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A Happier Present and Future
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  • Students from Hotan Prefecture, in south Xinjiang
  • A supermarket owner and her grandson in Kashgar City, southwest Xinjiang
  • Stall vendors in the night market in Hotan City
  • Ice cream vendors in Hotan City
  • Students in the Kashgar Old City neighborhood in Kashgar City
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Employment and educational opportunities are seen as two main means of addressing the core problem of poverty in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, especially in the region’s southern part, where economic growth lags far behind the national average. In the past three years, the four prefectures Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu and Kizilsu in south Xinjiang have created nearly 5 million jobs for local people, mainly rural Uygurs. In the coming three years, local governments will help another 100,000 rural residents find employment.

In addition, Xinjiang begins to offer 15-year compulsory education from this December, ahead of everywhere else on the Chinese mainland. This means that all students--from kindergarten to high school, as well as those attending secondary vocational schools--will receive a free education. This policy was first rolled out in south Xinjiang in 2014.

(Photos by Jiang Xiaoying)

Copyedited by Chris Surtees

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