Photo taken on June 9, 2022 shows the 75th Press Conference on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Tang Yong
Xu Guixiang: Friends from the media and distinguished guests, good morning!
Welcome to the Press Conference of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) I’m Xu Guixiang, spokesperson of the People’s Government of XUAR. First of all, I would like to introduce the participants of today’s press conference. Attending in person are Mr. Elijan Anayat, spokesperson of the People’s Government of XUAR and Mr. Ablikem Eziz, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism of XUAR. Participants also include 10 representatives from local communities, who will join us via video link and share relevant information with us. They are Ms. Erigele Dailiman, tour guide from Kanas Scenic Spot in Altay Prefecture; Mr. Dilshat Parhat, head of Xinjiang Muqam Art Troupe; Ms. Buwezorihan Matrozi, employee at Hotan Jiya Liren Atlas Silk Co., Ltd; Ms. Chen Lizhong, General Manager of Tiansai Winery, Yanqi County; Ms. Mayira Letip, online celebrity of e-commerce from Lukeqin Town, Shanshan County, Turpan City; and Ms. Raziya Mamat, Ms. Subinur Amatjan, Ms. Aifeifan Alimjan, Ms. Anakiz Yasin and Ms. Marhaba Adil, community workers from Kashgar Ancient City.
Photo taken on June 9, 2022 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the 75th Press Conference on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Tang Yong
Today’s press conference mainly focuses on the topic “Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Place”. In China, this saying is well known to all. The reason why do we say so? It is because Xinjiang boasts unique and magnificent scenery, enjoys harmony and social stability. It is because people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy happy life. It is also because Xinjiang pursues openness and win-win cooperation and promising development prospects. Through the efforts of recent years, Xinjiang is no longer what it used to be with frequent violent and terrorist incidents, nor what is maliciously portrayed by some anti-China forces in the United States and some western countries. Instead, it is a wonderful land of prosperity and stability. The profound transformation, the wonderful stories, and the bright image of Xinjiang are being shown to the world with specific, adequate, and vivid contents.
Just because Xinjiang is a wonderful place, it has attracted people from all walks of life for visits, investment, tourism, and settlement, making Xinjiang, known as the pearl on the Silk Road Economic Belt, more brilliant and charming. Next, I would like to invite representatives from different sectors to take us on a “cloud tour” around Xinjiang. We will learn about the natural scenery, history, culture, local customs and development prospects of Xinjiang, and feel the happy life of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang together.
Photo taken on June 9, 2022 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of People’s Government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region speaks at the 75th Press Conference on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Tang Yong
Elijan Anayat: First of all, let’s invite Mr. Ablikim Eziz, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism of XUAR to brief us on cultural tourism in Xinjiang.
Photo taken on June 9, 2022 shows Ablikim Eziz, Director General of the Department of Culture and Tourism of XUAR speaks at the 75th Press Conference on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo by Xinjiang Daily/ Tang Yong
Ablikim Eziz: Located in northwest China, Xinjiang boasts picturesque scenery, abundant resources, time-honored history, splendid culture and outstanding people, it is known as the “home to melons and fruits” and “home to singing and dancing”. Today I want to introduce Xinjiang to you with four keywords.
The first keyword is “vast”. “You will not know how vast China’s territory is until you visit Xinjiang.” Xinjiang covers a total area of more than 1.66 million square kilometers, accounting for about one sixth of China’s land area. It stretches about 2,000 kilometers from the east to west and about 1,600 kilometers from the north to south. The vast area creates a magnificent, picturesque and varying scenery in Xinjiang, where you can both appreciate the breathtaking views of vast grasslands, rivers and lakes and experience the tranquility of mountainous lakes under the moonlight and the wildness of deserts and the Gobi. The vastness of Xinjiang has also created the broad mind and enthusiastic and straightforward character of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
The second keyword is “multiple”. Xinjiang has been a multi-ethnic and multi-religious region since ancient times. People from 56 ethnic groups, including the Uygur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Mongol and Uzbek people, have been united on an equal footing and made progress all together. Religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Taoism coexist harmoniously and develop in a sound way. Throughout the long history of Xinjiang, the Central Plains and the Western Regions have made extensive exchanges, comprehensive communications and in-depth integration with each other, creating a colorful local culture in Xinjiang, which has become an integral part of the Chinese culture. Diversity is the charm of Xinjiang’s culture. Along the ancient Silk Road are many cultural relics of different religions and cultures, such as the Kizil Thousand Buddha Cave, where the famous Buddhist monk Kumarajiva lectured, and Id Kah Mosque, which is still well preserved after hundreds of years. Diversity is particularly demonstrated in Xinjiang’s food culture. Many foods in Xinjiang have not only the essence of Chinese food culture, but also some characteristics of Central Asian and European cuisine, giving Xinjiang food a unique feature. Many food lovers from China and abroad are attracted to have a taste.
The third keyword is “wonderful”. At present, Xinjiang is in one of the best development periods in its history. The dividends of stability continues to be released, tourism shows a strong momentum of growth, and the culture-tourism brand “Xinjiang is a Wonderful Place” has become more influential. With roads connecting the north and south and direct flight reaching scenic spots, a more convenient transportation network is making Xinjiang no longer the remote place it was once thought to be. Tourists can enjoy traditional Kazak cuisine under the morning sun in Narat grassland, and then have a taste of Uygur afternoon tea in a century old teahouse in the Kashgar Ancient City. In just one day, tourists can enjoy the different customs of Xinjiang. Also wonderful is the hospitality of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang now live a well-off life with smiles on their faces. They are ready to welcome tourists, both domestic and overseas, to their homes where they can look around, taste the delicious food, and have casual chats.
The fourth keyword is “beautiful”. In the last part of my presentation, I would like to highlight the beauty of Xinjiang. Xinjiang has all the beauty that the world has. Flowers in spring, grasslands in summer, poplar trees in autumn and snow in winter – every season in Xinjiang is characterized by a distinctive kind of beauty. In spring, Xinjiang turns into a sea of flowers. Thousands of acres of apricot flowers stretch as far as the eye can see in Xinghuagou, Ili Prefecture. Wildflowers come to full bloom around Sayram Lake. The fragrance of pear flowers in Korla, known as the city of pears, bubbles in the air. In summer, Xinjiang shines the brightest, and it is the best season for tourism. At the foot of Muztagh Ata, the “father of iceberg”, the lake is as clear as a mirror. On the grasslands of Bayanbulak sheep and cattle are grazing in herds. Around the Heavenly Lake in Tianshan Mountains, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, pine forests are green and luxuriant. In autumn, Xinjiang blazes with colors. The Dushanzi-Kuqa Highway, dubbed “the most beautiful highway”, has various beautiful sceneries all along the way. In Luntai County, the poplar forests take on a golden look just like a fairy land. In winter, the whole of Xinjiang is covered with white snow. Altay, “the snow city of China”, is recognized by the world as the origin of human skiing. The Silk Road Ski Resort in Urumqi, known as “the ski resort under the shining sun”, is the warmest resort in China, and the main venue of the 13th National Winter Games.
That’s all for my introduction. Xinjiang is indeed a wonderful place. Welcome to Xinjiang.
Elijan Anayat: Just now, Director General Ablikim Eziz made an introduction of the rich and colorful cultural tourism resources in Xinjiang. Next, please watch a video clip titled Xinjiang Is a Wonderful Place. Hope you can have a more direct understanding of Xinjiang.
Elijan Anayat: Next, we will have Ms. Erigele Dailiman online. She is a tour guide from Kanas Scenic Spot, and she will show us around Kanas for the beautiful natural scenery.
Erigele Dailiman: Hello everyone! I’m Erigele Dailiman. I’m a tour guide from Kanas Scenic Spot in Altay Prefecture. Kanas Scenic Spot is located on China’s border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia. The scenic spot has a planned area of 10,030 square kilometers, with 8 natural landscape areas and 3 major cultural landscape areas. It has a wide range of tourism resources of high quality and in good combination, which are reflected in the charm of natural scenery, cultural legacy, mystery and experience. It is known as the “pure land on earth”.
First, the charm of natural scenery. Kanas is a gene bank of plants in cold and temperate zone. It is the only extension zone of Siberian Taiga in China, and the origin of Burqin River, the largest tributary of Irtysh River. The scenery of Kanas is closely related to the variation of seasons, and Kanas earns its popularity owing to the unique and beautiful scenery in different seasons. It makes a cycle and repeats itself in a magical and wonderful way. Kanas is dotted with many lakes including the White Lake, Black Lake, Double Lake and Qian Lake which are characterized with their own unique scenery. The three bays of Kanas Lake, namely Wolong (Crouching Dragon) Bay, Yueliang (Moon) Bay and Shenxian (Immortal) Bay, gifted by nature, make a large painting of tranquil, remote and magnificent landscapes.
Second, the charm of cultural legacy. While it boasts beautiful and unique natural landscape, Kanas is also known for its cultural legacy. It is the settlement of the Tuva people. The three traditional Tuva villages, namely Hemu, Baihaba and Hanas, are still well preserved. There are houses that can breathe – smoke wafts up from the wooden ridge roof tells the story of the life of the Tuva’s. The Hemu Century Old House and Tuva Folk Museum lead you on a journey along the history where you experience the transformation of the mountainous tribes and their cultural treasures.
Third, the charm of mystery. Kanas is the Mongolian word meaning “a beautiful and mysterious place”. The mystery of Kanas lies in its peculiar geology and changeable climate. The color of lake waters changes with the seasons and weather. After it rains, the clouds and mist rise over Kanas Lake as if a fairyland were there. The sea of clouds and the glow in the sky produces an extremely beautiful and amazing view. The popular legend of the monster in Kanas Lake has intrigued numerous people to come to see for themselves.
Fourth, the charm of experience. Ride a horse to the Fish-viewing Platform at the top of mountains, and you will enjoy an overview of Kanas Lake. Or you may take a helicopter or a hot-air balloon up into the air to witness the sea of clouds overlook the spectacular primeval forests. A boat trip on the lake gives you a chance to closely touch the cool and clear water of Kanas Lake. A walk in the forests, the “natural oxygen bar”, and you can enjoy the beauty and feel the gorgeousness in person.
Now we are at the Fish-viewing Platform, which is 19 meters high and weighs 777 tons. It consists of two platforms and one pavilion, and can accommodate more than 100 people at the same time. The roof is semi-circular and spherical in shape, with four peculiar symmetrical structures resembling the shape of wings, implying the tail of the lake monster and the wings of the eagle. The Fish-viewing Platform is always known for “viewing the lake on the top of the mountains and watching the flowers at the foot”. Along the walk to the platform, you can enjoy a different view at every step that varies from season to season. In autumn, the forests take on a colorful look with various layers of red, orange, yellow, green, black, blue and purple presented by various tree species. The colors form a stark contrast with the dazzling snow-white cap of the mountains. Such a view is reflected on the emerald Kanas Lake, forming a brilliant picture.
The Kanas Lake below is a famous for its ever changing color. In spring, summer and autumn, the lake water changes its color with the seasons and weather. Even within one day, Kanas Lake changes its color in different weathers and heights of clouds. The lake was formed about 200,000 years ago. It looks like a crescent moon, with an altitude of 1,374 meters and an area of 45.78 square kilometers. It is the deepest Alpine freshwater lake in China. It is known to tourists at home and abroad for its four wonders, namely the lake monster, cloud sea with Buddha lights, color-changing lake and long dike of dead wood.
In recent years, Kanas has been rated as China’s 5-A tourist attraction, National Forest Park, National Geopark and one of the most beautiful forest attractions in China. Wang Meng, a famous writer, says that Kanas is a place “farther than farness itself”. Kanas is a pure land on earth which can give you a dreamy tour. We sincerely invites tourists from around the world to Kanas to enjoy the picturesque natural scenery and experience the unique folk culture.
Xu Guixiang: Xinjiang has a long history and profound cultural heritage. It is an important window for cultural exchanges between the East and the West. Especially along the ancient Silk Road, there are many cultural relics, which are still overwhelmed with vitality. The Jiaohe Ruins, located in the city of Turpan, is one of the important representatives. As early as in the Tang Dynasty, Anxi Frontier Command was established there to administer the military and political affairs of Xinjiang at that time. It was also the administrative, military, transportation and religious center of Xinjiang back then. Thanks to the dry climate in Turpan, the Jiaohe Ruins has been completely preserved and has become a witness to the past prosperity of the ancient Silk Road.
Now let’s watch a video clip and learn about the Jiaohe Ruins.
Xu Guixiang: Xinjiang is also a garden of different cultures. Xinjiang attaches great importance to the protection of the traditional cultures of all ethnic groups. The traditional ethnic cultures have been effectively protected, inherited and developed, competing for splendor in the embrace of Chinese culture. One of the examples is Muqam art in Xinjiang. Next, we will have Mr. Dilshat Parhat, head of Xinjiang Muqam Art Troupe online, who will brief us on Xinjiang Muqam Art. We would also like you to enjoy the a few classic plays of Muqam.
Dilshat Parhat: Uygur Muqam art is the general name of various forms of muqam among the Uygur people in Xinjiang, including the Twelve Muqams, Dolan Muqam, Turpan Muqam and Hami Muqam. In modern Uygur language, the word Muqam means classical music. Singing and dancing is the most important feature of Uygur Muqam. The verses include mottos of philosophers, poetry, folklores, local legends, etc. It is an encyclopedia of the life of the Uygur people. In 2005, Xinjiang Uygur Muqam Art was registered in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government has attached great importance to the protection, inheritance and development of Uygur Muqam Art. In 1951 and 1954, recordings of Uygur Twelve Muqams were made twice to rescue the art. In 1978, the Muqam Research Office was established in Xinjiang. In 1989, the Muqam Art Troupe was established. In 2010, the Regulations of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Protection of Uygur Muqam Arts was adopted. In the same year, the government invested 120 million yuan to build the Muqam Art Troupe building and theater. The total construction area of the Muqam Art Troupe building is nearly 17,000 square meters. In the building there are 6 dance and music rehearsal halls and 12 piano rooms. The theater covers a total area of 6,600 square meters and can accommodate 777 spectators.
Since its establishment, the Muqam Art Troupe has collected and rehearsed a large number of classic plays of the Uygur Twelve Muqams. Some plays were performed in the Beijing Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo and Hong Kong Art Festival. The Muqam Art Troupe has visited more than 100 countries and regions, including Australia, France, Germany and the UK. In the middle of the flower bed is the sculpture of Turdiahong, an outstanding trustee of Uygur Muqam art. He has made great contributions to the collection, recording, sorting and protection of Uygur Muqam art.
Now please enjoy an excerpt of Uygur Muqam classics.
The first performance is the women’s group dance “Jula”. The lyrics translates into: Tianshan Mountains are towering and the sunshine is brilliant. People of all ethnic groups are working together to build their beautiful home. They are playing the dap drum and dancing the Meshrep. The golden autumn is overflowed with the joy of harvest.
Next, please enjoy the song and music performance, an excerpt from Ozhal Muqam. The lyrics translates into: The ripe red apple is like my sweetheart’s red face. His whispers are as sweet as honey. Wherever you go, I am waiting for your call. Oh, darling, I will cry with tears when you leave and I will miss you day and night.
This is the end of today’s performance. Thanks for watching.
Xu Guixiang: If you have been to Xinjiang, you will probably know Atlas silk. With bright colors and light texture, it is the favorite clothing material for women of all ethnic groups here. Today, Atlas silk has become a representative element of Xinjiang ethnic clothing. However, many have little idea about how such exquisite and beautiful silk is made. Next, Ms. Buwezorihan Matrozi, an employee at Hotan Jiya Liren Atlas Silk Co., Ltd, will join us via video link. She will brief us on the inheritance and development of Etles silk weaving technology.
Buwezorihan Matrozi: Hello everyone! My name is Buwezorihan Matrozi. I work at Hotan Jiya Liren Atlas Silk Co., Ltd.
Many families in my hometown have been engaged in Atlas silk weaving for generations. They use the ancient warp binding dyeing method to weave Atlas silk with bright patterns and colors. The clothes made of Atlas silk are the most popular among girls, because it is of soft and light material and elegant style. Atlas silk has very beautiful color, which reflects the love and pursuit of the Uygur people for a better life.
When I was in junior high school, I saw uncles and aunts spinning and weaving. The white silk spun into weaving threads in their hands bit by bit, which made me so curious. So every afternoon after school, I would run to the Atlas loom to watch my uncles and aunts spin and weave. After graduation, I applied for a job at Hotan Jiya Liren Atlas silk Co. Ltd, and became an commentator.
I have already worked in the company for 14 years. It’s indeed a very happy thing to be able to do the job you like. For so many years, my love for Etles(Atlas) silk has never faded away.
In 2008, Atlas silk was included in the national intangible cultural heritage list. Hearing the news, I was so happy that I could hardly fall into sleep for several days. I knew this would mean that the processing technology of Atlas silk could be better protected and developed. As one of the Atlas weaving community, I felt very proud.
However, traditional Atlas silk also faces challenges in its development, such as outdated style and pattern design, proneness to fading using traditional dyeing techniques, and lack of market.
In order to bring new life to this “living fossil” on the Silk Road, the government has invited outstanding experts in silk weaving from Suzhou, Hangzhou and other places. They have worked with local Atlas weaving trustees and taught workers by the hand. We in the Atlas community have continuously improved the techniques and innovated new designs. Now we have developed more than 20 kinds of Etles(Atlas) products, including ties, handbags, purses, pillows and scarves.
Only by opening up the market can Atlas go further. Taking advantage of rural tourism, the city of Hotan has upgraded the silk processing plant for Jiya Liren. Following the traditional process, a production base with full functions, including a reeling room, dyeing room and product display room, was set up. It was recognized as a national 3-A tourist attraction, attracting numerous tourists all through the year. Atlas silk has also been advertised online, making it more popular among the public. Now, Atlas silk products are sold to as far as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other parts of China.
The vigorous growth of Atlas silk industry has attracted many young people to return home where they can find jobs or start up their own businesses. Some set up workshops, some set up cooperatives, and others worked as technicians in different factories. Many workers at Jiya have benefited a lot from Atlas-related tourism.
Now, with ever growing incomes, our fellow villagers will surely live a life as colorful as the Atlas silk.
Xu Guixiang: Friends from the media, distinguished guests, apart from Atlas silk, Xinjiang has many other treasures, such as wine. Favorable geographical and climatic conditions give rise to the excellent quality of grapes in Xinjiang, which lays a foundation for the development of wine industry. Next, Ms. Chen Lizhong, General Manager of Tiansai Winery in Yanqi County, will be joining online. She will brief us on the development of local wine industry.
Chen Lizhong: Hello, I’m Chen Lizhong, General Manager of Tiansai Winery. The winery was established in 2010, and it is located in Qigexing Township, Yanqi County. The name “Tiansai” means “beyond the Great Wall at the foot of the Tianshan Mountains” in Chinese.
I left Beijing for Xinjiang to open this winery mainly for two advantages in this region. First, Xinjiang has an age old wine culture. As early as over 2,000 years ago, people living here already mastered wine brewing skills. As an ancient Chinese poem reads, “With wine of grapes the cups of jade would glow at night. Drinking to pipa songs, we are summoned to fight.” Historically, wine produced in Xinjiang was sold to abroad through the Silk Road with a good reputation. Second, Xinjiang has favorable local conditions. It is located between 30 and 50 degrees north latitude. This location, along with climate, sunshine, temperature, soil and water conditions in Xinjiang, is very suitable for the growth of grape and wine brewing. Xinjiang is known as a “golden wine-producing region”, and is often compared with Bordeaux, France. We often say that good wine comes from good grape planting. Next, Mr. Abla Tursun, an employee at the winery, will share his grape planting experience with us.
Abla Tursun: Hello, I’m Abla Tursun. Every family in my hometown know how to grow grapes. Grape trellis are put up at both the front and backyard of our houses. However, wine grapes are a novelty to us. After I got a job in the winery, the first lesson from the technician was the difference between wine grapes and table grapes in growth management and picking season. For example, wine grapes have strict requirements on the picking season. If picked too early, they cannot accumulate enough sugar. Or if picked too late, they will contain too much sugar and lack acidity. Both cases will affect the quality of wine. So every year during the grape harvest season, there is a bustling scene here. The vineyard seasonally hires people living nearby to help pick the grapes, sharing the joy of harvest and more importantly, helping villagers make more money. In over one month’s time, they can earn about 7,000 or 8,000 yuan.
Planted in our winery are mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Marselan. They are well adapted to the hot climate and sandy soil here. The grapes have good ripeness, and the wine produced here has rich flavor and good taste. Next, my colleague Tian Qiu will share with you his experience on wine storage.
Tian Qiu: Hello, I’m Tian Qiu, Manager of the Membership Department of Tiansai Winery. Wine storage has very strict requirements, such as temperature, humidity, light, etc. Any minor change in the environment may affect the taste of wine. The wine making team of Tiansai winery is an international team that brings together Chinese and foreign elites. From the beginning of its establishment, we upheld native taste and unique local flavor of Xinjiang wine. It is our important concept to produce wine of good quality and unique style that is internationally oriented.
Xinjiang has a very long history of wine making. We fully learn from and absorb various brewing techniques and have formed a unique taste belonging to Tiansai. Tiansai vineyard is surrounded by mountains on three sides in the vicinity of a lake, which adds a special flavor to our grapes. In the international wine competition held in London, Britain, our selected Tiansai Cabernet Sauvignon won the bronze medal. Now, Ms. Chen Lizhong will continue to share with us other information about the winery.
Chen Lizhong: In recent years, tourism in Xinjiang has a strong momentum of development, and tourists from home and abroad have poured in. Tiansai winery has turned 1.8 square kilometers of Gobi land into a grape oasis and has developed an experience-style winery which integrates grape planting, wine brewing, theme tourism and grape culture promotion together. The rural project of “Tianbian Culture and Tourism Town” has also been steadily implemented. Here, tourists can taste Xinjiang food, Xinjiang wine and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Xinjiang. Wine industry has become one of the important industries for local people to help them increase their income and have well off life.
Elijan Anayat: Now we will connect Ms. Mayira Letip, an e-commerce online celebrity from Lukeqin Town, Shanshan County, Turpan City through video link and ask her to show us the development of local Hami melon industry.
Mayira Letip: Hello, my name is Mayira Letip. I am a native of Shanshan County. I am proud to tell you that our town is home to Hami melon and grape in Turpan and the birthplace of Turpan Muqam. It is also entitled “honey town” and “music town”, and one of the famous historical and cultural towns in China.
I am standing in the melon field owned by Ni Qiliang, a melon farmer in Shakan Village, Lukeqin Town. Ni has planted 160 mu of Hami melons this year. Look, we are busy picking Hami melons here (picking one). Look at this melon. There are so many overlapping curves on it and the curves are very thin. This tells us that the melon is ripe (cutting the melon and tasting it). Sure enough, the melon tastes really sweet and crisp.
There is a historical story about the origin of the name of Hami melon. During the reign of the Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, the king of Hami in Xinjiang brought the melon produced in Shanshan County to the Emperor as a tribute. It tasted so sweet and delicious that he asked where the melon came from. His entourage answered that it was offered by the king of Hami. Kangxi blurted out “Hami melon”, hence the name. At present, Turpan and Hami share the trademark and origin certificate of Hami Melon which is also a CGIIA registered product.
Shanshan County is located in Turpan Basin where spring comes earlier with temperature rising very quickly. It is the very place where the earliest Hami melon becomes ripe. After the application of the plastic tunnel cultivation, the ripe season of Hami melon comes earlier than before by half a month. So, the market advantage is more obvious, which has effectively improved the profit of farmers.
Turpan has unique natural conditions with superior climate characterized by aridity, plenty of sunshine and heat, and long frost-free period. It is known as “home to grapes and fruits”. Hami melon had been planted here since more than a thousand years ago. Hami melons abound here and look neat and agreeable. With high sugar content, Hami melons are as sweet as honey, featuring special fragrance with unique flavor. They also have the functions of cooling and relieving summer heat, and promoting salivation and relieving cough. Owing to the naturally pollution-free environment and the favorable irrigation using melting snow from Tianshan Mountains, Hami melon here almost stays immune from pests and diseases. According to the statistics, the planting area of Hami melon in Turpan in this spring exceeds 90,000 mu, with an estimated output of 150,000 tons. At present, Hami melons have been on sale successively and the peak of sales season has come. Hami melon in Turpan exists in almost 40 varieties, mainly including Xizhoumi, Nasimi, Qinghuami, Jinmi and Cuitian. For its good quality, wide sales channels and promising marketing, the planting area of Hami melon is continuously expanding. From June to September every year, melon dealers and fruit dealers gather from all over the country. From the county, township, the market to the melon fields, a vast array of vans and trucks for picking and transporting melons can be witnessed everywhere. It is a defining scene of harvest with air imbued with sweet flavor.
In order to reduce the production cost of Hami melon and increase the yields, the local government organized melon farmers to set up professional cooperatives to speed up intensive processing, extend the industrial chain and enhance the value-added transformation of processing. Relying on the Hami Melon Research Center of Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Science and the national melon industrial technology system, we have increased new varieties and promoted the adoption of new technology and mechanization in planting and cultivation. We have also strengthened the promotion of improved varieties, rotation in the use of farmland, and increased the use of organic fertilizers. This has promoted the high-quality development of Hami melon industry. An annual processing capacity of 20,000 tons and a cold storage capacity of over 200,000 tons of Hami melons have been realized. Hami melons and other characteristic agricultural products are sold well all over the country.
We welcome friends from all over the world to Xinjiang. Here you can taste grapes and Hami melons, and enjoy other sweet fruits and taste of life.
Xu Guixiang: One who fails to visit Kashgar is not really visiting Xinjiang. Kashgar Ancient City has become a business card of Xinjiang and an online celebrated place visited by many netizens. The renovation project of Kashgar Ancient City has enabled full retention of the traditional cultural characteristics and improved the living conditions of residents. The efforts have been fully recognized by UNESCO. Next, please watch a video clip on the renovation project of Kashgar Ancient City.
Xu Guixiang: Now we will start a video link with Ms. Raziya Mamat, a community worker of Kashgar Ancient City together with her colleagues. They will show us around and help us feel the charm and style of the city.
Subinur Amatjan: Kashgar is a civilized modern city that embraces openness. It is an ancient city with a history of more than thousands of years and rich ethnic culture. According to the records of The History of Huijiang compiled in the Qing Dynasty, Kashgar covered an area of less than 320 mu, spanning only 3 li with six gates. Gradually, the urban area expanded to its current scale, with four entrances towards four directions. Now we are standing at the east gate of the Ancient City. In the past, the living conditions inside could be outlined as: garbage awaiting the wind to be blown away; people climbing on the roof to answer the call of nature; water pipes hanging on the wall; and the sewage disposed of by natural evaporation. Now Kashgar Ancient City has won the gold medal of national 5-A scenic spot, and its residents are living a decent life. Now a city entering ceremony is being held behind us. It is held every morning and afternoon to welcome guests from afar.
Now we are walking along the so-called Impression Street, the most bustling street in the Ancient City. It is not only a national 5-A scenic spot but resided by more than 20,000 families. It is basically a vivid folk museum.
With a history of more than 2,000 years, Kashgar Ancient City was an important frontier city along the ancient Silk Road where a mix of cultures converged. This street is called Areya Road, with a total length of more than 600 meters. It is a street of bazaars. The word bazaar means market. There are more than 200 shops in this street.
This is the flowerpot bazaar, also known as the earthenware market. You can see a variety of colorful earthenware products. The pigments used to paint these earthenware are taken from local natural plants and minerals. Earthenware is heat-resistant, and breathable, so it is widely used. It can be used as tableware, flower pots and handicrafts.
We often say that tourism in Kashgar is unique in the world. Here you can see unique handicraft culture, architectural culture, food culture, costume culture, etc. You can also see the traditional Uygur brick carving art on the outer wall of the Ancient City. The carving is polished by hand. Beside us is the oldest and most distinctive shop which specializes in horseshoe nailing. The current owner of the store is the third-generation inheritor. The H-shaped wooden frame at the door is used to fasten horse in the course of nailing. Kashgar was an important city on the ancient Silk Road. In ancient times, when businessmen passed by, they would stop here and nail their horses.
Now the streets of the Ancient City are very broad, and the buildings in it have two or three floors. The first floor is designed for shops. Local residents can open handicraft shop, souvenir shop or provide service for tourists to increase their income on the first floor. The second and third floors are mostly used for apartments.
Now we are inside the home of Aliya Nurmamat who has a family of six. She has opened a clothing store with her parents. Both her brother and sister-in-law are teachers. Her sister is working in Jinshi kindergarten and her nephew is under care in the kindergarten.
With more than 40,000 people from 20,000 households living in the Ancient City, it’s highly populated. Most of the old houses of the original residents of the old city, like Aliya Nurmamat, clustered together and made of brick and wood structures. The residents relied on coal and charcoal as fuel for cooking, so potential safety hazards existed. Moreover, the old urban area of Kashgar is located within the 6-7 degree earthquake zone, and the brick and wood structures fail to meet the current earthquake-resistant requirements. In 2010, the state invested 7.05 billion yuan to the comprehensive protection and renovation project of the old urban area of Kashgar City.
Instead of massive demolition and construction, the project managed to preserve the Uygur tradition, retaining the original architectural style, and the historical and cultural features of this ancient town to the greatest extent. Now the lanes of the Ancient City have broadened. Every household has access to tap water and natural gas. Their living environment and the quality of life has been improved. The building area of Aliya Nurmamat’s house used to be 320 square meters. After the completion of the project, it expanded to 400 square meters. The house is larger and more spacious than before.
Aifeifan Alimjan: Hello, everyone. Now I am standing at Flowery Hat Bazaar in Kashgar Ancient City. Dopa (flowery hat) is a folk handicraft elaborately made by the Uygur people, and it is also a kind of decorative item popular among the Uygur people in Xinjiang. Uygur flowery hats come in many forms, mainly including badam flowery hat, Toshkent flowery hat and others, 18 forms in total. People choose flowery hats according to their age, gender and preference.
This is a badam flowery hat. On it is the pattern of the most famous nut in Xinjiang--badam, which we young people like to wear. This is a flowery hat worn by Uygur women at the wedding ceremony. It is decorated with gemstones, agates and other decorations. Generally speaking, the flowery hats for teenagers are designed with lively style and rich decoration, while those for male adults are of elegant and simple style. However, the flowery hat for the elderly is of dignified and upright style. There is also a kind of flower hat called Atlas hat which is made of the famous Atlas silk in Xinjiang. A string of braids is hanging under the rear part of the hat, which is very suitable for Uygur girls who look more beautiful with it.
Marhaba Adil: Hello, everyone. I’m now standing at the century old teahouse in Kashgar Ancient City. The local residents like to taste tea and chat here. Acquaints or not to each other, they have developed very harmonious relationship with each other. The Uygur community boasts a long history of tea culture. Teahouses make various medicinal tea, flower tea and traditional brick tea according to the changing seasons. A variety of snacks are also available here.
Anakiz Yasin: Hello, everyone. I am now in the oil painting street of Kashgar Ancient City scenic area. There are more than 50 galleries in this street, which is an artistic creation park constructed by local artists and calligraphers. Now we will enter the gallery to enjoy the artistic works. The teacher across the desk is outlining the scene of Xinjiang Twelve Muqams performances. The works here are basically themed with the long history of Xinjiang or the real life of local people. The gourd in my hand is also a handicraft. It is homonymous with the Chinese term fulu (good fortune), which embodies our wonderful and happy life.
Raziya Mamat: Hello, everyone. I am now in the food court of Ham Bazaar. Kashgar is known as the home to melons and fruits. You can see that there are many kinds of Hami melons, soft and waxy melons, and pomegranate juice which has the function of blood and iron supplement and beauty. This is the well-known Maren Candy, which is made of honey and dried fruit, etc.
This is the dried fruit street, where there are raisins, dried apricots, badam, walnuts and other dried fruits with local characteristics in Xinjiang. There are many traditional Xinjiang cuisines in the food court, such as mutton kebabs, Mianfeizi (steamed sheep lungs filled with flour liquid), wrapped meat, beef tendon, sheep tendon, etc. What if you want to have a cool and refreshing drink while tasting the food of unique Xinjiang flavor? Next, I’d like to introduce the local characteristic hand-made yogurt ice juice Salang Dok in Kashgar. This is the most visited bar in this street. The master mixed the hand-made yogurt and ice and made a glass of icy and delicious Salang Dok. When it comes to Uygur cuisine, we cannot miss Naan and Sanzi, which are essential to host visitors. The water used to make Sanzi dough is boiled with pepper, ginger and other spices. You can see that Sanzi is shaped and in golden color after it is fried in the oil. It is a very delicious food.
That’s all for my introduction. Thank you. Welcome to Kashgar Ancient City.
Xu Guixiang: Dear fellow reporters and distinguished guests. We have spent nearly two hours in the “cloud tour” around Xinjiang which helps you enjoy the beautiful scenery, and experience the ethnic customs and colorful culture of grand Xinjiang. We sincerely invite people from various area to visit Xinjiang, witness the real life in Xinjiang, listen to the vivid stories of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and experience the charm of the beautiful Xinjiang. We hope to further strengthen communication, dialogue and cooperation with all parties and make due contributions to maintaining social stability and economic development in Xinjiang.
This is the end of the press conference. Thank you.