Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?

Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?

China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019.

It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps.

China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills.

Observers said the white paper from the State Council, China’s cabinet, could be the first time the authorities had “indirectly” confirmed the scale of the camps.