Chinese paper blames West for encouraging Xinjiang extremists

In this Nov. 5, 2017, file photo, a child reacts as security personnel march by in a show of force in Kashgar in western China's Xinjiang region. (AP)
Updated 01 September 2018
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Chinese paper blames West for encouraging Xinjiang extremists

  • Xinjiang faces a serious threat from militants and separatists who plot attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority

SHANGHAI: Turbulence in China’s restive far western region of Xinjiang have been caused by “external factors,” a state-run newspaper said Saturday in an editorial responding to calls by a group of US lawmakers for sanctions on Chinese officials.
“Western accusations of Xinjiang governance seriously misled the extremists, making them believe they were launching religious Jihad and won sympathy and support from Western and international society,” said the editorial in the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily.
“Some forces have slandered China’s governing efforts” in Xinjiang, the editorial said, accusing a “West-centered (value) system” of making “empty statements about human rights regardless of the purpose and effect of Xinjiang governance and the grim reality it targets.”
“Such empty talk inspires extremists, which meets the purposes of some Western politicians trying to undermine the governance achievements in Xinjiang and push the region into turmoil,” the editorial said.
Whether Xinjiang governance abuses human rights must be judged by whether its results safeguard the interests of the majority in the region, it continued.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers called for sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses against minority Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, saying it was being turned into a “high-tech police state.”
On Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing that the United States did “not have the right” to make “unwarranted criticism” of China’s policies toward ethnic minorities.
A United Nations human rights panel this month said it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China were held in what resembled a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
China has said that Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist 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.


Trump signs ‘Space Force’ directive

The creation of Space Force is by no means a done deal, as it must be vetted and approved by Congress. (AP)
Updated 20 February 2019
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Trump signs ‘Space Force’ directive

  • The forces is to protect satellites
  • The order calls for Congress to draft legislation that would establish it

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump signed an order Tuesday outlining his vision for a new “Space Force” that could one day become a separate military branch on an equal footing to the Army and Navy.
Trump wants to create a space force to protect satellites, tackle vulnerabilities in space and assert US dominance in orbit.
“We have to be prepared,” Trump told reporters after signing the directive.
“My administration has made the creation of a space force a national security issue.”
Space Force would be the sixth branch of the military alongside the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.
The order calls for Congress to draft legislation that would establish Space Force as a branch that falls under the Air Force, similar to how the Navy oversees the Marine Corps.
Defense Department spokesman Charlie Summers said the Pentagon would submit its legislative proposal within the coming weeks.
With the new directive, “Trump is posturing the United States to compete, deter, and win in a complex multi-domain environment characterized by great power competition,” Summers said in a statement.
The Air Force said a space force would work “to ensure unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in space, and to provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces.”
But the creation of Space Force is by no means a done deal, as it must be vetted and approved by Congress.
Lawmakers and defense officials have reacted with skepticism, wary of the cost and added bureaucracy.
Space plays a vital role in just about every aspect of modern warfare, with many military technologies reliant on a network of orbiting sensors and satellites, and the Pentagon has warned that countries such as Russia and China are working to build anti-satellite capabilities.