Foreign media contingent praises Xinjiang's development, stability

Foreign journalists interview students at a vocational training center in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Sunday. A media group representing six countries praised the development and stability of Xinjiang after visiting the region. YU TAO/XINHUA

A media contingent with members from six countries praised the development and stability of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region after visiting the area.

The Silk Road Celebrity China Tour was held from Jan 9 to 16 in Xinjiang, with 12 media representatives from Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka visiting Xinjiang residents and a vocational training center.

The media group said that the Chinese government's successful experience in governing Xinjiang is praiseworthy.

The group visited a transportation hub in Urumqi, the regional capital, where freight trains on lines linking China and Europe converge, and produced live coverage of the trains.

Shiabur Rahman, an editor at the Daily Sun in Bangladesh, said the China-Europe trains brought Xinjiang closer to the rest of the world. As the front gate of China's opening-up westward, Xinjiang's economic development will become increasingly better, Rahman said.

Abdul Matin Amiri from a weekly publication in Afghanistan, said the display of unity and joy from residents is completely different from what some media in the West describe, adding that Xinjiang is developing well under the leadership of the Chinese government - cities in the region are thriving and people are living prosperous lives.

The reporters also visited the once poverty-stricken residents who have relocated from the mountains and are living modern lives in newly built houses.

Erdal Kurucay of Turkey's ATV, said the happiness that exuded from the once-poor residents showed Xinjiang's rapid economic development and the success of China's targeted measures in its anti-poverty campaign.

The media group also enjoyed an ethnic music performance by a Xinjiang folk music orchestra.

Misket Dikmen, president of the Izmir Journalists Association of Turkey, said that Xinjiang has done a good job of protecting and promoting minority cultures.

They also visited the Id Kah Mosque, one of the most renowned mosques in Central Asia.

Rahman, the Daily Sun editor, said that before he came to Xinjiang he heard that the Chinese government did not allow Muslims to worship, but during his visit he found that the government does not intervene in normal religious activities and that the religious freedom of the Xinjiang Muslims has been effectively protected.

The group also attended an exhibition of major cases related to violence and terrorism in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang has effectively prevented incidents of violence and terrorism and safeguarded people's lives and property in the region through effective measures, Rahman said, adding that the Chinese government is a very responsible one.

After visiting a vocational education and training center in the city of Kashgar, Turkish ATV reporter Tugcenur Yilmaz said trainees are learning the law, Mandarin and skills at the center, which plays an important role in reducing extremism.

Rahman said the people were once affected by extremism and religious fanaticism and that such training has contributed to the long-term absence of violence and terrorism in Xinjiang.

Bangladesh has been impacted by extremism also. He said he would bring his experience in Xinjiang back to his own country.