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Xinjiang Policy: Chinese scholars shed light on language education at UN Human Rights Council session
By:CGTN
update:March 02,2020
March 2,2020 -- In Geneva, Chinese scholars have shared their views on human rights and development in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. They spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session. Both the Han Chinese and Uygur languages are taught in Xinjiang, and many say the two have integrated well. Our reporter Xi Jia reports from Geneva.
 
Mehmut Abduweli was born in a remote county at the foot of the Kunlun Mountains in China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region. At the age of 19, he was accepted at Xinjiang University and majored in history. Later, he went to China's Nanjing University and the Asian Studies Center of the University of British Columbia in Canada as a visiting scholar. Earning a doctorate in history, he said he was impressed by one of the changes that has taken place in Xinjiang, a trend in Uyghur-Chinese language exchanges.
 
MEHMUT ABDUWELI Deputy Director, Institute of History Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences "I regret not having part in Chinese language lessons. For Xinjiang, bilingual education is so important. Because if you can speak Mandarin, our nation's standard language, you will have a different future.You will have more job and education opportunities, so we should cherish this era."
 
Liu Zhengjiang was also born in Xinjiang, and grew up in the northern city of Shihezi. He earned both his bachelor and master degrees, majoring in the Uyghur language at Xinjiang University. 
 
His passion for the language originates from the love of local people.
 
LIU ZHENGJIANG Dean, School of Chinese Language Xinjiang University "As I was born and grew up in Xinjiang, I have many local friends, my classmates, my teachers, they are all Uyghurs. So I chose to study the Uyghur language when I pursued my bachelor's degree as well as master's degree. I think to better understand and communicate with other ethnic groups, we can learn each other's languages, I am also interested in the Uyghur culture, manners and customs, and Uyghur history, that's why I chose it as my major."
 
While Liu Zhengjiang was studying at Xinjiang University, he paired-up with Uyghur students to learn the Uyghur language and in return, he taught them Chinese after classes. 
 
The language exchange group also implemented an internship program where Chinese students or students from other countries would live with Uyghur in order to learn the language faster. The program was welcomed by local citizens.
 
XI JIA Geneva "Mehmut Abduweli is a Uyghur historian who is studying Xinjiang's history and the Chinese language. And Liu Zhengjiang is Han Chinese and is studying the Uygur language in college. Both told me, they appreciate each other's culture and have learned a lot, that's why the trend is an integrated development of the two languages. Xi Jia, CGTN, Geneva, Switzerland."
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