International concern over Xinjiang’s re-education camps is growing. That is forcing the authorities to explain themselves.
Xinhua published today a Q&A with Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang government, on “vocational education and training programs” in the region.
So what happens in the camps?
Detainees are taught Mandarin:
“The trainees are taught in various methods suited to their literacy to raise their abilities to use the country's common language.”Then they are taught the law:“Legal experts are hired to lecture on the Constitution, the criminal law and the civil law, etc., and judges, prosecutors and lawyers are invited to teach the criminal law, the law on public security administration, the anti-terrorism law, the marriage law, the education law and Xinjiang's de-extremization regulations.”And finally they are taught vocational skills:“Courses on clothing and footwear making, food processing, electronic product assembly, typesetting and printing, hairdressing and e-commerce have been set up.”Zakir says it’s all been a huge success:“Through vocational training, most trainees have been able to reflect on their mistakes and see clearly the essence and harm of terrorism and religious extremism.”
Our thought: We have a different take. We think heavy-handed tactics in Xinjiang are alienating the non-Han populations and likely sowing instability for decades.