Most trainees at Xinjiang centers have graduated, say region's leaders

A group of reporters from 24 countries visit a vocational educational center in Moyu county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, July 22, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Most of the trainees at vocational educational centers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which provide classes on laws and vocational skills to help those influenced by terrorism and extremism, have graduated and returned home, the vice-chairman of the regional government said on Tuesday.

"Some of them have found jobs with the skills they obtained at the centers, while some have set up their own businesses," Arken Tuniaz, vice-chairman of the regional government, said in Beijing at a news conference on Xinjiang's development held by the State Council Information Office.

The graduates have started to play a positive role in Xinjiang's development, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the regional government, told the news conference. "They have also helped others in finding better jobs and pursing a better life," he said.

Since most of the trainees have graduated, many teaching facilities have been used to provide short training courses on agricultural skills for local people, Shohrat said.

The regional government has invited many diplomats and international human rights officials to visit the centers, which were wrongfully portrayed as "labor camps" by some western media, Shohrat said.

"Many of them said the center is an effective way to eliminate religious extremism," he added.