Residents make rose jam in a village in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in June. [Photo/Xinhua]

The vocational education and training centers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are the key battlefield in the fight against terrorism and extremism in China, and have greatly succeeded in eliminating the soil and conditions in which terrorism and religious extremism take root, a white paper said on Friday.

Through education, the vast majority of trainees now recognize the nature and harm of terrorism and religious extremism, freeing themselves from the control these phenomena exert over their minds, according to the white paper on Vocational Education in Xinjiang released by the State Council Information Office.

For some time Xinjiang, especially Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu prefectures as well as Kizilsu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture in the south, religious extremism has long had a widespread presence. These regions have frequently fallen victim to acts of terrorism, in which large numbers of people were involved with even more having been affected. The scale of the problem posed a serious challenge to China’s efforts to fight terrorism and extremism.

Extremist forces spread by exploiting people’s religious beliefs through Xinjiang’s large religious population through deliberate distortion of religious doctrines. They also incited people to overthrow secular governments and establish theocratic states. Social and economic development in the region has also suffered as a result, the white paper said.

Addressing both the symptoms and root causes by integrating preventative measures and a forceful response, Xinjiang has established vocational education and training centers, which offer trainees lessons on standard spoken and written Chinese, different laws and vocational skills in accordance with the law, it said.

The white paper said there was no intention to deprive or limit the trainees’ right to use and develop the languages of their own ethnic group.

Education and training are not measures to limit or circumscribe freedom of the person as described by some. Rather, it is an important measure to help trainees break free from ideas of terrorism and religious extremism.

It is ultimately an attempt to help the trainees to emancipate their minds, improve themselves and their future prospects, the white paper said.