Shenzhen will pump one billion yuan (HK$1.26 billion) into a new university to be built in Xinjiang’s southern Kashgar city, on top of the region’s own one billion yuan of investment.
Shenzhen was contributing to the university in support of education in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Xinjiang Daily reported on Monday.
“Building Kashi University will provide strong human resources to the industrial restructuring in southern Xinjiang and improve the local livelihood,” said Kenjiang Tulahong, a member of the region’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
Plans to build the university were announced by the State Council after a Xinjiang working group meeting in May. It was an important strategic approach, the newspaper said.
Xinjiang, in the northwest and home to the Uygur ethnic minority who are mostly Muslims, has been the focus of a security crackdown after recent violent attacks in the region and elsewhere on the mainland that the central government has blamed on terrorists and separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
President Xi Jinping, who chaired the second Central Work Conference on Xinjiang on May 19, stressed the importance of ethnic unity, education and economic development. Officials at the conference pledged to promote bilingual education and interaction between ethnic groups in the region.
On Monday, Xinjiang party chief Zhang Chunxian, speaking at the region’s party committee meeting, vowed to safeguard social stability and the Central Committee’s authority and political discipline on major issues opposing separatism.
The same day, Korla Evening News reported that police in Korla city, western Xinjiang, had busted an underground group that was teaching the Koran to children. Two men were arrested on suspicion of abusing two children and forcing them to study the Koran, on top of running illegal religious activities. The two pupils were then sent to local kindergartens and assigned guardians, the newspaper reported.
Kashi University, when completed, would give Uygur students more opportunities for higher levels of academic training in future, Kashgar officials said.
“Kashi University will have comprehensive departments and disciplined teachers to train a wider range of talents,” Kashgar Normal College dean Aierken Wumaier said.
The university plans to provide curriculums in the liberal arts, science, art, engineering, management, economics and medicine, among others, he said. The institute aimed to recruit 13,000 students by 2015, he added.