Chinese official says ‘sinicization’ of religion in Xinjiang must go on

902cd100-cf0d-11e8-9460-2e07e264bd11_1280x720_014422Source: Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The “sinicization” of religion must be upheld to promote ethnic solidarity and religious harmony, a senior Chinese official has said in the troubled western region of Xinjiang, which is home to a large Muslim population.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday quoted You Quan, head of the ruling Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, which oversees ethnic and religious affairs, as making the remarks on a visit to Xinjiang this week.

“The Party’s leadership over religious work must be upheld,” You said, adding that “the infiltration of religious extremism must be guarded against”.

Reports of mass detentions and strict surveillance of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang have provoked international criticism, prompting the United States to consider sanctions against officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.

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