1, 690,000 mostly Muslim households hosted 1,120,000 public servants in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in 2018.

Uighur boy is seen flying a kite in this file photo.
Uighur boy is seen flying a kite in this file photo. (AA)

The Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper reported earlier this week that in the country's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region 1,120,000 civil servants were staying as guests at 1, 690,000 households, most of which are Muslim Uighurs.

According to the paper, the officials staying at the houses, "share their bread, celebrate holidays together, help the children with homework, develop friendships, encourage the feeling of 'National Unity and Family' and take families to Urumqi, the capital of the region for activities."

It was not stated how long the officials remained in the region and stayed with the families and no information was shared about whether the families gave consent to the visits.

Among the civil servants staying in the homes of Uighur families, it was reported that there were public officials from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region armed forces, the Armed Police Units and the Chinese central government's representatives.

The report also suggested that last year in Xinjiang, encouraged by the officials of the "National Union and Family" activities deepened the national unity, strengthening the links between the party officials and the local people, "the CCP's voice was heard by thousands of families," the report added.

An official speaking to the paper said, "The villagers are eagerly looking forward to a modern lifestyle and understanding the good policies of the party. Nowadays, the relationship between the party and the people is rapidly developing. The villagers are ... embracing the modern civilization movement. Their lifestyle has changed and so has their thoughts."

Uighur representatives living outside of China have reacted harshly to the practice, saying officials staying at the houses on behalf of the communist party are actually there to spy on the families.

Responding to the allegations, China has strongly refuted any suggestion that it is mistreating the Uighur minority.

Previously, Hu Lianhe, a spokesman for China's United Front Work Department, had told a UN panel. "There is no arbitrary detention or lack of freedom of religion and belief."

"Xinjiang citizens including the Uighurs enjoy equal freedoms and rights."

Hu said, "there is no such thing as re-education centres," but added criminals convicted of "minor offences" have been assigned to "vocational educational and employment training centres with a view to assisting in their rehabilitation."

"They are not subject to any arbitrary detention or ill-treatment there," Hu added.

Source: AA