BEIJING: A Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying Monday refuted claims that the education and training centers in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are akin to “concentration camps.”
“The vocational programs strictly abide by China’s constitution and law in protecting human rights and that China respects citizens’ freedom of religious belief and protects their normal religious activities,” she said during her regular briefing which resumed after the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays.
She said envoys and journalists from more than 10 countries were invited to visit Xinjiang’s vocational education and training centers last month. These centers unite and educate those majority of people who commit crimes in the area.
The spokesperson informed that China has taken many counter-terrorism and de-extremism measures in the region as it has faced grave terror threats since the 1990s which severely threaten the safety of all people in Xinjiang.
About the religious freedom situation in Xinjiang, she said there are more than 24,400 mosques and eight religious institutes in Xinjiang, which has a Muslim population of over 13 million.
Hua Chunying also urged international media outlets to objectively report on Xinjiang-related issues.
With regard to reports of the alleged death of a Uygur man in detention, she said the allegedly dead man Abdurehim Heyit, the 57-year-old musician is still alive and in good health.