denied the existence of any camps, then stated it had arrange “vocational coaching centres” with dormitories the place individuals can “voluntarily” verify themselves in to find out about legislation, Chinese language language and vocational abilities. It stated that in 2019 all trainees had “graduated”.

Xinjiang has not reported any violent assaults because the institution of the centres.

“The purpose of Xi’s Xinjiang journey is to see the outcomes of the insurance policies he has put in place lately to stabilise Xinjiang and to conclude that his strategy and technique for Xinjiang had been profitable,” stated Li Mingjiang, affiliate professor on the S. Rajaratnam Faculty of Worldwide Research in Singapore.

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The journey marks Xi’s first public look since he visited Hong Kong for the July 1 anniversary marking 25 years of Chinese language rule over the previous British colony, one other territory the place Beijing has dramatically tightened its management following sometimes-violent pro-democracy and anti-China protests in 2019.

Xi’s final reported go to to Xinjiang was in 2014, when he referred to as for an all-out “battle towards terrorism, infiltration and separatism”, in line with leaked papers reported by the New York Instances. Native authorities later stepped up efforts to trace, management and re-educate Uyghurs.

Xi, who has additionally clamped down on the once-restive Tibet Autonomous Area, final yr made the primary go to to the area by a Chinese language chief in three many years.

Xi is poised to safe a precedent-breaking third management time period later this yr.