China ramping up efforts to promote Mandarin in Xinjiang amid global outcry over its policies

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Representative image
Representative image

Beijing [China] March 31 (ANI): China is ramping up efforts to promote Mandarin language education and to Sinicise Islam in Xinjiang, despite the growing international outcry over its policies against Uyghurs in the province.

Xinjiang Daily reported on Thursday that the regional government had called an extended conference for local officials following a visit by one of the most senior figures in the central government, South China Morning Post reported.

During his trip, Wang Yang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, ordered Xinjiang party officials to "optimise" governance to achieve long-term stability.

Wang, the head of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is currently China's fourth-highest ranked politician and oversees the party's policies in Xinjiang and national policies on ethnic and religious affairs.

Wang told officials to work to sinicise religion and to guide Islam to be more compatible with Chinese socialist values.

At this week's regional conference, cadres were told to stay vigilant even though counterterrorism work had become a "normal part of everyday life" and the social governance model, The SCMP reported citing Xinjiang Daily.

China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

Recently, several companies such as H&M and Nike (NKE) said they were concerned about allegations that forced labour has been used to produce cotton in Xinjiang.

Chinese media has called for Chinese boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, sports apparel powerhouses Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang, South China Morning Post reported.

Swedish multinational H&M, the world's second-largest clothing retailer, has been pulled from major e-commerce stores in China and blocked by several major navigation, review and rating apps.

Dozens of Chinese celebrities have terminated contracts or said they would cut ties with these brands, including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Uniqlo -- a move lauded by state media.

On Friday, the Biden administration said America is keen to ensure that US companies adhere to US law and worker concerns and "don't in any way support forced labour"The tensions between Beijing and western countries have escalated recently after the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on Chinese officials involved in human rights violations.

The sanctions blacklisted former and current officials in the Xinjiang region--Zhu Hailun, Wang Junzheng, Wang Mingshan and Chen Mingguo--for alleged abuses, which have sparked international outrage.

The coordinated move also targeted the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

In retaliation to the bloc's sanctions, China has decided to introduce sanctions against 10 European Union officials and four European organisations after accusing them of spreading lies and false information about the Xinjiang region.

On Friday, China introduced sanctions on nine UK citizens and four entities in response to London's sanctions on Beijing over the issue of human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

The dispute has seen a flurry of activity in diplomatic circles, with China and European nations summoning each other's ambassadors to answer for the move and responses to it, according to the South China Morning Post. (ANI)