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Chinese Embassy Spokesperson's Response to the Article entitled "Framing of Uighurs as Terrorist Threat for Indonesia"

The Chinese Embassy in Indonesia has taken note of the recent article entitled “Framing of Uighurs as Terrorist Threat for Indonesia” published on the Jakarta Post on 22nd December and would like to make the following clarifications in response.

First and foremost, in accordance with the Chinese Constitution and relevant laws and regulations, the Chinese government remains fully committed to respecting and protecting the freedom of religious belief enjoyed by all Chinese citizens, including over 20 million Chinese Muslim brothers and sisters.

Seeing is believing. In recent years, many Indonesian friends have visited China. Either in Beijing, Shanghai or the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, they’ve seen with their own eyes the real religious conditions and even joined the Chinese Muslims for prayer in local mosques. Just as the General Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) Mr. Said Aqil Siroj said to the Indonesian media, “The mosque in Xinjiang is large in size and full of local Muslims for prayers which shows the freedom of Islamic religion is fully respected in China.”

Secondly, the Chinese government remains consistent in its position that the extremist and terrorist activities are by no means an ethnic or religious issue. We firmly oppose any attempt to link terrorism with a particular ethnic group or religion. The Uighurs are one of the 56 ethnic groups of China, who are not only entitled to the same equal rights as other ethnic groups but also enjoy additional privileges including autonomy provided for the Chinese ethnic minorities. The author’s accusation that China is “framing the Uighurs as terrorist threat” is groundless and does not conform to facts.

Third, in recent years, our region has witnessed significant increase in terrorist threats. A few individual Chinese terrorist suspects attempted to make transit from Indonesia to the Middle East to join the “jihad ” or to receive training before returning to China to launch terrorist attacks. Some of them even chose to stay in Indonesia and joined the local terrorist organizations. Such tendencies pose a serious threat to the security of both countries and the region as a whole. China appreciates Indonesia’s relentless efforts in counter-terrorism and stands ready to further enhance its cooperation with Indonesia within bilateral and multilateral frameworks so as to jointly safeguard the stability and security of our people.

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