(Photo/People's Daily Online)
Western reports that Xinjiang has concentration camps or gulags are fabricated lies, said the Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zhang Xiao in a recent interview with Kazakhstani mainstream media.
They are vocational education and training centers, aiming to eliminate the environment for terrorism and extremism, said Zhang, in response to claims by western media.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China has been threatened by terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism since the 1990s. The region has witnessed a series of terrorist attacks, including the July 5 riot in 2009, the ambassador noted.
Regarding the successful anti-terrorism measures in other countries, the Chinese government decided to set up education and training centers to tackle the root cause of terrorism and help those with extremist thoughts, Zhang said.
There is no torture or maltreatment in these centers, Zhang noted.
In contrast to the rumors, the centers fully respect different customs and beliefs, provide various types of food including halal food, as well as activities such as basketball games, gala parties, and karaoke to guarantee students’ physical and mental health, Zhang said.
The ambassador assured that people are not targeted as members of a specific ethnicity or religion, and have the opportunity to learn Mandarin, knowledge of the law and gain some vocational skills including cooking, e-commerce and textile printing and dyeing.
Education and training centers have promoted Xinjiang’s efforts to combat terrorism and safeguard stability, and contributed to the security and stability in central Asia, Zhang noted.
Xinjiang’s social public security saw substantial improvement, and no terrorist riot has taken place in the last two years, he added.