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"A Dramatic Change has Taken Place in Xinjiang" -- Interview with Helga Zep Larush, Founder and Chairman of German Think Tank Schiller Institute

 Helga Zep Larush, founder and chairman of Schiller Institute, a well-known think tank in Germany, said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency recently that since the founding of new China 70 years ago, great changes have taken place in Xinjiang. Lanxin high speed railway across Gobi, highway road across Taklimakan Desert are such a great progress "compared with the desert where camel caravans crossing the ancient Silk Road".

When it comes to the development of airport, telecommunication network, oil and gas development and other emerging industries in Xinjiang, Larush is delighted and speak with familiarity. She said that Xinjiang is a strategic channel for China to connect Western Asia and Europe through Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries, and it's also the starting point for the economic corridor of China and Pakistan. Therefore, infrastructure construction and industrial development in Xinjiang are important not only for China, but also for the construction of “the belt and road ”initiative as well as the realization of the prosperity of Pakistan and other regions.

Speaking of the prospects of Xinjiang, Larush pointed out that the future of Xinjiang will benefit from the construction of “the belt and road ”initiative which is based on mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation. Since this initiative was put forward, people have been gradually attracted in the process of its continuous realization. Larush said, "the huge potential of “the belt and road”initiative in economic cooperation has been recognized by more and more western enterprises.

She also spoke highly of Xinjiang's poverty alleviation. She said that the Chinese government has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty, "so there is reason to believe that people in poor areas in Xinjiang will soon be lifted out of poverty." "The Chinese government has attached great importance to areas in southern Xinjiang and made it a priority area for poverty alleviation."

Larush referred to "double standards" in the West. She said that in reporting the development of Xinjiang, the western media used "the most serious double standards". On the one hand, the western media whitewash the violent terrorist activities in Xinjiang; on the other hand, the western media distort the efforts of the Chinese government in combat terrorism into human rights violations.

"Now there are two kinds of people: those who have been to Xinjiang, whether as tourists or businessmen, are very excited about the great development of Xinjiang; and those who lack a real understanding of Xinjiang but just learned from Western media’s report ." said Larush.

Xinhua News Agency reporter Shen Zhonghao