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Friday, August 16, 2019, 15:59
White paper: Xinjiang education, training in line with rule of law
By Xinhua
Friday, August 16, 2019, 15:59 By Xinhua

Folk dancers perform at a Beijing news conference on July 30, 2019, about the achievements of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region during the past 70 years. (WANG ZHUANGFEI / CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING — Education and training in Xinjiang are practiced in line with the spirit and requirements of the rule of law in China, according to a white paper titled Vocational Education and Training in Xinjiang published by the State Council Information Office Friday. 

In the white paper, which is organized into six chapters, China has stressed they also reflect the ideas and principles of counterterrorism and deradicalization as practiced by the international community.

The six chapters in the white paper are organized as per urgent needs for education and training, law-based education and training, content of education and training, protection of trainees' basic rights, remarkable results in education and training, and experience incountering extremism.

Xinjiang has established vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law to prevent the breeding and spread of terrorism and religious extremism, and worthwhile results have been achieved, according to the white paper

It is a fundamental task of any responsible government, acting on basic principles, to remove the malignant tumor of terrorism and extremism that threatens people's lives and security, to safeguard people's dignity and value, to protect their rights to life, health and development, and to ensure they enjoy a peaceful and harmonious social environment, according to the white paper.

Urgent need for education, training

Xinjiang is in urgent need of education and training, for many people in the region have been influenced and controlled by religious extremism, according to the white paper.

It was stated in the white paper that Xinjiang is a key battlefield in the fight against terrorism and extremism in China. For some time Xinjiang has been plagued by terrorism and religious extremism, which pose a serious threat to the lives of the people in the region.

ALSO READ: Critics of Xinjiang fail to see real picture

Addressing both the symptoms and root causes and integrating preventative measures and a forceful response, Xinjiang has established vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law to prevent the breeding and spread of terrorism and religious extremism, effectively curbing the frequent terrorist incidents and protecting the rights to life, health, and development of the people of all ethnic groups, according to the white paper, and that worthwhile results have been achieved.

In line with rule of law

Education and training in Xinjiang are practiced in line with the spirit and requirements of the rule of law in China, according to the white paper. They also reflect the ideas and principles of counterterrorism and deradicalization as practiced by the international community.

The education and training in Xinjiang reflect the ideas and principles of counterterrorism and deradicalization as practiced by the international community.

It was stated in the document that Xinjiang has enacted and revised, in accordance with legal procedures, two local regulations.

At present, trainees at the centers fall into three categories. The vocational education and training centers shall provide these people with residential vocational training free of charge, and issue certificates of completion when the trainees reach the expected criteria. After graduation, the trainees can choose their own jobs, or employment can be arranged for them with the assistance of relevant authorities, according to the white paper.

The education and training efforts in Xinjiang are also in line with the basic principles clearly defined in the relevant international conventions and initiatives, the white paper added.

It was noted in the document that the education and training efforts of Xinjiang manifest China's implementation of international counterterrorism and deradicalization initiatives and measures.

Rights to use ethnic languages respected

The education and training centers in Xinjiang respect the trainees' rights to use their own ethnic spoken and written languages when offering standard Chinese courses.

To meet the needs of fighting terrorism and extremism, these centers deliver a curriculum that includes standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law, vocational skills, and deradicalization, according to the document.

Tailored language programs are provided to trainees to remedy their lack of proficiency in standard Chinese.

Improving the trainees' command of standard Chinese helps them to learn about science and technology, acquire vocational skills, seek work in other locations, communicate with other ethnic groups, and adapt better to life in modern society, subject to the condition that their right to use their own ethnic languages is respected, according to the white paper.

It was noted in the document that there is no intention to deprive or limit the trainees' right to use and develop their own ethnic languages.

A group of reporters from 24 countries visit a vocational educational center in Moyu county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, July 22, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Freedom of religious belief 

Education and training centers in Xinjiang never interfere in the trainees' freedom of religious belief nor make any attempts to have the trainees change their religious beliefs, according to the white paper.

As trainees have fallen under the influence and control of religious extremism to a greater or lesser extent, the centers integrate deradicalization into the whole process of education and training, according to the white paper.

Through step-by-step teaching of laws and regulations, policies on ethnic and religious affairs, and religious knowledge, and by exposing the damage caused by terrorism and religious extremism, the centers give trainees a full and accurate understanding of the national policy of freedom of religious belief, the white paper added.

In order to rehabilitate the trainees, these courses teach the trainees to distinguish between lawful and unlawful religious activities, understand how religious extremism runs counter to religious doctrine, and realize the evil nature and serious harm of terrorism and religious extremism, so that they can eventually break free from the influence and control of terrorism and religious extremism, according to the white paper.

Education and training in Xinjiang are an important measure to help trainees break free from ideas of terrorism and religious extremism, not a measure to limit or circumscribe a person's freedom

Basic rights protected

It was noted in the white paper that education and training in Xinjiang are an important measure to help trainees break free from ideas of terrorism and religious extremism, not a measure to limit or circumscribe a person's freedom.

ALSO READ: All ethnic groups in Xinjiang fully enjoy human rights

The personal freedom of trainees at the education and training centers is protected in accordance with the law, according to the document. The centers employ a residential education model which allows trainees to go back home on a regular basis and ask for leave to attend personal affairs. The trainees also enjoy the freedom of correspondence.

The regulations, curriculum, and menus at the centers all use local ethnic languages as well as standard Chinese. The customs of all ethnic groups are fully respected and protected, and a variety of nutritious Muslim food is provided free of charge, according to the white paper.

The centers practice separation of education and religion in management, which means trainees should not organize or take part in religious activities there, but they can decide on their own whether to do so on a legal basis when they get home.

The centers have well-equipped facilities, and free 24-hour medical facilities are made available to trainees. In the case of major and acute illnesses, trainees will be sent to hospital.

All trainees are included in public pension and medical insurance schemes, and are entitled to free health examination, according to the white paper.

No obligatory labor

Practical training in Xinjiang education and training centers is conducted in classes rather than through employment in factories or enterprises, or obligatory labor.

Vocational skills training programs are provided to trainees to remedy the lack of occupational skills and employment difficulties, according to the white paper.

The education and training centers regard vocational skills as an important channel to improve the trainees' employability, according to the white paper.

ALSO READ: Vocational trainees find good jobs

Based on local demand and employment opportunities, the courses they present include garment making, food processing, assembly of electronic products, typesetting and printing, hairdressing and beauty services, e-commerce, auto maintenance and repair, interior design and decoration, livestock breeding, pomiculture, therapeutic massage, household services, handicrafts, flower arrangement, rug weaving, painting, and the performing arts such as music and dance, according to the document.

Eligible trainees who are willing to learn are offered training in more than one skill to ensure they are employable in the jobs market upon completing their study at the centers. The education and training centers combine course learning with practical training to improve the trainees' operational skills.

Religious extremism has been effectively eliminated, according to the white paper. Through education, majority of the trainees can recognize the nature and harm of terrorism and religious extremism

Quality of trainees improved

According to the white paper, most trainees have reached the required standards and graduated from the education and training centers in Xinjiang.

The comprehensive quality of trainees has improved. Their understanding of the rule of law has risen, and there is a general recognition that citizens must abide by the Constitution and other laws of the country. The ability of trainees to speak and write in standard Chinese has improved.

Many of the trainees who have completed their studies in education and training centers have gone on to find employment in factories or enterprises. Some have started their own businesses, and some have continued their studies in secondary and higher vocational schools in order to improve their prospects further.

Religious extremism has been effectively eliminated, according to the white paper. Through education, the vast majority of trainees can recognize the nature and harm of terrorism and religious extremism, and free themselves from the control these phenomena exert over their minds.

Most of the trainees are able to recognize that religious extremism is a perversion of their religion, and their ability to resist its penetration has notably increased, according to the white paper.

It was also noted that the social atmosphere has taken a marked turn for the better.

Delegates from permanent missions of eight countries to the United Nations Office at Geneva visit a planting and farming class at the vocational education and training center in Moyu County of Hotan prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Feb 18, 2019. (MA KAI / XINHUA)

Positive feedback from global communities

The international community has made positive comments on the education and training efforts of Xinjiang, according to the white paper.

Since the end of December 2018, nearly 1,000 people including foreign diplomatic envoys to China, UN officials, Geneva-based senior diplomats of various countries, as well as more than 40 groups (or delegations) from political parties, civil society organizations, news media, and religious organizations of various countries have visited Xinjiang, according to the white paper.

Through field trips, many have realized the truth and understood the urgency, necessity, legitimacy and rationality of carrying out education and training. They have all recognized that violent and inhumane terrorist activities in the region, provoked by religious extremism, were causing outrage, according to the white paper.

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It also cited multiple reports published by foreign journalists who have conducted interviews in the education and training centers.

The journalists have published stories that reflect the true role of the centers and express their understanding, approval and support for the education and training programs in Xinjiang, according to the white paper.

No terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang for nearly three years since the education and training started, and the overall situation in society continues to be stable, according to the white paper

No terrorist incidents in 3 years

According to the white paper, no terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang for nearly three years since the education and training started, and the overall situation in society continues to be stable.

As the infiltration of religious extremism has been curbed, public order and security have returned to society, where equality, solidarity and harmony among ethnic groups and religions have prevailed, and people are enjoying peace and stability.

In 2018, tourism in Xinjiang grew rapidly, according to the document. Tourists from inside and outside China totaled over 150 million, a year-on-year increase of 40 percent. Foreign tourists numbered 2.6 million, a year-on-year increase of nearly 12 percent.

READ MORE: Xinjiang Uygur sees big influx of visitors

Education and training has effectively safeguarded social stability and harmony in Xinjiang, protected the basic human rights of citizens to the maximum extent, and won the support of all ethnic groups. The personal feeling of many people is that the positive developments in Xinjiang have been hard won, and without education and training there would have been little peace and tranquility today, according to the white paper.

Program contributes to global actions against terrorism

The vocational education and training programs carried out in Xinjiang have achieved notable results and contributed experience to international actions against terrorism and extremism, according to the white paper.

The programs feature fighting extremism in accordance with local conditions, putting prevention first while taking firm action on terrorism and extremism, promoting the rule of law, and respecting and protecting human rights.

In countering terrorism and extremism, Xinjiang draws on the experience of other countries, and provides people influenced by terrorist and religious extremist teachings with education in standard spoken and written Chinese, an understanding of the law, and training in vocational skills, according to the white paper.

These efforts have eradicated extremist thoughts, delivered widely recognized results, helped to safeguard social stability in the region, and protected the environment for the healthy development of religions, the white paper added.

ALSO READ: Experts defend anti-terrorism effort in Xinjiang

The practice of educating and rehabilitating the victims of terrorist and religious extremist teachings through vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang is similar to efforts by other countries and regions, with the same goals of dealing with the problem at source and protecting people's basic human rights, according to the white paper, citing examples from other countries.

It was noted in the white paper the goal of Xinjiang's efforts in vocational education and training is to eliminate the sources of terrorism and religious extremism, and this is an action that aims to respect and protect human rights.

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