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Press Briefing on the Xinjiang Trip by the World Famous Islamic Figures and Scholars Delegation

Photo taken on Jan. 13, 2023 shows the press briefing on the Xinjiang trip by the world famous Islamic figures and scholars delegation held in Beijing. (Photo by Zheng Zhuo)

Friends from the press, distinguished guests online,

Good afternoon. Welcome to the press briefing on the Xinjiang trip by the world famous Islamic figures and scholars delegation. I’m Xu Guixiang, spokesman of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Beside me is Mr. Elijan Anayat, another spokesman of Xinjiang Government. The two of us will brief you on the relevant information from the following aspects. (Today we are joined by a total of 35 domestic and foreign media and the briefing is being livestreamed online to 56 countries.)

Photo taken on Jan. 13, 2023 shows Xu Guixiang, spokesman of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the press briefing on the Xinjiang trip by the world famous Islamic figures and scholars delegation held in Beijing. (Photo by Shiliuyun - Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo)

Xu Guixiang: I. The delegation’s composition and main activities.

At the invitation of the government of Xinjiang, the delegation of the world famous Islamic figures and scholars visited Xinjiang from January 8th to 11th. The delegation is headed by Dr. Ali Rashid Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Chairman of The World Muslim Communities Council (TWMCC), and the members are from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Serbia, South Sudan, Mauritania, Indonesia, Kuwait, Jordan and Oman, all together 36 globally renowned Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries. The delegation successively visited Urumqi, Altay and Kashgar.

In Urumqi, the delegation mainly visited the exhibition on counter-terrorism and deradicalization in Xinjiang, Xinjiang Museum, Urumqi Yanghang Mosque, Xinjiang Islamic Institute (including its old and new campuses), and Urumqi International Land Port Area.

In Altay, they visited the Jiangjunshan Ski Resort, Wubaili Folklore Street, and the senior Kazakh craftsman Slambek Saqish in Rast Township, Altay City and watched the show of fur ski making, an intangible cultural heritage of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In Kashgar, they visited the Memorial Hall for Renovation of Kashgar Ancient Town, Kashgar Old Town, the Id Kah Mosque and Kashgar Technician College.

Next, please watch a video about the big picture of the visit.

On January 9th, Ma Xingrui, Secretary of CPC Xinjiang Committee, and Erkin Tuniyaz, governor of Xinjiang, met with the visiting delegation in Urumqi. Shawkat Imin, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Xinjiang People’s Congress, Nurlan Abdimajin, Chairman of CPPCC Xinjiang Committee, Zhang Chunlin, Deputy Secretary of CPC Xinjiang Committee attended the meeting. On behalf of CPC Xinjiang Committee and Xinjiang Government, Ma Xingrui extended a warm welcome to the delegation and briefed on Xinjiang’s reform, development, stability, sound development of religions, and law-based protection of human rights.

Dr. Ali Rashid Abdulla Al Nuaimi, head of the delegation and chairman of TWMCC, highly appreciated Xinjiang’s tremendous achievements in counter-terrorism, deradicalization and overall elimination of poverty. Dr. Abdullah Saleh Al Obaid, former Saudi Minister of Education, Usama Al-Azhari, the Egyptian President’s Advisor for religious affairs, and Dudic Mevljud, Mufti of Serbia, spoke at the meeting.

Next, please watch some short videos of the media.

Xu Guixiang: II. The visit to the Exhibition on Counter-terrorism and Deradicalization in Xinjiang

In Urumqi, the delegation visited the Exhibition on Counter-terrorism and Deradicalization in Xinjiang. Over a past period of time, Xinjiang had suffered a lot from violent terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. Incomplete statistics show that from 1990s to 2016, separatists, terrorists, and extremists committed thousands of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, resulting in the death of a large number of innocent people and several hundred police officers. Facing the practical threat of terrorism and extremism, Xinjiang has taken resolute measures to fight against terrorism and extremism, effectively curbing the frequent occurrence of violent terrorist attacks. So far, there has been no violent terrorist attacks for more than six years in a row, and all ethnic groups’ aspiration for peace and stability has been realized. The Exhibition on Counter-terrorism and Deradicalization records this part of history with a bulk of pictures, videos and objects.

The members of the delegation agreed that Xinjiang has achieved remarkable results in counter-terrorism and deradicalization. Moreover, Xinjiang’s fight against terrorism and extremism is a successful policy under the legal framework, which has contributed to peaceful coexistence among different ethnic groups, and social harmony and tranquility. Thus, Xinjiang’s practice and experience in counter-terrorism are of great significance for other countries to emulate.

Next, please watch 3 video clips of the interviews respectively with the head of the delegation Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, and with delegation members, including former Saudi Minister of Education Abdullah Saleh Obaid, the Egyptian President’s Advisor for Religious Affairs Usama Al-Azhari.

Photo taken on Jan. 13, 2023 shows Elijan Anayat, spokesman of the People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region speaks at the press briefing on the Xinjiang trip by the world famous Islamic figures and scholars delegation held in Beijing. (Photo by Shiliuyun - Xinjiang Daily/ Zheng Zhuo)

Elijan Anayat: III. The visit to religious venues in Xinjiang

The delegation visited Urumqi Yanghang Mosque, the new campus and the old campus of Xinjiang Islamic Institute and Kashgar Id Kah Mosque.

Next, please watch the videos of the 3 religious venues for more information.

After visits, the delegation members concluded that Xinjiang has fully implemented the policy of freedom of religious belief. Normal religious activities have been protected in accordance with law and conditions of religious venues have been improved continuously. Xinjiang has attached great importance on the cultivation of Islamic talents so as to promote religious and social harmony as well as ethnic solidarity.

Next, please watch 4 video clips: the interview with delegation members including Mustafa Ibrahim Tserich, Former Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Mohamed Salah El Din El Mestaoui, Adviser to the Tunisian Prime Minister, Secretary General of the Supreme Islamic Council; Abudulah Mohanmmed Amin, Member of the Steering Committee of the Pancasila Ideology Development Agency (BPIP) of the Republic of Indonesia; and Muhanmmad Al-Bishari, Secretary-General of UAE World Muslim Community Council.

The delegation held a symposium with Islamic clerics in Xinjiang during their visit to Xinjiang Islamic Institute. At the symposium, Xinjiang Islamic religious representatives shared the sound development of Islam in Xinjiang. Delegates commended various efforts made by Xinjiang in training clerics, improving conditions of religious venues and meeting the demand of religious believers, and spoke highly of Xinjiang’s implementation of the policy on freedom of religious belief.

Now, let’s watch a video clip of the delegation’s communication with Xinjiang Islamic clerics at the symposium.

Xu Guixiang: IV. The Visit on Xinjiang’s Protection of Cultural Heritage

The delegation visited the Museum of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Kashgar Old City Comprehensive Protection and Management Memorial Hall, watched Uygur Muqam performance, visited the Ancient City of Kashgar and the home of an old Kazakh craftsman Slambek Saqish at Rast township, Altay City. With these experiences, they came to fully comprehend the protection and development of cultures of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The Museum of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region located on Xibei Road of Urumqi is the largest comprehensive museum in Xinjiang featuring preservation and protection of cultural relics and specimen, scientific research and promotion and education. On May 18, 2022, the Phase II venue of the museum was completed and put into use.

Uygur Muqam Arts is a collection of various Muqam arts circulating in Uygur communities of Xinjiang, China. It represents a large comprehensive form of arts including music, dance and instrumental performances, which has evolved to be a term incorporating various art components and cultural implications in literature, music, dance, telling and singing, and drama as well as ethnic identity and religious belief.

Now, let’s watch a clip of video showing the renovation of the Ancient City of Kashgar.

The delegation believed after their visit that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have contributed to the formation and development of Chinese culture, each ethnic culture constitutes an inseparable component of the Chinese culture, Xinjiang attaches great importance to the protection and development of excellent traditional culture of ethnic minorities, and that different ethnic groups culturally respect, appreciate and learn from each other, which is worth learning from by countries across the world.

Now, let’s watch four pieces of video introducing the visit of the head of the delegation, Ali Rashid Abdulla Al Nuaimi, writer and thinker from Mauritania, Dr. Adballah Seyid Ould Abah, writer and media person from Kuwait, Mohammed Al Mulla, and professor of Islamic Studies at Badr University from Jordan, Jamal Al-Safrati.

Next, let’s watch a video of the delegation visiting the home of Slambek Saqish, an old Kazakh craftsman in Rast township, Altay City.

Xu Guixiang: V. The Visit on Xinjiang International Communication and Cooperation.

The delegation visited Urumqi International Land Port Area where they observed the different functional areas of China-Europe Railway Express and operation of major ports across Xinjiang in a real-time manner.

Situated in Urumqi Economic and Technological Development Zone, Urumqi International Land Port Area spans 67 square kilometers with the last marshaling station of China-Europe (Central Asia) Railway Express. As a railroad junction in most proximity to Central Asia, West Asia and the Europe, it has become a landmark project for the development of the core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

Please watch a piece of video clip and get to know about the Urumqi International Land Port Area.

The delegates thought that there are plenty of opportunities for Xinjiang with the Belt and Road Initiative. In recent years, Xinjiang has accelerated the construction of the core area on the Silk Road Economic Belt and has achieved remarkable results. They admired the fruits of opening up in Xinjiang. The delegates hope that the Islamic states could deepen and strengthen the exchanges and cooperation with Xinjiang in the fields of economy, technology and culture in the future.

Please watch two pieces of video. On Jan 9, the delegation visited the Urumqi International Land Port Area, and Sara Mohamed Farnaconaz, the Federal National Council Member of Saudi Arabia was interviewed there.

Elijan Anayat: VI. Ice and Snow Tourism in Xinjiang

The delegation went to Altay City and experienced the development upsurge of the unique ice and snow tourism in Xinjiang. It was the first time for most of the delegates to have a firsthand experience of the winter sports and skiing. They thought that Altay City was worthy the name of the China’s snow capital. The ice and snow in Xinjiang was really amazing with its abundant and unique resources. People of all ethnic groups are enjoying the unlimited fun of winter sports.

Please watch three pieces of video. They are about Dr.Adbullah Bragg Rawal, President of the Islamic Council of South Sudan, and Dr. Shammah Yousuf Mohammen, Member of the UAE Fatwa Council.

Elijan Anayat: VII. Kashgar Technician College

The delegation visited Kashgar Technician College, and got to know the vocational training in Xinjiang.

Please watch the video about Kashgar Technician College

After visiting Kashgar Technician College, the delegates expressed that to provide professional training for citizens was the duty and responsibility of every government. And it was also an important link in Xinjiang’s battle against poverty. Through unremitting efforts, the Chinese government are uniting young people of all ethnic groups to the integration and development of Xinjiang.

Elijan Anayat: VIII. Poverty Alleviation in Xinjiang

The delegation had a symposium on poverty alleviation with the Rural Revitalization Bureau of Xinjiang in Kashgar Prefecture. They thought that Xinjiang has eradicated the barriers of deep poverty, has won the battle against poverty and the problem of extreme poverty has been solved historically. It’s the vivid demonstration of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. They were delighted to see that people of all ethnic groups were enjoying happy and peaceful lives in Xinjiang.

Please watch the video about the symposium on rural revitalization held in Kashgar Prefecture.

Xu Guixiang: IX. Group Interview of the Head of the Delegation

On Jan. 11, at the end of their trip to Xinjiang, the head of the delegation, H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council accepted a group interview at Xinjiang Guest House. He summarized the fruits of their trip to Xinjiang and shared his views on some of the Xinjiang-related issues.

Please watch a video about the group interview of H.E. DR. Ali Rashid Abdulla Al Nuaimi, chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council.

Macao Asia Satellite Television: With the adjusted COVID response measures and as the Chinese Lunar New Year draws near, what preparations has Xinjiang made for the development of folk tourism and ice and snow tourism? If a tourist arrives in Xinjiang right now, what kind of special tourism projects and activities can he or she enjoy?

Xu Guixiang: According to the the Overall Plan to manage COVID-19 with measures against Class B infectious diseases issued by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council, Xinjiang has adjusted its COVID prevention and control policy as of January 8. At present, four ports have been opened, and tourists from home and abroad can travel to Xinjiang and explore the region in winter. At present, 84 ski resorts in Xinjiang are all open to domestic and foreign tourists, including a number of high-quality ski resorts such as Urumqi Silk Road International Ski Resort, Nanshan Ski Resort, Altay Jiangjunshan (General Mountains) Ski Resort, Koktokay International Ski Resort where tourists can experience alpine skiing and enjoy ice sports. In addition to excellent ice and snow resources in Xinjiang, there are rich ethnic customs, unique ice and snow scenic spots, hot springs and green organic food. Together, each tourist can have access to a combination of ice and snow tourism products covering "ice and snow sports, ice and snow sightseeing, folk experience, characteristic blocks and hot springs hydrotherapy". Welcome to Xinjiang!

That’s the end of today’s briefing. We sincerely wish that you could make full play of the fruits of the delegation’s Xinjiang visit, and introduce a true Xinjiang to the world.