Introduction

This section covers an array of programming presented by Chinese state-run media companies like China Global Television Network (CGTN), China Live, China News Service, and more. The following collection showcases state-sanctioned perspectives on conditions within Xinjiang and the treatment of Indigenous populations in the region. These clips feature site visits to re-education centres, conversations with graduates from these centres, and investigative reports.

Investigative Reports

These reports, led by Chinese state-owned China Global Television Network show that the PRC government has been building schools for Uyghurs which they justify as both de-radicalizing them and helping them build career-ready skills.  These reports are also focused on countering Western narratives that the vocational and training centres are concentration camps.

CGTN, 1 April 2021

Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang Series

This four-part CGTN series focuses on China’s fight against ‘The Three Evils’; terrorism, extremism and separatism. The series looks to justify China’s anti-terrorism policy in order to end extremism and promote unity in the region. The first part features never-seen-before footage of various terror attacks in Xinjiang, focussing on China’s response of ‘vocational training and education’ as a key solution. The second part connects various terror attacks to the ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’ and to various separatist movements throughout history. The third part focuses on the lives of victims of the terror attacks, as well as the lives of military forces fighting ‘The Three Evils’. The final part delves into why some turn to terrorism in Xinjiang, focusing on internet correspondence, religious extremism and social/national isolation.

CGTN, 21 September 2020

Rare look into Xinjiang

This CGTN eight-part series follows migrant workers from Xinjiang as they move away from home to find better work opportunities. Each episode explores the stories of workers as they navigate their new lives in different cities. These videos emphasize the importance of hard work to have a happy life and individual sacrifice for familial success. This series recommits to the state goal of poverty alleviation through manual labour and re-enforces the message that hard work will result in riches. Learn more about labour and working conditions in Xinjiang in our White Papers section.

CGTN, 29 December 2019

What’s China’s ‘Re-Education Camp’ in Xinjiang Really About?

This CGTN video presents the government’s perspective, depicting the success of de-radicalization within vocational and training centres in Xinjiang, where many attendees have already left and found jobs.

CGTN, 29 December 2019

Inside an Abandoned ‘Re-Education Camp’ in Xinjiang

This CGTN video focuses on a re-education centre in Kashgar, a major city in Xinjiang. The report states that it has closed down since all attendees have graduated and picked up career-ready skills. A recent graduate discusses that many of his peers are much happier with their lives and already have jobs.

CGTN, 27 December 2019

Western Propaganda on Xinjiang ‘Camps’ Rebutted

This CGTN video sets out to dispel Western notions that schools built in Xinjiang are concentration camps. It argues that media showing the mistreatment of Uyghurs by local authorities are fake, as well as suggesting that there is a lack of evidence behind Uyghurs that have gone missing.

CGTN, 9 December 2019

China Exposes the Truth About Xinjiang, But the West ignores. Why?

This CGTN video disputes narratives that the schools built in Xinjiang are concentration camps. It also argues that western media holds a double standard regarding anti-terrorism and fighting extremism.

CGTN, 13 January 2019

By Following @CNN , We Find How They Make Fake News About Xinjiang

This CGTN video disputes the CNN report which claimed that graveyards within Xinjiang were being demolished by authorities according to interviews with local Uyghurs. However, CGTN contends that interviews with the same people show that these graves were voluntarily moved to new sites with better environmental protection.

Interviews

The videos below are prepared by Chinese official media for the Embracing New Life series, known as 拥抱新生活 in Chinese. They are all interviews with Uyghurs who have ‘graduated’ from vocational and training centres. Speaking in Mandarin Chinese, they discuss what they have learned in these centres and the careers that they are now able to lead, as well as their gratitude for having attended these centres.

As of July 2021, Xinjiang China has been terminated for violating Youtube’s community guidelines. Please view the suggested reading to learn more about the historical context and significance of this interview series.

Suggested reading: Yi Xiaocuo, “Saved’ by state terror: Gendered violence and propaganda in Xinjiang,” 2019.

Xinjiang China, 15 March 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Woman in Xinjiang (Zulpiya Abdurishit)

Zulpiya Abdurishit, discusses that while on a honeymoon with her husband, they were both exposed to extremist thinking. She reflects that after her stay within state vocational and training centres, she was glad that she did not become a murderer and is now working as a preacher to save more compatriots from extremist behaviour.

Xinjiang China, 15 March 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Woman in Xinjiang (Rukiya Yakup)

Rukiya Yakup recounts that she had been taught that she would be saved from sin if she married early and other forms of extremist thinking. At the state vocational and training centre, she realized that her daughter and herself were victims of her religion and that women could lead careers as well as men. She now works as a guide at the training centre and believes that she will have a bright future.

Xinjiang China, 4 March 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Man in Xinjiang (Aysa Abliz)

Aysa Abliz recalls that due to his extremist beliefs, he thought that his wife was his servant and he even beat her. From his stay at a state vocational and training centre, he now understands the meaning of real love. His wife comments that he has become a changed man, where he now allows her to do as she wants and encourages her to find work.

Xinjiang China, 1 March 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Man in Xinjiang (Ablizkhari Obul)

Ablizkhari Obul discusses how extremist Islamic ideology led him to believe that he would be damned if he followed his passion for painting. But after going to a state vocational and training centre, he recalls that he was encouraged to paint. Now he continues to paint and has also inspired his son to take up painting as well.

Xinjiang China, 26 February 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Man in Xinjiang (Hamza Yakup)

Hamza Yakup remembers that he was brainwashed with extremist ideology after travelling abroad. After staying at a state vocational and training centre, he now understands the real motives of terrorists who follow such ideas. He hopes to become an actor in the future to promote Uyghur culture.

Xinjiang China, 25 February 2019

An Interview of an Uyghur Woman in Xinjiang (Akida Arislan)

Akida Arislan recalls that her preoccupation with extremist thinking prevented her from singing, dancing, and even mourning her father during his funeral. She states that her life has changed after going to a state vocational and training centre, where she rehearsed, performed, and made music videos. She reflects that she is now happier and works as a dance teacher.

Site Visits

These site visits, featured on the Chinese state-owned China News Service, focus on current attendees and trainees within various vocational and training centres. They depict the daily lives of the trainees, which include lessons on new career skills, Mandarin Chinese language training, and group activities. They are also actively encouraged to abandon habits and ideas that are considered ‘extremist or radical. ‘

As of July 2021, CHINA LIVE has made the following series “Visiting a Re-education Camp in Xinjiang” private, restricting public access to these videos. The following entries offer annotations of each video in the series and links to its original URL.

CHINA LIVE, 16 March 2019

Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang 5: Mother Finds Her Daughter Prettier

In an interview with a family whose daughter was sent to a state vocational and training centre, the mother finds that after returning, her daughter now has a more vibrant personality and has become prettier. The daughter also reflects that she has been enjoying art and music much more, activities that extremist ideologies had prohibited her from doing so.

Suggested reading: Tim Grose, “Beautifying Uyghur Bodies: Fashion, “Modernity”, and State Power in the Tarim Basin,” 2019

CHINA LIVE, 16 March 2019

Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang 4: A Girl Unveils Herself and Opens a Beauty Shop

Within a state vocational and educational centre, female attendees are taught that it is socially acceptable to remove religious headwear and to wear makeup. Now they believe that they look more presentable and also think of opening their own beauty salons in the future.

CHINA LIVE, 15 March 2019

Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang 3: Daily Life of Trainees

Reporters from state television examine the daily life of trainees attending vocational and educational centres. With the Lunar New Year approaching, they observe that students and teachers help each other prepare decorations and food for festivities. They also notice that students and teachers have largely bonded, as well as that the students have become livelier and more willing to express themselves.

CHINA LIVE, 15 March 2019

Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang 2: Husband Learns to Respect Wife

Male attendees at a state vocational and educational centre are taught to care for and respect their wives. Concurrently, women are taught that it should be appropriate to wear makeup, and their husbands also comment that their wives look prettier.

Suggested reading: Yi Xiaocuo, “Saved’ by state terror: Gendered violence and propaganda in Xinjiang,” 2019.

CHINA LIVE, 15 March 2019

Visiting a Re-Education Camp in Xinjiang 1: Trainees Learn E-Commerce

Within state vocational and training centres, attendees are trained to use internet technology so they have the skills to integrate into mainstream society. Trainees reflect that not only have they learned more about technology but that they have become more outgoing and made new friends. One trainee looks to start his own e-commerce business in the future.