Xinjiang government rejects separatist efforts to divide Muslim community

Moves to sabotage the relationship between the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Islamic countries won't succeed, the acting chairman of the region said.

"'East Turkestan' forces have recently sent a letter to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to create estrangement between Xinjiang and members of the organization. Such attempts are doomed to fail," Arkin Tuniyaz, acting chairman of the region, said during an online event held by the regional government on Wednesday.

The event, titled "Xinjiang is a Wonderful Land", aims to give members of the organization virtual tours of the region and help them learn more about it.

In a letter addressed to the organization, "East Turkestan" groups that aim to separate Xinjiang from China asked OIC to break its silence and take a public stand against China's ongoing so-called genocide against the Uygurs in Xinjiang. China has repeatedly denied such allegations and stated they have been fabricated by anti-China forces.

"I hope Islamic communities can learn more about Xinjiang, which is surely nothing like what have been portrayed by the United States and other anti-China forces," Arkin said.

In March 2019, the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers adopted a resolution appreciating China's efforts to protect the well-being of the Muslims at its 46th session.

The virtual tour has covered popular tourist destinations, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute as well as local businesses and communities.

No terrorist attacks have happened in Xinjiang for more than five years thanks to the region's efforts to curb the spread of religious extremism and terrorism. Stability has allowed the region to achieve healthy and quality development, Arkin said.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Xinjiang has received 190 million visits from tourists in 2021, an increase of about 20 percent from the previous year.