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Rebiya Kadeer's past exemplifies China's policy on ethnic harmony

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http://www.youth.cn   2009-07-28 17:27:00 中国青年网

If Rebiya Kadeer, the leader of the World Uygur Congress, thought about her own past, she would count herself among the numerous Uyghurs who had benefited from China's policies to promote ethnic harmony.

The tale of Kadeer, who spent 40 years in Xinjiang and was listed as the richest woman in Xinjiang and the eighth richest on the mainland by Forbes in 1995, is a rags-to-riches story.

But AFP on Monday quoted Kadeer as saying the deeper cause of Sunday's riot in China's far northwest Xinjiang, which left at least 156 dead, was "six decades of Chinese rule, during which the Uyghurs have endured a litany of human rights abuses such as arbitrary detention, torture, discrimination, religious repression, forced abortion and removing Uighur language teaching from schools."

"Abuse" is hardly an appropriate word to describe the lives of Uyghurs in Xinjiang -- least of all in her own life, which started off in poverty, but later flourished on Chinese soil.

She built her business empire and became "The Millionairess" in Xinjiang within 10 years. But, if her allegations of "discrimination" against the Chinese government were true, only Han Chinese would have been allowed such opportunities.

Her identity as a Uygur also allowed her to have six children while most of her Han counterparts were limited to one.

Human rights abuse accusations by Kadeer, including religious repression and removing Uygur-language teaching from schools, fall flat as achievements made by both local people and the government are a matter of record.

Kadeer's accusation of "discrimination" in her interview with AFP does not hold water as can be seen by the number of minorities holding sought-after government posts.

In Xinjiang, minority people hold more than half of government posts, which are usually hotly contested in China's competitive job market. About 360,000 government employees in Xinjiang are ethnic minorities.

Official statistics show the number of middle school bilingual classes (in both Mandarin and Uygur) was 4,500 in 2007, with total enrollment of 145,000 students, compared with only 27 in 1999, when the figures were first compiled. The bilingual classes were first introduced in the early 1990s.

 
  编辑: Ivy 来源: Xinhua
 
 
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