Teachers From China’s Interior Encouraged to Settle in Xinjiang as Part of ‘Aid’ Program

Sandra Loyd

Teachers from China’s interior are being encouraged to relocation to and settle in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Area (XUAR) to supply “aid” for locals, according to sources, however members of the Uyghur exile neighborhood state the program is another step targeted at “colonizing” their homeland.

The “Plan to Aid Tibet and Xinjiang with 10,000 Teachers” was imagined by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Central Party Committee as a “long-term solution for the stability” of the 2 areas, according to the official China Education Net, and has actually been promoted– in addition to other policies in the area–as a kind of “poverty alleviation” to enhance the lives of the regional population.

At its launch in 2018, 4,000 teachers were sent out to the XUAR from China’s interior, while in 2019, another 3,180 were delivered to the western area.

While agreement durations at first lasted in between 18 months and 2 years, authorities have actually just recently started using a huge selection of aids to attract teachers to stay in the XUAR beyond the terms of their contracts, sources have actually informed RFA’s Uyghur Service.

Beijing shuttered schools throughout China in February to manage the spread of the coronavirus, however as steps to combat the break out appear to have actually yielded results, authorities resumed them in the XUAR on March 23.

Around the resuming, state media released a number of reports of teachers being sent out to the XUAR as part of the Strategy, consisting of a short article released on the Dahe website on April 3, which stated 249 teachers from Henan province were designated to middle and primary schools at the 13 th Division of the quasi-military Xinjiang Production and Building Corp (XPCC) in Kumul (in Chinese, Hami) prefecture.

All of the teachers had actually gotten the “Xinjiang Aid” program that is part of a cooperative contract in between authorities in Henan and the XUAR, the short article stated.

The official Tianshan.net website just recently released a short article specifying that 170 teachers from Shanghai had actually been designated to 15 middle and primary schools in 4 counties of Kashgar (Kashi) prefecture– Yarkand (Shache), Poskam (Zepu), Kargilik (Yecheng), and Maralbeshi (Bachu)– while just 15 teachers in the very same program were sent out to Tibet.

And on March 16, the Xinjiang People’s Radio Station relayed a report that 80 Han teachers from Guizhou province had actually returned to Xinjiang for work at schools in Hotan (Hetian) prefecture 2 days previously.

Teachers were required to return to the XUAR prior to March 15, the report stated, and authorities set up unique transportation for them on planes and buses so that they– in addition to other teachers from outside of the area– might return to work “on time,” ahead of the resuming of schools a week later on.

According to the broadcast, Wang Jiwen, vice secretary of the Hotan Prefectural Party Education Committee ensured that he would manage the return of 18,800 teachers from outside of the XUAR.

Enticing teachers to stay

RFA’s Uyghur Service just recently talked to a Han Chinese staff member of the Work Office for Teachers in the Xinjiang Help Program, under the Ministry of Education in Atush (Atushi) city, in the XUAR’s Kizilsu Kirghiz (Kezileisu Keerkezi) Autonomous Prefecture, who stated that Hebei is the partner province supplying mentor “aid” to her area.

“That’s been in place here for one year, since 2019,” she stated, speaking on condition of privacy.

The staff member stated that in 2015, 8 teachers were sent out from Hebei to Atush to teach at 2 intermediate schools and a number of grade schools in the city, which all had actually revealed a desire to remain there after then end of their agreements, which she called a “sign of the program’s success.”

RFA likewise talked to a cadre from the 13 th Division of the XPCC, or “bingtuan,” in Kumul, who verified that the program “is for people from [China’s] interior.”

While he stated that the program does not have any limitations on ethnic background, the large bulk of people from non-autonomous areas in other parts of China are Han Chinese.

The cadre likewise declined to be called however declared to be in charge of positioning teachers from Henan and Hebei as part of the Xinjiang Help program.

Agreements for teachers are normally in between 18 months and 2 years, he stated, however there is a strategy to attract teachers to completely remain in the area after the agreements end.

“Applications for the program are still open,” he stated, including that his group “make[s] decisions based upon the various locations that need people.”

“If teachers who’ve come here after earning college degrees want to stay on after their contracts have ended, we’ll help them do the paperwork to update their status and move their household registration here. Whether to stay or leave is entirely up to the applicants themselves.”

‘Colonization’ of the area

Uyghurs in exile state that weakening standard Uyghur education is a crucial part of Beijing’s policy of cultural assimilation in the XUAR, which authorities think will make members of the ethnic group more devoted to the judgment Communist Party and strengthen the main federal government’s control of the area.

The “Xinjiang Aid” program has actually been taken into location as the XPCC has actually supervised the extending of different aids to Han Chinese locals of other parts of China to relocate in droves to the XUAR, consisting of using them plots and houses of land with generous tax reductions.

On the other hand, authorities in the XUAR are thought to have actually apprehended up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities implicated of implicated of harboring “strong religious views” and “politically incorrect” concepts in a huge network of internment camps given that April 2017.

Memet Tohti, a Canadian agent of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC), informed RFA that authorities in the XUAR are looking for “to make our people Han by means of assimilation.”

“The colonization that is currently occurring on our home soil—the government is achieving it by putting its own people onto our land,” he stated.

“This is the final step for them to make this land their own … It’s an issue of eliminating an entire ethnic group.”

Reported by Gulchehre Hoja for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Equated by Elise Anderson. Composed in English by Joshua Lipes.

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