China has prevented “great tragedy” in Xinjiang, state-run paper says

Men install a CCTV camera in a shopping street in the old town of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, in this March 23, 2017 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 August 2018
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China has prevented “great tragedy” in Xinjiang, state-run paper says

  • “There is no doubt that the current peace and stability in Xinjiang is partly due to the high intensity of regulations"
  • Maintaining peace and stability there is in the basic interest of people in Xinjiang and all of China

BEIJING: Massively stepped-up security in China’s restive far western region of Xinjiang has helped prevent “great tragedy,” a state-run newspaper said on Monday, in the country’s first response to a critical United Nations report on the situation there.
A UN human rights panel said on Friday that it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China are held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
China has said that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority.
Hundreds have died in unrest there in recent years.
In joint editorials in its Chinese and English versions, the widely-read Global Times tabloid said criticism of the rights record in Xinjiang was aimed at stirring trouble there and destroying hard-earned stability.
China’s security presence there has prevented Xinjiang from becoming another Syria or Libya, it added.
“There is no doubt that the current peace and stability in Xinjiang is partly due to the high intensity of regulations. Police and security posts can be seen everywhere in Xinjiang,” the paper wrote.
“But it’s a phase that Xinjiang has to go through in rebuilding peace and prosperity and it will transition to normal governance.”
Maintaining peace and stability there is in the basic interest of people in Xinjiang and all of China, it added.
“The turnaround in Xinjiang’s security situation has avoided a great tragedy and saved countless lives, thanks to powerful Chinese law and the strong ruling power of the Communist Party of China,” the paper wrote.
“What the West has been hyping has destroyed numerous countries and regions. When the same evil influence was spreading in Xinjiang, it was decisively curbed.”
Xinjiang has “no room for destructive Western public opinions,” and all steps must be taken to ensure its stability, it said.
“Peace and stability must come above all else. With this as the goal, all measures can be tried. We must hold onto our belief that keeping turmoil away from Xinjiang is the greatest human right.”
China’s Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to a request for comment on the United Nations report.


Report reveals an undeclared N. Korean missile base headquarters

In this April 15, 2017, file photo, navy personnel sit in front of a submarine-launched "Pukguksong" ballistic missile (SLBM) as it is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP)
Updated 3 min 42 sec ago
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Report reveals an undeclared N. Korean missile base headquarters

  • The report noted that missile operating bases would presumably be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any denuclearization deal

WASHINGTON: One of 20 undeclared ballistic missile operating bases in North Korea serves as a missile headquarters, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published on Monday.
“The Sino-ri missile operating base and the Nodong missiles deployed at this location fit into North Korea’s presumed nuclear military strategy by providing an operational-level nuclear or conventional first strike capability,” the report said.
The discovery of an undeclared missile headquarters comes three days after US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he “looks forward” to another summit to discuss denuclearization with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February.
CSIS, which last reported on the 20 undeclared bases in November, said the Sino-ri base has never been declared by North Korea and as a result “does not appear to be the subject of denuclearization negotiations.”
The report noted that missile operating bases would presumably be subject to declaration, verification, and dismantlement in any denuclearization deal.
“The North Koreans are not going to negotiate over things they don’t disclose,” said Victor Cha, one of the authors of the report. “It looks like they’re playing a game. They’re still going to have all this operational capability,” even if they destroy their disclosed nuclear facilities.
Located 132 miles (212 kilometers) north of the demilitarized zone, the Sino-ri complex is a seven-square-mile (18-square-km) base that plays a key role in developing ballistic missiles capable of reaching South Korea, Japan, and even the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific, the report said.
It houses a regiment-sized unit equipped with Nodong-1 medium-range ballistic missiles, the report added.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Satellite images of the base from Dec. 27, 2018 show an entrance to an underground bunker, reinforced shelters and a headquarters, the report said.