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Foreign experts: 'Xinjiang is safe and full of potential for development'

By ZHAO JIA | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-15 20:39

The delegation visited the themed exhibition of the fight against terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang, in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo by Zhao Jia/China Daily]

A delegation of eleven scholars and reporters from eight Asian and Middle East countries said they understood, supported and respected the Xinjiang government's efforts to counter terrorism and maintain social harmony and stability during their first trip to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The extremist reading of Islam or any other religion was very dangerous for the whole world and a deviation from the concept of religion, said Alireza Gholipour, deputy director general of Institute for Political and International Studies in Iran, after visiting the themed exhibition on the fight against terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang.

Incomplete statistics show that from 1990 to the end of 2016, the "three forces", namely separatism, extremism and terrorism, launched thousands of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers, causing immeasurable damage to property.

Unfortunately, for a long time, the international community did not know much about the situation of counter-terrorism in China. Some anti-China forces even used the so-called rule of law and human rights as excuses to accuse China of lacking human rights.

Nur Rachmat Yuliantoro, chair of department of international relations at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, said the tour to Xinjiang proved some Western sources on Xinjiang were wrong after visiting the exhibition.

"They used to make unwarranted remarks such as Xinjiang is not safe, full of terrorists and facing discrimination. But I would say that is totally not true," he said.

"I always tell my students that you cannot believe everything that comes from the West about Xinjiang. You have also to combine them with resources from the Chinese side. Because only with that, you can find the truth about Xinjiang," Yuliantoro said.

"When I come back to Indonesia, I will tell my students that Xinjiang is safe and full of potential for development. That will be what we want to discuss more," he added.

Abdul Latiff Mohd Ibrahim, director of research department of International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia said he felt an atmosphere of peace when strolling through the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar.

"I think the Chinese government has been sincere to develop the region and make it prosperous. If there is no peace, there will be no businesses and people's livelihood will be affected," he said.

Xinjiang has not seen a single terrorist incident for eight consecutive years, which was lauded by Ezzeddine Abdelmoula, manager of research of Al Jazeera Centre for Studies in Qatar, as a great achievement.

"I hope such situations will last not only eight years but last longer, not only in China but also in other places because terrorism is a common enemy of mankind," he added.

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