The Vocational Education and Training Centers in Xinjiang Are By No Means So-Called “Concentration Camps”

People of different ethnicities in Xinjiang have suffered deeply from extremism and terrorism in the last 20 years and more. From 1990 to the end of 2016, there had been several thousand cases of violent terrorism, and thousands of innocent people have been killed or injured. Those attacks took a heavy toll on the life and property of the local people, their freedom of religious belief, and other fundamental human rights. 

China is a country under the rule of law. The measures taken in Xinjiang in recent years have a clear-cut purpose: It is to pre-empt extremism and terrorism at the root. These measures are consistent with the Chinese law and the common approaches of the global community. The vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang were set up in accordance with law and to help the people in question free themselves from the influence of extremism and terrorism and acquire professional skills. The centers are by no means so-called “concentration camps”. There is no restriction or deprivation with regard to the trainees’ freedom. All legal rights of the trainees have been fully protected. No non-Chinese citizens have ever received training at any vocational education and training center in Xinjiang. 

Without a single case of violent terrorist attacks for the past nearly three years, Xinjiang is witnessing rapid economic growth, social stability, ethnic unity and religious harmony. The measures taken by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are all for the safety and happiness of the 25 million people of different ethnic groups there, and for contributing a greater share to the international fight against terrorism. We are fully open and above-board, and are confident that no vile smears will succeed. 

Since the end of 2018,, over a thousand people of more than 70 groups from more than 90 countries and regions have visited vocational education and training centers; and the Chinese and foreign media have reported the real conditions in the centers. Not long ago, some 50 countries sent a co-signed letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council, and more than 60 countries spoke at the UN General Assembly, and expressed support for China’s position on Xinjiang-related issues. Among those countries, more than 30 countries are Muslim countries. All those countries and people pointed out that the education and training centers and other measures in Xinjiang have effectively prevented extremism and terrorism. Basic human rights in Xinjiang have been safeguarded, and Xinjiang’s practice of setting up vocational education and training centers is in complete alignment with the UN policies on preemptively combatting terrorism and protecting primary human rights, which is commendable and worth learning by others. 

Xinjiang affairs are China’s internal affairs. Recently, some American media outlets and other organizations have been hyping up the work of vocational education and training in Xinjiang with a malicious intent to smear Xinjiang’s efforts and achievements in combatting terrorism and de-radicalization. Some politicians blatantly endorsed “East Turkestan” . Their vilification and their disregard of facts of the great efforts by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to safeguard social stability and long-term peace shows clearly how they play double standards on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization issues, and how vicious their intentions are when using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs. They stand on the opposite side of Chinese people and have lost morality, justice and integrity. 

A lie can never become the truth. All the attempts to smear China’s efforts at counter-terrorism and de-radicalization will never succeed. All the plots to use Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine Xinjiang’s stability and prosperity are doomed to fail. What some people in the U. S. lack is the means to get the correct information and  the courage and conscience to admit the truth. We urge those people to respect facts, reject bias and obsessiveness, stop wrongdoing and pull back before it’s too late, so as to avoid further severe damage to China-U. S. relations.

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