East Turkistan students will not graduate unless their political views are approved.
College students in China’s restive western East Turkistan (Xinjiang) region will not graduate unless their political views are approved, a university official said.
University officials from East Turkistan (Xinjiang) said their institutions were a frontline in a “life and death struggle” for the people’s hearts and a main front in the battle against separatism, the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper in the region, the Xinjiang Daily, reported on Tuesday.
“Students whose political qualifications are not up to par must absolutely not graduate, even if their professional course work is excellent,” said Xu Yuanzhi, the party secretary at Kashgar Teachers College in southern Xinjiang, which has been an epicentre for ethnic unrest.
It is unclear if such a policy has been officially implemented throughout the region.
“Ideology is a battlefield without gun smoke,” Xinjiang Normal University President Weili Balati said.
“As university leaders, we have the responsibility to do more to help students and teachers properly understand and treat religion, ethnicity and culture and help them distinguish between right and wrong,” he said.
The Uighur people declared the independence of East Turkistan in October 1933 but the region was brought under the control of communist China in 1949.
The Chinese government has encouraged the mass migration of Han Chinese, a majority ethnic group of eastern Asia, which has subdued Uighur influence in the region and made them a minority in their own land.
Muslim Uighurs have complained that China has restrained Uighurs’ religious, commercial and cultural activities.