Daily US Times: Just days after the US government announced import restrictions on products coming out of China’s Xinjiang region, it has defended its controversial policies in the Xinjiang region.
China has come under fire for a network of detention centres which mostly house Muslim minorities.
But a new document says millions of workers have benefited from “education and vocational training”.
The US has likened the centres to concentration camps.
The US has placed sanctions on Chinese politicians allegedly involved and earlier this week blocked some exports it said had been made with “forced labour”.
However, a new Chinese government white paper says “vocational training” is increasing job opportunities and combating poverty.
The report reads: “Xinjiang has built a large knowledge-based, skilled and innovative workforce that meets the requirements of the new era.”
It says the training provided includes spoken and written and spoken Mandarin, labour skills and “knowledge of urban life”. The report says people from rural areas got jobs in factories and have started their own businesses after receiving state support.
China has long insisted that mass “vocational education and training” is necessary in far-western Xinjiang to alleviate poverty and counter terrorism.
But human rights groups have said at least one million , most of them are minority Uighur muslims, have been incarcerated in camps which they describe as “re-education” centres.
China’s whitepaper said that 1.3 million people had been through Xinjiang’s “vocational training” scheme annually for six years. It is not clear how many of those “retrained” were sent to the specially built camps or if any of them went through the programme twice.
But the new figures suggest that in total nearly eight million people out of a population of 22 million could have been through the programme.
Swedish clothing giant H&M said on Wednesday that it was severing ties with a Chinese yarn producer amid accusations that the company was using “slave labour” from Xinjiang.
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