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President sets out new vision for Xinjiang

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-16 01:32
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President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits Turpan in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Thursday. LI XUEREN/XINHUA

President Xi Jinping has outlined a new vision for the development of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, highlighting the need to develop a strong sense of the Chinese nation as one big family and to build up unity among various ethnic groups.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a four-day fact-finding trip to the westernmost region of China, beginning on Tuesday.

The trip, his second to the region in eight years, took him to Urumqi, the regional capital, as well as to Shihezi and Turpan. He visited a university, schools, an international land port, communities, museums and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

During a meeting with regional officials on Friday, Xi underlined that support from the people is the most important factor in ensuring the long-term stability of the region.

He urged various sectors of Xinjiang to unite and look to the future in order to maximize the efforts of officials and the people in ensuring stability, seeking growth and promoting reform, saying that the authorities should give priority to heeding advice from various sectors of society.

In building up the sense that the Chinese nation is one big family, the president said that exchanges, communication and integration between different ethnic groups must be promoted.

Chinese civilization is the root of the cultures of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and more work must be done to educate and guide officials and the general public to put the history of Xinjiang and their ethnic groups in the right perspective.

He called for measures to enable the people of various ethnic groups to remain closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together, bolstering their integration in daily life and work, as well as culturally, economically, socially and psychologically.

The president stressed the need to improve governance capacity related to religious affairs and to enable the healthy development of religions in Xinjiang, a region with a population of 25.85 million in 2021, of which close to 58 percent are from non-Han ethnic groups, and are mostly Muslims.

Xi said the principle that Islam in China must be Chinese in orientation must be upheld to adapt the religion to Chinese socialist society.

It is important to foster a group of religious clergy who are politically reliable, accomplished in religious studies, widely respected and can play a role during critical periods, he said.

He highlighted the need to guarantee the normal religious needs of believers and to unite them closely around the Party and government.

More work must be done to guide various ethnic groups to develop a correct view of the nation, history, ethnicity, culture and religion, and to build up their level of recognition of the motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics, he said.

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