Foreign scholars, media professionals discover ‘modern, open’ Xinjiang

Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

XINJIANG: A delegation comprising scholars and media professionals from eight countries in the Middle East and other parts of Asia concluded their five-day tour of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday, with delegation members saying the region’s modernity, openness and inclusivity have left a deep impression on them.

Beginning their journey in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, the delegation explored local museums and urban planning centers, gaining in-depth understanding of the region’s rich historical and cultural heritages as well as its modern urban development. Through visiting local communities and traditional bazaars, they also experienced the diverse culture in Xinjiang and the vibrant life style of local people.

“I was a little bit afraid of visiting Xinjiang given that news that we read outside from China. But coming here and seeing that the place here is very secure, it’s not less developed and secure than other parts of China. I think it’s the very key correction I had from the first few days of being here in Xinjiang,” said Najla Al Zarooni, a senior researcher with the TRENDS Research and Advisory, an independent research institution in the United Arab Emirates.

Visiting the Xinjiang branch of Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Corporation, the delegates said they were impressed by company’s new energy vehicle technology and its modernized facilities.

“I didn’t expect that this part of China being this developed. This is a very good sign. Technologies and industries are not concentrated only in some parts of China. It seems that in provinces, like Xinjiang, there are more facilities for the young generation to be absorbed in this kind of industry,” said Alireza Khoda Gholipour, deputy director of the Asian Study Office at Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegation then headed to the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in the region and toured Khorgos, a bustling border city neighboring Kazakhstan.

They witnessed significant Chinese investment in border infrastructure, a key driver of local economic growth.

One scholar from Türkiye commended the development of the border city, and the international opportunities it provides.

“I saw this Khorgos while we were coming here, it looks like a very new and modern place. In Xinjiang, the manufacturing is also increasing quite rapidly.

I see that the Silk Road is reborn, the increase of free trade between countries on the Silk Road will increase prosperity worldwide,” said Mehmet Ugur Ekinci, researcher with the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research in Türkiye.