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Press Conference on Xinjiang_Counter-Terrorism, Deradicalization and the Vocational Education and Training Program(2020.01.10)


 

Counter-Terrorism, Deradicalization and the Vocational Education and Training Program

 2020-01-11 19:26

  On Jan. 10, 2020, the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR held the 2nd press conference on Xinjiang related issues. The press conference invited Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu, Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim, Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Machinery Administration of XUAR Gulnal Ubli, former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Kashgar Alijan Tohti and former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Yutian County of Hotan Prefecture Alimujan Abduani, to give a briefing and answer questions from the press regarding Xinjiang's efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization and the vocational education and training program.

  Host of press conference: Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Xinjiang Committee Xu Guixiang

  Xu Guixiang: Dear friends from the press, good morning. Welcome to the 2nd press conference on Xinjiang related issues. The theme of this press conference is "Xinjiang's efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization and the vocational education and training program". The invitees of today's press conference are Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu, Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim, Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Machinery Administration of XUAR Gulnal Ubli, former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Kashgar City Alijan Tohti and former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Yutian County of Hotan Prefecture Alimujan Abduani. They will answer questions from you.

  First, Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu will give a briefing about Xinjiang's efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization and the vocational education and training program.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  Dear friends from the press,

  Good morning! Nice to meet you. At today's event, I will brief you about Xinjiang's efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization and the vocational education and training.

  For some time, Xinjiang has been plagued by terrorism and religious extremism. Between 1990 and the end of 2016, ethnic separatists, religious extremists and violent terrorists plotted and carried out several thousand acts of violent terrorist attacks and related incidents in Xinjiang, causing deaths of a large number of innocent people and enormous property losses. Facing the grave and complex situation and the pressing demand of people of all ethnic groups for fighting violent terrorist crimes and defending people's life and property, China Xinjiang, in compliance with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other counter-terrorism resolutions, and by drawing on counter-terrorism experience of the international community, has adopted resolute measures striking hard at violent terrorist activities that violate the human rights, endanger public security, harm ethnic unity, and separate the country. Since 2014, 1,588 terrorist groups have been crushed, 12,995 terrorists captured, 2,052 explosive devices seized. Frequent terrorist attacks have been effectively contained and people's basic rights to life, health, and development have been protected to the maximum extent.

  Terrorism and extremism are twin brothers, and, to prevent terrorism, extremism must be stemmed. For some time in the past, religious extremists, in the name of ethnicity and religion, insisted religious believers to resist government administration, and deny concepts and achievements of modern secular civilization, regarded those who don't comply with extreme practices as "pagans," and preached heretical ideas like "engage in a holy war and die for their beliefs in order to enter heaven," turning normal people into terrorists by trapping them into their psychological control. Large number of violent terrorist incidents cracked show religious extremism is a factor behind the attacks, which is to say religious extremism constitute the ideological foundation of terrorism and is a root cause that explains frequent terrorist incidents for a time in Xinjiang.

  While relentlessly fighting violent terrorist crimes according to law, Xinjiang, in recent years, has persisted in addressing root causes with a holistic approach including improving people's life, strengthening legal education and publicity, and intensifying deradicalization efforts through conducting law-binding vocational education and training. Thanks to these measures, Xinjiang has effectively stemmed religious extremism from breeding and spreading. Establishing vocational education and training centers is one of the decisive measures to educate and save those were infected with religious extremism and had committed minor offence or those who break the law, so as to defuse terrorist activities before they happen or nip them in the bud. As the trainees generally had a very poor command of the country's common language, lacked legal knowledge and occupational skills and were affected by religious extremism to different degrees, the centers delivered curriculum that includes the standard spoken and written Chinese, law, vocational skills and deradicalization. Trainees' overall quality has improved, their understanding of the rule of law has risen and ability to speak and write in standard Chinese has improved. Trainees have mastered practical skills and their employability has increased, and have freed themselves from the control of terrorism and religious extremism exert over their minds. At present, the trainees on the education and training program have all graduated. With the help of the government, they have got stable jobs, improved living quality and are leading a better life now.

  I'd like to emphasize again that the Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers were education and training institutions established in accordance with law against the backdrop of frequent terrorist incidents over a period of time in the past. Designed to eliminate the sources of terrorism and religious extremism, the centers make no difference in essence to the U.S.'s "community corrections," British DDP, French deradicalization centers. With solid legal basis and clear legal procedures to follow, Xinjiang's education and training work complied fully with the laws and regulations of China and principles of the international community on counter-terrorism and deradicalization, and didn't target any region, ethnicity, or religion. The alleged "suppressing ethnic minorities""persecuting Muslims" have been nonexistent. People who visited the centers all know that these were well-equipped schools to help trainees free themselves from the control of religious extremism exert over their minds, teach them the national common language, law and occupational skills, instead of the so-called "concentration camps" in any respect. The trainees' personal freedom were full protected including going home, and every of their rights like using their own ethnic languages and freedom of religious belief were fully guaranteed. There never existed the alleged "violations of human rights." Some politicians and media of the U. S. and other Western countries, ignoring facts and calling confusing right and wrong, have deliberately vilified and smeared Xinjiang's efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization and its education and training work, which is entirely a double standard and constitutes their connivance in terrorism and extremism, in gross defiance of international justice and the conscience of humanity. And such behaviors will be despised by people with good hearts and justice.

  Facts speak louder than words and justice is in people's hearts. Thanks to the efforts on counter-terrorism, deradicalization, and the vocational education and training, Xinjiang has seen no violent terrorist attack for three consecutive years, with infiltration of extremism being effectively contained, social public security notably improved, and people of all ethnic groups living and working in peace with a much stronger sense of gain, happiness and security. These achievements are obviously to people all over the world. Since December 2018, nearly 1,000 people from over 90 countries, have visited Xinjiang in 71 groups, which include foreign diplomatic envoys to China, UN officials, Geneva-based senior diplomats of various countries, news media, and religious organizations. They all expressed that what they saw in Xinjiang differed totally from what had been stated or reported by some western politicians and media. They have all recognized that Xinjiang's practice in counter-terrorism and deradicalization is totally in line with UN's purpose and principles on combating terrorism and safeguarding the fundamental human rights, which deserves recognition and is of reference value.

  To conclude, I'd like to make a serious statement: Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about fighting separatism, violence and terrorism, and extremism. Xinjiang government' law-based counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures have successfully curbed terrorist and violent activities in Xinjiang, and secured a peaceful and content life for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. The achievements have been recognized by and received positive comments from the international community including Muslim counties .

  The resolve of Xinjiang people of all ethnic groups in safeguarding national unity, ethnic solidarity, and social stability and long-term peace is rock solid and unshakable. Any attempt using Xinjiang-related issues to sow discord among various ethnic groups, undermine Xinjiang's prosperity and stability, and contain China's development and growth is doomed to fail, and will be opposed resolutely by the 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

  That concludes my briefing. Thank you.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your briefing, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. It is Q&A session now. Our friends from the press, please raise your hands to ask questions. Before asking questions, please introduce the name of the news press you are in.

  Reporter from Xinhua News Agency:

  1.Q: Could you please introduce the number of terrorist attacks and the casualties and property losses these attacks caused in Xinjiang in the past? What's the reason behind these terrorist attacks? And who manipulate these?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Yalkun Yakufu.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  A: Xinjiang is a key battlefield in the fight against terrorism and extremism in China. For long time, China' Xinjiang, under the combined influence of separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, has been frequent incidents of terrorist attacks, which have been detrimental to the life and property of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Incomplete statistics show that between 1990 and the end of 2016 separatists, religious extremists and terrorists plotted and carried out several thousand acts of terrorism such as bombings, assassinations, poisoning, arson, assaults, and riots, in Xinjiang. Many innocent people were killed and several hundred police officers died in the line of duty. The property loses incurred were enormous. For example, on April 30, 2014, two terrorists hid in the crowd at the exit of Urumqi Railway Station. One attacked people with his knife and the other detonated a device inside his suitcase, killing 3 and injuring 79. Taking another case as an example, on July 28, 2014, terrorists with knives and axes attacked the government building and police station of Ailixihu Town, Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture. Some then moved on to Huangdi Town where they attacked civilians and smashed and burned passing vehicles, causing heavy casualties and property losses. On September 18, 2015, terrorists attacked a coal mine in Baicheng County, Aksu Prefecture, causing 16 dead and 18 injured.

  Terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang germinate in a complex domestic and international environment. They take root overseas. They have breeding soil inside China. They have market in the Internet. Since the 1900s, the "East Turkistan" forces inside and outside China have stepped up their collaboration as terrorism and extremism spread around the globe. In the name of ethnicity and religion, they have instigated religious fanaticism, spread religious extremism, abetted people to "die or their belief in order to enter heaven". Some of the most susceptible followers, no longer possessed of any self-control, became extremists and terrorists. Majority of terrorist incidents were influenced by the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" and "World Uyghur Congress" more or less who are the black hand manipulating terrorism and extremism activities in Xinjiang. As mentioned before, these three cases were planned and organized directly by the overseas "East Turkistan."

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. Next question.

  Reporter from People's Daily:

  2. Q: How can Xinjiang ensure that counterterrorism and deradicalization has always been conducted in accordance with the law without any discrimination based on ethnicity and religion?

  Xu Guixiang: This question also goes to Yalkun Yakufu.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  A: It is important to stick to the principles of rule of law and a law-based approach in combating terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang. The situation is severe and complex; members of all ethnic groups are insistent in their demands that violent and terrorist crimes be punished, and that their lives and property should be protected. Therefore, in accordance with the law, the local government strikes at all sorts of violent and terrorist activities that violate human rights, endanger public security, undermine ethnic unity, and split the country.

  Currently, China's anti-terrorism and law system is composed of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, the national Security Law of the People's Republic of China, the Counterterrorism Law of the People's Republic of China, the Regulations on Religious Affairs, and the Opinions on Certain Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases Involving Terrorism and Extremism jointly issued by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Republic Security, and the Ministry of Justice. In view of local reality and in accordance with the Legislation Law of the People's Republic of China and the Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, Xinjiang has accelerated the enactment of local regulations, including the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Implementing the Counterterrorism Law of the People's Republic of China, and the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Deradicalization. These laws and regulations and powerful legal instruments to contain and combat terrorism and extremism.

  With facts as the basis and the law as the criterion, judicial organs in Xinjiang adopt a policy that strikes the right balance between compassion and severity. Ringleaders, core members, and major offenders who are held accountable for organizing, planing and implementing violent, terrorist and religious extremist crimes are severely punished in accordance with the law; repeat offendersthose who have previously received administrative and criminal punishment or have been exempt from criminal punishment after committing violent, terrorist and religious extremist crimes are found committing the same crimes againare severely punished in accordance with the law; minor offenders who have pled guilty are sentenced leniently in accordance with the law; juvenile offenders, deluded offenders and coerced offenders are sentenced leniently in accordance with the law; offenders who have voluntarily surrendered themselves or who have helped in cracking the cases are sentenced leniently or have their prison terms reduced in accordance with the law. Punishment is used effectively to reform the offenders and prevent crimes. While they make real sure real criminals are punished, judicial organs in Xinjiang protect the defendants' right to defence and the right to use their own language in litigation to guarantee procedural justice and protect basic civil rights.

  Counterterrorism and deradicalization effort in Xinjiang does not target any specific ethnic group or religion. It protects people of all ethnic groups from the scourge of terrorism and extremism. We insist on equality in law. No matter who from any ethnic group, as long as he violate the law, participate in terrorist or extremist activities, or endanger people's property security, he will be punished in accordance with the law. We strictly abide by the Counterterrorism Law of the People's Republic of China, respect citizens' freedom of religious belief and ethnic customs and prohibit any discrimination based on regions, ethnic groups, religions and other grounds. In this way, people's basic rights of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are protected.

  A few the U.S. and Western politicians and media smeared Xinjiang with remarks of "suppressing the Uygurs and persecuting Muslims" in disregard of facts and confusing black with white. Their aim is to provoke ethnic discord and antagonism between China and Muslim countries. Such behaviours are really beneath their dignity. No violent or terrorist activities have occurred in Xinjiang for more than three years, Peace and harmony have returned to society. Local people live in a happy and peaceful life. People of all ethnic groups, including the Uygurs, firmly support counter-terrorism and deradicalization effort in Xinjiang and enjoy social harmony.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. Next question.

  Reporter from China Global Television Network (CGTN):

  3. Q: In Xinjiang's fight against terrorism and extremism, how to protect citizens' rights of personal freedom and freedom of correspondence in accordance with law?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A: China is country under the rule of law. Citizens' personal freedom and freedom of correspondence are protected by law. Xinjiang combat terrorism in accordance with the law and protect human rights. It has made every effort to ensure that its counter-terrorism measures do not infringe the basic rights, interests and freedoms of local ethnic groups as endowed by the law, and that normal social order is maintained.

  Anyone in any ethnic groups have the right to go abroad or return to one's native land as long as he or she is not restricted from leaving the country because of involving in illegal activities, and one is free to contact with people outside China. We have noticed that some western media made up claims like "Chinese government restricted Uygurs' communication and moving about." Besides, some people, incited by the "East Turkistan" forces, post online that their relatives in China went "missing." I want to emphasize here that neither the personal freedom of any ethnic groups in Xinjiang nor their communications with their overseas relatives has ever been restricted. Talking about the "missing" people, some of them are living a normal life, and some are fabricated out of nothing, according to local officials. For example, ABC News once reported that a Chinese citizen Azmet Umal residing in Australia said his family members in Xinjiang went missing, including his father, step mother, three brothers, two sisters and over twenty nephews. It is verifies that all his family members in China are living a normal life and enjoy personal freedom. There have been many such reports. I do want to ask those who wrote such stuff: how did come up with these fabrications and do you have any minimal professional ethics?

  We have noticed that some American politician and media claims that "Xinjiang has been monitoring minorities in large-scale and violating human rights." I want to say that using modern technology and big data analyst methods to promote social governance is a common way around the world. Xinjiang installed CCTV in public places like main roads, traffic conjunctions and urban and rural area according to law. The aim is to promote social governance and to prevent and suppress crimes. Due to these measures, people of all ethnic groups have a stronger sense of security and the measures received their widespread support. I have to emphasize that these CCTV cameras themselves are not directed against any specific ethnic group, nor will they identify a specific one. They aim to frighten law breakers and protect law-abiding people. In America, face recognition devices are scanning every traveler in twenty main airports. New York Police Department has built a citywide monitoring system to monitor people, vehicles and phones. America smears Xinjiang's efforts to upgrade social governance with modern technologies as a way to monitor and control Uygurs or Muslims. They exercise blatant double standards on this issue. How come it is fair and reasonable for the U.S. to use these modern technologies, but when Xinjiang uses such technologies, it violates human rights? How rude and unreasonable it is!

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Next question.

  Reporter from China Daily:

  4. Q:How do you protect legal rights of scholars in the process of fighting terrorism and extremism?

  Xu Guixiang: This question also goes to Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Machinery Administration of XUAR Gulnal Ubli.

  Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Machinery Administration of XUAR Gulnal Ubli:

  A: People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including scholars support and endorse the law-based deradicalization -rationalization and the fight against terrorism. Scholars in Xinjiang actively spread mainstream ideas, foster and practice core socialist values, and help people of all ethnic groups to increase the ability to resist religious extremism to safeguard social stability and long-term peace in Xinjiang.

  However, it cannot be denied that a few intellectuals beat the drum for separatists and terrorists by instigating hatred and advocating religious extremism and terrorism. They have become enemies to people of all ethnic groups. And they will certainly be punished by law. For the overwhelming majority of intellectuals, not only did the government fully protect their various legitimate rights and freedom, but also provided them with strong support to do academic research and artistic creation.

  Recently, I noticed some foreign media and the so-called East Turkistan smeared that Xinjiang persecuted and detained the Uygur intellectuals, even myself was included. It was total nonsense. Actually, many of the intellectuals who have been said to be detained were living and working normally. I myslef was the right example. You can see with your own eyes. We were not maltreated or captured or lost our freedom and rights. We are working in our positions as usual. I'd like to stress that China is a country under the rule of law. We have complete judicial procedures. The Chinese citizens including the Uygur intellectuals wouldn't be taken enforcement measures as long as they abide by the laws.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Gulnal Ubli. Next question.

  Reporter from Xinjiang station of China National Radio:

  5. Q: When Xinjiang combat the terrorism and extremism activities, how do you guarantee the lawful rights of the criminal suspects and make sure they get fair trial?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Yalkun Yakufu.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  A: We adhere to the principle that everyone is equal in front of law. With facts as the basis and the law as the criterion, we handle each case fairly according to its nature. Judicial organs at various levels in Xinjiang uphold the principles of legally ascertaining crimes, presumption of innocence, and evidence-based sentencing, and fully protect citizens' right to fair trial at all stages from investigation to prosecution, to trial and execution. The right of suspects and criminal defendants to defence is guaranteed according to law. Citizens' right to use the spoken and written languages of their own ethnic groups in legal proceedings is protected. Open trial applies unless otherwise required by law.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. Next question.

  Reporter from China News Service:

  6. Q: What's the relationship between terrorism and extremism in your opinion?Why should you take deradicalization measures to prevent and combat terrorism?

  Xu Guixiang: This question also goes to Yalkun Yakufu.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  A: Terrorism and extremism seems to have different forms, they are closely linked in fact. Religious extremism is the ideological basis for terrorism, and terrorism is the radical forms of extremism. Terrorist forces, by means of violence, sabotage and intimidation, pose a serious threat to world peace and security by scorning human rights, slaughtering innocent people, endangering public security, and creating fear and panic in society. The infiltration and spread of extremism is a hotbed for violence and terror. It turns people into devils.

  Religious extremism is behind many of the incidents of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. The violent and terrorist gangs often started with illegal religious activities. They used audio and video materials to brainwash people with the "Jihad", abetting them to "die for their belief in order to enter heaven". Some of the most susceptible followers, no longer possessed of any self-control, became extremists and terrorists who heartlessly slaughtered innocent people. As shown in the documentary made by CGTN " Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang". The nephew was influenced by religious extremism. He killed his uncle with a knife to let his uncle "enter heaven". It's not a single case. The facts in blood prove that terrorism would duplicate like cancer cells without eliminating religious extremism.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. Next question.

  Reporter from Global Times:

  7. Q: As you mentioned Xinjiang established the vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law in order to prevent terrorist activities, and to nip terrorist activities in the bud. How did you achieve this goal? Could you tell us more about the vocational education and training centers?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Spokesperson Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A: 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. 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 of the people of all ethnic groups.

  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.To remedy their lack of proficiency in spoken and written Chinese, tailored language programs are provided to trainees. They employ qualified teachers, using textbooks compiled especially for the trainees, teaching in the same way as in regular schools in order to rapidly improve their ability in the use of standard spoken and written Chinese. Improving the trainees' command of standard spoken and written 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 spoken and written languages is respected. There is no intention to deprive or limit the trainees' right to use and develop their own ethnic languages. To remedy a lack of understanding of the law, the education and training centers present legal courses, which is taken as the key link to strengthen national, civic and legal awareness. Judges, procurators and lawyers are invited to give lectures on laws and regulations. Through their studies, the trainees have developed a better understanding of their civil rights and obligations, a realization that they have the same entitlement to these rights and obligations as others, and an acceptance that they must abide by the Constitution and laws and act in accordance with the rights and obligations they confer. To remedy lack of occupational skills and employment difficulties, vocational skills training programs are provided. The education and training centers regard vocational skills as an important channel to improve the trainee's employability. Based on local demand and employment opportunities, the courses they present include garment making, food processing, assembly of electronic products, typesetting and printing, hairdressing design and decoration, livestock breeding, pomiculture, therapeutic massage, household services, handicrafts, flower arrangement, rug weaving, painting, and performing arts such as music and dance. 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.

  Fourth, 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. Though 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. In order to rehabilitate the trainees, these courses teach the trainee 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 doctrine so that they can eventually break free from the influence and control of terrorism and religious extremism.

  In organizing the training programs, the education and training centers strictly follow the provisions of the Constitution and the law to prevent any violation of the basic right of trainees. The centers guarantee that trainees' personal dignity is inviolable, and prevent and insult or abuse in any manner. They 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 customs of all ethnic groups and right to use their spoken and written languages are fully protected at the centers. 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. There is 20 yuan meal allowance for each trainee per day, which is higher than that of Party members and cadres in Party and government organs.

  The education and training centers respect the trainees' freedom of religious belief. The Regulation on Religious Affairs prohibit preaching religion, holding religious activities, establishing religious organizations, and setting up religious activity sites in schools and educational institutions other than religious institutions. 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 education and training centers employ bilingual teachers, instructors, doctors and logistics and managerial staff to ensure that the trainees can study and lead a normal life. They have well-equipped facilities available to trainees,capable of treating minor ailments. In the case of major and acute illness, trainees will be sent to hospital. The education and trainee centers fully respect the spiritual and cultural needs of trainees. A wealth of regular recreational activities are hold at their indoor and outdoor sports and cultural venues. They have reading rooms for trainees to read and study, legal counseling rooms to address their problems and difficulties concerning legal affairs, and mental counseling rooms to provide relevant services and care for their mental health. All trainee are included in public pension and medical insurance schemes, and are entitled to free health examination.

  For some time, some politicians and media from the US and Western countries vilify the education and training centers in Xinjiang as "re-education camp" or even "concentration camp" in Nazi period. It calls black white and makes baseless accusations. The education and vocational centers are essentially different with "concentration camps" in terms of objectives, management as well as training contents. The education and training center strictly follow the provisions of the Constitution and the law to prevent any violation of the basic rights of trainees. The personal freedom of trainees is protected in accordance with the law and their personal dignity is inviolable. The education and training centers fully respected and protected the customs of all ethnic groups and the right to use their spoken and written languages. The trainees' freedom of religious belief is respected. They can decide on their own whether to do so on a legal basis when they get home. The education and training centers have well equipped facilities and they also have free 24-hour medical facilities available to trainees. We would like to ask are there "concentration camps" in the world like this?!

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Next question.

  Reporter from Xinjiang Daily:

  8. Q: I'd like to raise questions to the trainees present: why did you receive education and training? And how were your life and study going in the center?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Kashgar Alijan Tohti.

  Former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Kashgar Alijan Tohti:

  A: My name is Alijan Tohti. I'm 29 years old and I'm from Huangdi Township, Kashgar City. I was educated and trained at the Vocational Education and Training Center of Kashgar City. Now I am an employee of a company.

  Previously, I met some "friends" with extremism thoughts. They induced me into participating in illegal gatherings that preach extremism many times. They preached that "pagans"were inferior and they would be in Jahannam after death. Gradually, I regarded "pagans" as enemies of Muslims. I repel non-muslims and other ethnic groups around me and preached extremism to my family. I told them that things donated by government are not "Halal". I prevented my family from participating in heath insurance, and moving into the newly-built government-subsidized house. They realized my weirdness and persuaded me to go to the education and training center. Later on, I voluntarily signed up for the training.

  I'm thankful that I went to the education and training center. In speaking of my life there, I'm excited. Teachers were nice and taught me a lot. Through my studies in the education and training centers, I improved my Chinese and enhanced awareness of the law. Moreover, I came to realize the badness of religious extremism which is not true Islamism. We had good living conditions and food, accommodations and studies were all free. The campus respected our custom and eating habits with milk, eggs, pilaf, laghman noodles and stir-fried vegetables. All of them are delicious. There are 6 people in a dormitory equipped with air-conditioners and TV sets. Shower facilities are available in each dormitory building. Our learning contents are various with many interest class to attend in spare time. We can study painting, singing and dancing or play favorite sports on the playground.

  After graduation, I went to work in a company. Now I'm satisfied with my earnings. Knowledge studied from the education and training center is used a lot in my work. I didn't talk much with others previously due to inferiority. Now I'm more open, confident and willing to communicate with others. Colleagues in the company care about me much and we get well on with each other. I will work harder to earn more so that my family will live a good life. Thank you very much!

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Alijan Tohti. Next question.

  Reporter from China Global Television Network (CGTN):

  9. Q: It is understood that quite a number of foreign diplomatic envoys and people from news media have visited Xinjiang since last year and have given high appraisals to its deradicalization efforts through establishing vocational and education centers in accordance with law. Please introduce more about the results of the vocational and education work of Xinjiang.

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Spokesperson Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A:Vocational and Education in Xinjiang has succeeded to an enormous extent in eliminating the soil and conditions in which terrorism and religious extremism breed, rehabilitating those who have committed unlawful or criminal acts, and protected basic civil rights.

  The comprehensive quality of trainees has improved. Their understanding of the rule of law has risen with ability to speak and write in standard Chinese.Through vocational skills training and study, they have mastered practical skills and their employability has increased. After graduation, most of them have found job opportunities and earned stable incomes to improve their family lives remarkably. For instance, trainee Ayigul Ruxiangul used to know little Chinese mandarin and she had no choice but relied on translation assistance for business discussion and contract signing every time she went to inland China cities for business trips in the past. After joining the training program, she can read and write in standard Chinese and talk to people in mandarin fluently. She said pleasantly: " I can communicate with suppliers myself, and there is no need to worry about misunderstanding of business talks caused by language barrier!". And Buzuola Rouzi has made full of the skills she learned in vocational and education center and establish a cooperative of hand-made embroidery with the help of local government, solving employment problem for not only herself, but also 31 local villagers with stable incomes for sustainable poverty alleviation.

  Religious extremism has been effectively eliminated. 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. Trainee Dilixiati used to run a small Village Tourism Reception House with fair incomes and sound life. But caught by religious extremism thoughts, he had believed that "let the pagans eat under the apricot trees would stain the garden", so he had chopped down the trees and shut down his business. After joining the training program, he came to realize with deep regret

  the danger of religious extremism which destroyed his life. After completion of the courses in vocational and education center, he reopened his recreation house for village tourism with the help of local government, and regained his confidence for life when seeing his business has attracted more and more customers.

  The social atmosphere has taken a marked turn for the better. Thanks to these efforts, Xinjiang has witnessed a marked change in the social environment in recent years. A healthy atmosphere is spreading, while evil influences are declining. Citizens now consciously resist religious extremism, and the trend in society is now to pursue knowledge of modern science and technology and a cultured way of life. Zoram Abduyusuf has cast away the bounds of religious extremism, opened her heart again with confidence. She now clean up her village house and courtyard before dressing herself up every day and encourage her neighbors to tidy up the village surroundings, winning a praise for sanitary model of her village.

  The overall situation in society is stable and keeps improving. No terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang for three more years since the education and training started. 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. The education and training has won general support in Xinjiang. 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. Since the end of December 2018, nearly 1,000 people from 90 odd countries in more than 70 groups (or delegations) have visited Xinjiang. They include foreign diplomatic envoys to China, UN officials, Geneva-based senior diplomats of various countries, as well as more than 40 groups of people from political parties, civil society organizations, news media, and religious organizations.They generally agreed that the Xinjiang government's measures in fighting and preventing terrorism and deradicalization are in line with the purposes and principles advocated by the UN in countering terrorism and protecting basic human rights and believed Xinjiang's success experience is worth recognition and learning.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Next question.

  Reporter from China News Service:

  10. Q:Would these trainees and their families encounter social discrimination and what measures Xinjiang has taken to to ensure the rights of the trainees and their families?

  Xu Guixiang: This question also goes to Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A:Governments at all levels in Xinjiang treat the trainees and their families equally with no exception and help them solving difficulties in employment, medical services and education, poverty elimination without delay, and ensure that they all enjoy same preferential policies, such as minimum living allowances, free health examination, social and medical insurance, and personal accident insurance etc. Children from trainees' families could also enjoy 12 years of compulsory education ( 15 years for those from 4 prefectures which are mostly affected by poverty in Southern Xinjiang) as others do, and enter colleges and universities as long as they could got the offer with government subsides granted to families with financial difficulties. For example, family of Rezvangul Alimu, a trainee from Cele County, Hotan Prefecture, has been taken cared by local government rather than discrimination. A new earthquake-resistance house has been built up with government subside for the family, Rezvangul's mother received her minimal living allowances as prescribed by regulation. And when Ablat Amat having his training in Yingjisha County of Kashgar Prefecture, his daughter graduated from university and got employed. Neither discrimination nor misjudge did her encountered in the whole process, and she now has enrolled as a teacher in one local primary school.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Next question.

  Reporter from Xinjiang Radio and Television Station:

  11. Q: It is understood that all trainees in Vocational and Education Centers have completed their courses and left the centers. And now they lead happy lives with improved living qualities after either finding jobs, starting their own businesses with stable employment under the help of governments. Can any trainee share with us your personal experience about what changes had happened before joining the education and training program and after the completion of the training?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Yutian County of Hotan Prefecture Alimujan Abduani.

  Former trainee of the Vocational Education and Training Center of Yutian County of Hotan Prefecture Alimujan Abduani:

  A: My name is Alimujan Abduani, I'm 33 years old and I come from Yutian County of Hotan Prefecture. In the past, I got influenced by some people around me and taken by religious extremism thoughts. I didn't want my wife to go out and work, I did not send my kids to school even they were old enough to go, I would rather stay at home than go and see doctors when my families fell ill. Later, my mother found out my behaviors were getting more and more radical, she persuaded me to join the training in vocational and education center.

  Through study in the center, my mindset has been changed. I can speak better national language now with better awareness of law and regulation, and even pick up some skills for e-commerce, start to care about my family. After completion of the training courses, with the guidance and guarantee of the community workers, I asked for a loan of 50,000yuan from bank and started my business. The community workers helped to rent a shop in bustling old town of Yutian County selling groceries and garments. Now I am my own boss and gain over 10,000 yuan every month and I hire a hand from poverty-stricken family to help him with stable incomes. Me and my family are getting better and better and I will take care of them with all my love, teach my kids, giving them best education. Thank you for listening to my story.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Alimujan Abduani. Next question.

  Reporter from Xinhua News Agency:

  12. Q: We noted that recently, some people of insight in the international community have successively challenged certain western media and politicians' rumor and slander against Xinjiang's counterterrorism and deradicalization efforts and the vocational education and training program. What's your view on these changes?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Spokesperson Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A: The truth may come to the public late, but will never be absent. As the lies about Xinjiang have been exposed one after another, some people of insight in the world see the true nature of the rumor mongers more clearly. On December 21, 2019, American independent investigative journalism website "The Grayzone" published an article saying that the data source of the allegation that "one million Uygurs have been detained by the Chinese government" was first raised and spread by the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), an NGO, backed by the U. S.government, headquartered in Washington D.C.. Merely based on an interview with a grand total of eight Uygurs and its own rough estimate, the organization came to the ridiculous conclusion that among the 20 million people in Xinjiang, "roughly one million members of ethnic Uygurs have been sent to 're-education' detention camps and roughly two million have been forced to attend re-education programs" in villages and towns.

  We noted that even the "ETIM" elements that are always keen on making rumors have started to worry that too many of their lies will be exposed by us sooner or later. On December 31, 2019, French mainstream media "France 24 TV Station" reported that US-based "ETIM" member Alfred Erkin called on not leaving misinformation to the Chinese government as a cause of rebuttal. The report listed several stories fabricated by overseas social media with "photos and videos showing Uygurs being tortured in China", and said that the figures in these photos and videos have nothing to do with Uygurs. The first is a video clip showing that three naked men claimed to be Uygurs being flogged. Yet in fact, the three men in the video are teenagers on suspicion of theft in Indonesia in 2017. The second is a picture showing a woman claimed to be Uygur being tortured. Actually, the woman in the picture is an actress, and the picture was taken in Chicago in 2004 under deliberate plotting by some organization. The third is a photo showing a man claimed to be Uygur lying in a pool of blood, which the rumor mongers used to allege that Uygurs are being slaughtered by Chinese. In fact, it is a photo taken after a traffic accident in Indonesia, and the red traces on the ground were left by syrup loaded on the man's truck. The fourth is a video clip showing the scene of a man, claimed to be just released from a "detention camp" in China, reuniting with his family. The truth is, it is the scene of the man's reunion with his wife who posted a video to look for him after he lost contact with his family for 24 hours in Kazakhstan in 2019.

  Additionally, a small handful of people who have been obsessed with lying all over the world. With this opportunity, I would like to reveal their true colors. One of them is Dolkun Isa, head of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), who has been keen on spreading rumors about Xinjiang everywhere, and just recently he has alleged on many occasions that Xinjiang has carried out mass detention of Uygur Muslims, is eliminating the Uygur culture and suppressing Islam, and even claimed that his mother died in a so-called "re-education camp". The other is Rebiya Kadeer, former leader of WUC, who alleged "Xinjiang has committed massive atrocities against Uygurs and each family has had at least a member taken away by the policy." I'd like to ask Dolkun Isa and Rebiya Kadeer: which of your family members have been detained without sufficient reason? Don't you bunch of scum of the nation just try to confuse right and wrong and mess up Xinjiang by spreading nonsense everyday and fanning the flames? Your motives are execrable! And your disgusting conduct and malicious intentionsare obvious to people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, who will never ever allow you to succeed in your evil scheme.

  In conclusion, lies cannot cover the truth after all, just as dark clouds cannot always cover the sun. Eventually, all lies about Xinjiang cannot stand refuting, and the plot of the rumor mongers is doomed to fail. These despicable deeds cannot dust the eyes of the international community to get a truthful understanding of Xinjiang, and are held in contempt by some insightful people in the world. A thriving, prosperous and stable Xinjiang is the most powerful rebuttal to all these rumors and slanders. Xinjiang's counterterrorism and deradicalization endeavors are aboveboard, and the arduous efforts that its people of all ethnic groups have made in achieving social stability and lasting peace deserve a fair and just comment from the international community.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Next question.

  Reporter from Xinjiang Radio and Television Station:

  13. Q: You just mentioned that the Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about fighting national separation, violent terrorism and religious extremism. But the United States and some Western countries have always adopt "double standards" on this issue, what is you comment on this?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Yalkun Yakufu.

  Deputy Director of Public Security Department of XUAR Yalkun Yakufu:

  A: As it know to all, the United States and some Western countries have always adopted "double standards" on issues of fighting terrorism and extremism. For such incidents that happened in West would be called them "terrorism attacks", but in China they would refer them as "violent incidents". They have always been deliberately blind to the efforts Xinjiang governments have made in fighting terrorism and religious extremism and protecting human rights in accordance with law, to today's Xinjiang and its economic development, social stability, ethnic unity and religious harmony.On the contrary, they fabricate facts, smear and attack Xinjiang on its deradicalization measures as "suppress of Muslim" and "violation of human rights". Especially the United States in defending its hegemony, it cracks down the terrorism with its own definition with no bottom line on one hand, regardless of the great amount of innocent civilian may got injured; on the other hand, it abruptly interfere with other countries' anti-terrorism actions with "human rights"as excuses while supporting them stealthily.These years, America has dragged Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and areas in Middle East into wars, leaving people homeless here and there and the regional situation turbulent in the name of anti-terror war. Facts have proven that it is the United States violated Muslims's human rights. And people around the world have seen it. Recently, some the U.S. politicians, Pompeo in particular, turning a blind eye to the real facts and relaying erroneous information, have made unwarranted criticism about and malicious attacks on Xinjiang's vocational and education training work, and falsely alleged that Xinjiang suppressed Muslims. Such rude and unreasonable conducts of interfering in other country's internal affairs will surly arouse people bearing justice and consciousness in hearts with nothing but righteous indignation.

  Facts speak louder than words and justice lies in people's hearts. The international community criticize about America's hypocritical hegemonic acts. As rightly pointed out by Canadian independent journalist Steven Gowans in his article questioning the position of New York Times: "it called Beijing's efforts in tackling separation-oriented violences inspired by 'religious extremism' as 'repression of Muslims'." The New York Times never terms the U.S.'s "war on terror" as "suppression of Muslims." When it comes to the U.S.'s strategic rival (China), the paper fails to adhere to the same criteria. Instead, it magnified the efforts targeting a small number of 'religious extremism' inspired violent terrorists as suppressing all Muslims.

  At present, terrorism and religious extremism are still the common challenges confronted by all countries. Many countries are actively searching for resolutions based on their actual internal situation. It will be taken by the international community as unacceptable and disreputable deeds if the United States and some western countries smear and slander Xinjiang's efforts in fighting terrorism and religious extremism in the name of human rights concerns. We strongly urge that the United States and some western countries stop playing with double standards in counter terrorism and deradicalization measures, making no more false stories on so-called Xinjiang human rights problems, and interfering in China's internal affairs with Xinjiang-related issues.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Deputy Director Yalkun Yakufu. Next question.

  Reporter from the People's Daily:

  14. Q:The CECC of US issued a 2019 China Human Rights Report, attacking and accusing Xinjiang's counter-terrorism, deradicalization and vocational and education training work, what is your comment on that?

  Xu Guixiang: This question goes to Spokesperson Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A: This report is nothing but a smear of China and a gross interference in China's internal affairs. The United States has been wearing colored glasses, groundlessly accusing China out of political end. It's dishonest and has nothing to do with objectivity. we strongly oppose to and condemn it! The so-call "discoveries in Xinjiang" mentioned in the report is just typical cliché' filled with ridiculous and groundless accusations against China and sheer lies. It is just a pile of rubbish! Through this report, we can see clearly that the US just does not want to accept a stable and prosperous Xinjiang. It is so anxious and uneasy trying so hard to make rumors and slanders just for only one purpose- to drag Xinjiang back to its previous time when violent terrorism attacks took place frequently and people of Xinjiang were living in trepidation. The U. S.'s intentions are malicious and its means despicable. And it will be hold in contempt by people with justice and conscience in the world.

  As a matter of fact, Xinjiang's counter-terrorism, deradicalization, and the education and training work in particular has produced successful achievements, which are recognized by the international community. We have not only protected people's lives in Xinjiang, guaranteed their freedom of religious belief, but also made significant contribution to the international counter-terrorism cause and accumulated valuable experience for global deradicalization efforts. These endeavors are endorsed by 25 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang and have won positive comments across the international community, Muslim countries included. Today, Xinjiang sees sustained stability, and its people enjoy a peaceful and content life.

  In contrast, systematic racial discrimination has been an outstanding issue in the U.S. for long time: ethnic minorities were deprived of the right to vote; colored races have been subject to ubiquitous discrimination; cyber surveillance has been common; and the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp. People were particularly flabbergasted by U.S. polices towards the Islamic world, and its "Muslim Ban" has been universally criticized by the international community. The "Muslim Conspiracy Theory" has increasingly become political mainstream in the U.S.. In the 2018 US midterm elections, "more than a third candidates claimed Muslims are inherently violent or pose an imminent threat," "around a third of the candidates have called for Muslims to be denied basic rights or declared Islam is not a religion." Also, the U.S. provoked wars in the Middle East in the name of human rights, which left massive casualties of Muslims, displaced numerous civilians. The crimes the U. S. has committed are too many to record.

  As a country that has exited from United Nations Human Rights Council and of notorious human rights record, the U.S. is in no position to point the finger at China Xinjiang. By doing so will only land them on the opposite side of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, of the international community, and of the morality and justice and conscience of humanity. We'd like to warn the U.S. that it must immediately abandon the Cold War mentality and bullying, stop making rumors and smearing, and interfering in China's internal affairs on the pretext of so-called "human rights." Instead, it should do more to solve its own human rights problems.

  On Xinjiang-related issues, it is the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who are in the best position to say. The rumors made by the U.S. can not wipe off the progress of Xinjiang's human rights cause; the slanders fabricated by the U.S. can not stop people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang from being united as one and marching forward; the containment by the U.S.is all the more impossible to disturb Xinjiang's development and prosperity.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Due to time constraints, now I would like to ask friends from the press to ask the last question.

  Reporter from Xinjiang Daily:

  15. Q: Just now, you mentioned that Xinjiang has seen no violent terrorist attacks for more than three years in a row, what influences does it have on Xinjiang's economic and social development? What are the dividends of stability?

  Xu Guixiang: This question also goes to Spokesperson Gul Abulim.

  Spokesperson of the Information Office of the People's Government of XUAR Gul Abulim:

  A: Stability is the prerequisite and guarantee for development, and development is the foundation and support for stability. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are clearly aware that development was out of the question when violent terrorist attacks frequently occurred, religious extremism was spread around and the society turbulent, and even some already-gained achievements of development were lost; whereas, the current harmonious and stable society creates conditions for economic growth as stability dividends continue to be released. In 2017, Xinjiang scored a regional GDP of over one trillion (exact data: 1.092009 trillion) yuan for the first time in its history, up by 7.6%. The per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents respectively registered 30,775 yuan and 11,045 yuan, increasing by 8.1% and 8.5%. In 2018, the regional GDP was 1.2 trillion (exact data: 1.219908 trillion) yuan, up by 6.1%. The per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents respectively reached 32,764 yuan and 11,975 yuan, increasing by 6.5% and 8.4%. In 2019, Xinjiang's regional GDP is estimated to reach 1.378 trillion yuan, an increase of about 6% year on year. The per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents is estimated to respectively rise by 5.5% and 9%. In particular, as a barometer of stability and development, the tourism sector has boomed. In 2017, Xinjiang received a record high of more than 100 million (exact data: 107 million) tourists, with a total tourism revenue of 182.2 billion yuan, both increasing by over 30%. In 2018, the total tourist number reached more than 150 million, and the tourist income, 257.971 billion yuan, both increasing by over 40%. In 2019, Xinjiang had received more than 213 million tourists, with the tourist income reaching363.26 billion yuan, both up by over 40% again. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully aware that "stability is a blessing, and turmoil a curse", and will spare no effort in safeguarding Xinjiang's continuous stability. Any force at home and abroad cannot undermine the confidence and determination of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

  Xu Guixiang: Thank you for your answer, Spokesperson Gul Abulim. Today's press conference concludes now. Thanks all the invitees and reporters.

Source :Tianshannet|Editor :Laili

 

 



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