China's campaign of pressure against the country's Uighur Muslim minority has prevented the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang from "becoming "China's Syria" or 'China's Libya, '" an official Communist Party newspaper said Monday.
But McDougall said authorities have "turned the Uighur Autonomous Region into something that resembles a massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy - a sort of "no rights zone".
China rejected on Monday allegations raised by a United Nations panel that 1 million Uighurs may be held in internment camps in the restive Xinjiang region, but said that some people underwent re-education after being deceived by extremists.
Don't miss out on the latest news and information. According to reports, they are used for "re-educating" members of Xinjiang's Muslim population of 12 million people, majority Uighurs, as well as Kazakhs and Hui Chinese. Police and security posts can be seen everywhere in Xinjiang,"the paper wrote".
China insists there is no "arbitrary detention" and are no "re-education centres" in the Xinjiang region after a United Nations human rights committee raised concern over reported mass detentions of ethnic Uighurs.
"There is no doubt that the current peace and stability in Xinjiang is partly due to the high intensity of regulations".
"The argument that one million Uighurs are detained in re-education centers is completely untrue", Chinese delegate Hu Lianhe said through an interpreter.
Uighurs enjoyed full rights but "those deceived by religious extremism. shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education", officials said.
"To say that they don't violate rights of minorities does not prove anything".
China's constitution guarantees the freedom of religious worship but the ruling Communist Party is officially atheist and keeps tight restrictions on religious activities.
Maintaining peace and stability there is in the basic interest of people in Xinjiang and all of China, it added.
Beijing was responding to questions raised by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Geneva.
"When the same evil influence was spreading in Xinjiang, it was decisively curbed".
In today's Xinjiang, growing a beard, praying regularly, or contacting people overseas could all lead to one being sentenced to prison or sent to the so-called "re-education camps" to undergo "thought transformation through education", the report said.
The editorials, which presage Beijing's response to the panel, mark a shift, from denial of the camps and any use of discriminatory practices in Xinjiang, to justification.
Beijing tightened controls and surveillance of Xinjiang's population after an eruption of violence aimed at Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group in China, in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, in 2009 and an attack in Beijing in 2013 attributed to Uighur Muslims.
Earlier this year, the foreign ministry declared that concerns about the mistreatment of the Uighurs were "unjustified" and criticism amounted to "interference in China's internal affairs", The Guardian reports.