Chinese ambassador to Malaysia denies reports that Muslims in Xinjiang banned from Ramadan fasting

Bernama, the “Offical Portal of National News Agency of Malaysia” reported the following:

Claims Of China’s Ban On Ramadan Fast In Xinjiang Region Untrue – Chinese Ambassador
KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) — Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang today denied foreign news reports on Wednesday that Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region have been banned from fasting during the month of Ramadan.

“I do not think it is true. Which Chinese media have reported the news? It is not Chinese media, right?,” he said to reporters after attending the Corporate Malaysia Roundtable organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute, here, today.

However, he assured that the relevant Chinese ministries would be clearing the air regarding the matter.

Foreign media on Wednesday reported that several government departments in Xinjiang have banned Muslim staff from fasting during Ramadan.

The media posted a so-called directive from the Chinese government departments prohibiting the ruling Communist Party’s members, teachers and young people from fasting or participating in the religious activities during Ramadan.

Xinjiang is a mainly Muslim region, home to the Uighur minority. For years China’s ruling Communist Party has restricted fasting in the region, which has seen regular and often deadly clashes between Uighurs and state security forces.

China is in the midst of a security crackdown in Xinjiang following a series of attacks the government blames on Muslim extremists.

Links and sources
Bernama: Claims Of China’s Ban On Ramadan Fast In Xinjiang Region Untrue – Chinese Ambassador
Al-Jazeera: Chinese Uyghurs defy Ramadan ban
مصير إقليم تركستان الشرقية (Arabic language TV interview and transcript Izz al-Din Ahmad Wardani, whose PhD from the Asian Studies Department at the University of Zagazig in Egypt was titled ‘East Turkistan under Chinese communist rule in the period from 1949 to 2000’; see rough English translation by Google)