BEIJING, (Reuters) — China has set up a 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) fund to boost the textile industry in its western Xinjiang region, state media said on Friday, in an effort to enhance stability where unemployment is seen as fueling ethnic tension.
Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
Rights advocates say that China's heavy-handed policies, including restrictions on Islam and the Uighur people's culture and language, have contributed to unrest. The government rejects those assertions.
Experts say employment discrimination along with an influx of ethnic majority Han Chinese taking jobs in Xinjiang is fuelling resentment that can spill over into violence.
The fund will support the textile industry for more than a decade and result in the employment of 1 million people by 2023, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing Yan Qin, the deputy secretary general of the Xinjiang regional government.
"Assisting the labour-intensive textile industry is not only out of the consideration to shift it toward the base of raw materials and open up the west, but also carries the significance of safeguarding social stability and realising long term peace and stability," Yan told reporters in Beijing.
Xinhua did not say whether the new jobs would be geared toward Uighurs, long-term Xinjiang residents or migrant workers.
The government has begun to recognise the economic roots of some of the upheaval, especially underdevelopment and a lack of jobs in heavily Uighur areas like rural southern Xinjiang. Young people with little education and few job prospects can be drawn to militancy, it says.
About 200 people have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past year or so, including a suicide bombing that killed 39 people at a market in the regional capital Urumqi in May.
Officials have made previous pledges to bolter the textile industry in the region, which grows more than half of the country's cotton, much of it by a commercial arm of the military.
China says the sector employs about 200,000 of the vast region's more than 22 million people.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty