Xinjiang stability on the rise

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/16 15:43:39

Education, training program improves social environment

Villagers from Xinjiang's Aksu Prefecture watch a dance on August 7. The performers, organized by the local government, have at least three shows to perform every week. Photo: IC

A vocational education and training program in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has contributed to an increasingly healthier social environment in the region, said the chairman of the Xinjiang regional government on Tuesday.

As a result of the vocational education and training program, the social environment of Xinjiang has seen notable changes, where a healthy atmosphere is on the rise and the spread of religious extremism is being resisted, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying on Tuesday.

The move aims to prevent the majority of those who committed petty crimes from becoming victims of terrorism and extremism, Zakir said.

The chairman said trainees will have to learn the common language of the country, gain modern science knowledge and enhance their understanding of Chinese history, culture and national conditions through standardized plans and textbooks.

They need to learn legal knowledge, including the content of the Constitution, Criminal Law and Xinjiang's counter-extremism regulations, as well as acquire at least one vocational skill during their study to suit local conditions and the job market.

Courses on clothing and footwear making, food processing, electronics assembly, typesetting and printing, hairdressing and e-commerce have been set up, Zakir said.

Vocational training institutions would sign an agreement with the trainees before the free training begins and issue them certificates of completion after they meet the set standards.

Zakir noted that since its launch, the program has won high recognition and support from people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

The chairman had brought a positive response to overwhelming Western media reports criticizing China's policy on Xinjiang, which are "out of thin air and insulted the Xinjiang regional government," Shen Guiping, an expert on religion at the Beijing-based Central Institute of Socialism, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"By publishing irresponsible reports, some Western forces have ulterior motives to intentionally sabotage Xinjiang's development," Shen said.

Xinjiang recently revised its anti-extremism regulation to allow local governments to set up such institutions to provide people affected by extremist thoughts with vocational skills training and psychological counseling.

Dong Yong, a professor at Urumqi National Cadre College, told the Global Times on Tuesday that local governments in Xinjiang are responsible for arranging trainees based on their own employment needs.

But not every local government has such a training center, an official who previously worked in Hotan, a city in southwest of Xinjiang, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Tuesday. Hotan had seen a terror attack in July 2011.

When the West criticizes China's policy in Xinjiang under the guise of human rights, they should acknowledge that "stability in Xinjiang is the biggest human right," the official said.

Encouraging signs

Over the past 21 months, no violent terrorist attacks have taken place and the number of criminal cases has dropped significantly. People from the region have started to enjoy the benefits of effective counterterrorism efforts, Zakir also said in the Xinhua interview.

In 2017, the region had a 7.6 percent GDP growth (China's year-on-year GDP growth reached 6.9 percent in 2017), while the per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents increased by 8.1 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, according to Xinhua.

Tourism boomed in 2017 when the region saw more than 100 million trips by domestic and overseas tourists, or a year-on-year growth of 32.4 percent, Xinhua reported.

Xinjiang also set the goal of creating jobs for 100,000 people in the next three years in an outline released in September.

A tourist surnamed Shan who had traveled to Xinjiang in August told the Global Times on Tuesday that Xinjiang is pretty safe, even safer than cities in other provinces

Shen said a stable Xinjiang has proven the "correctness" of the efforts the regional government has made to improve regional security and has contributed to curb global terrorism and extremism.

Despite the progress, the regional government chief said in the Xinhua interview that "countering terrorism and extremism remains a complicated and serious issue."

It will still take some time for southern Xinjiang to eradicate terrorism and religious extremism totally, Zakir said.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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