Qin Gang: Xinjiang has no “concentration camps”, just vocational training centers
Unlike the U.S. ‘war on terror’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, China's Xinjiang has not seen any terrorist attack since 2016.
Its vocational training centers have contributed to the success, Chinese ambassador Qin Gang explained to American journalists, as he took a joint interview in Washington D.C. on Monday.
He said these centers are not "concentration camps" as some American journalists describe, but schools to carry out compulsory education to those who were brainwashed by terrorist or extremist preaching.
Students who were asked to take courses in these centers were normally poorly educated Xinjiang residents who were exposed to terrorist propaganda videos on the Internet, Qin said. These videos incite hate toward non-Muslims and teach how to produce weapons and kill them.
"Students take courses for a few years such as laws, languages and job skills so that they can find a decent job after they graduate and break away with the breeding ground of terrorism (poverty and lack of education). So far, most of them have graduated and these vocational training centers have been closed." Qin told American journalists.
He said these schools have dealt with the root cause of terrorism. At the same time, China eliminated absolute poverty in Xinjiang by 2020, which is also seen as a move to uproot terrorist breeding ground.
Most of the policies the Chinese government took in Xinjiang to fight terrorism were not in line with the Western values, but many Chinese say they are in line with people's demand: better livelihoods, safer society and free from terrorism. Some question whether Western values can ever defeat terrorism at all.
Ambassador Qin said all the American journalists are welcome to Xinjiang, as long as they do not go with a "guilty until proven innocent" prejudice, and advise Americans to take first-hand sources, not second- or third-hand accounts about any place in the world.