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SCIO briefing on Xinjiang's stability and development

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A press conference was held Monday morning to introduce the topic of the current stability and development of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

China.org.cnUpdated: December 11, 2019

   
The State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) invites officials from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to brief the media about Xinjiang's stability and development at 10 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2019. [Photo by Zhao Yifan/China SCIO]


Speakers:

Shohrat Zakir, deputy secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), chairman of the Xinjiang regional government

Xu Hairong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, secretary of the CPC Urumqi Municipal Committee

Erkin Tuniyaz, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, vice chairman of the Xinjiang regional government

Parhat Rozi, deputy secretary of the CPC Kashgar Prefectural Committee, head of Kashgar prefectural government

Chairperson:

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office

Date:

Dec. 9, 2019


Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference. Today, we're delighted have with us Mr. Shohrat Zakir, deputy secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Xinjiang regional government; Mr. Xu Hairong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee and secretary of the CPC Urumqi Municipal Committee; Mr. Erkin Tuniyaz, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee and vice chairman of the Xinjiang regional government; and Mr. Parhat Rozi, deputy secretary of the CPC Kashgar Prefectural Committee and head of Kashgar prefectural government. They will introduce various aspects related to the stability and development of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and answer some of your questions. 

Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Shohrat Zakir.

Shohrat Zakir:

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning. It's a great pleasure for me to meet you here. You have given prolonged strong support to Xinjiang's development. On behalf of the regional government, I'd like to offer sincere gratitude to you all.

Xinjiang is a bright pearl in western China, a major East-West connecting point under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Central Committee of CPC attaches great importance to the work in Xinjiang, and has developed a series of favorable policies to support its economic and social development. Annual transfer payments from central finance to Xinjiang reach nearly 400 billion yuan. Meanwhile, 19 provinces and municipalities provide paired aid with an annual investment of more than 15 billion yuan. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the officials and people of all ethnic groups are united and work together to achieve common prosperity and development, and jointly contribute to Xinjiang's social stability, economic growth, ethnic solidarity, religious harmony, livelihood improvement and the peaceful and happy life.

However, the peace and stability in Xinjiang did not come about easily. Over a past period of time, it has faced challenges posed by frequent violent terrorist activities, severely damaging people's right to subsistence and development. We have upheld socialist rule of law, giving equal importance to cracking down violent terrorist crimes in accordance with the law and addressing problems at the source. Through improving people's wellbeing, enhancing legal publicity and education, and lawfully establishing vocational education and training centers, Xinjiang has been intensifying efforts to fight against terrorism and extremism. All these important aspects have laid a solid foundation for realizing Xinjiang's social stability and long-term security. There have been no violent terrorist cases and incidents for three consecutive years in Xinjiang. The spread of extremism has been effectively contained, public security has notably improved, and people of all ethnic groups are able to live and work in peace with a much stronger sense of gain, happiness and security.

We stay committed to the strategic goal of pursuing high-quality economic development, upholding an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development philosophy, and seeking progress while maintaining stability. Thus, Xinjiang's economy has seen sustained and healthy growth. Since the 18th National Congress of CPC, Xinjiang's GDP has maintained an annual increase of 8.5%. Urban and rural residents' per capita disposable income is rising by 8.4% and 8.2% respectively per annum. In 2018, Xinjiang received 150 million tourists from home and abroad, up 40.1% year-on-year. In the first 10 months this year, the region has attracted more than 200 million tourists, up 42.6% from last year.

We have always taken the people's aspiration for a better life as the goal of our work, and resolutely delivered outcomes of development to improving the people's life, benefiting various localities and enhancing ethnic solidarity. Over 70% of general public budgetary expenditure is used in ensuring and improving people's livelihood, so as to deliver more achievements of development to all ethnic groups in a fairer manner. We insist that employment must come first, and have also prioritized education. We are committed to improving people's health, and have been working hard to improve the social security system. We adhere to the basic strategy of precise poverty alleviation, pooling all resources at our disposal to win the battle against poverty. Since 2014, a total of 2,385,300 people have been lifted out of poverty, and the poverty incidence rate has dropped to 6.51% this year from 22.48% in 2014.

We unswervingly implement the system of regional ethnic autonomy, observe the Law of People's Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, protect people's rights of all ethnic groups participating as equals in administering State affairs as well as independently administering their local affairs within the autonomous administrative divisions where ethnic autonomy is exercised. In Xinjiang, chairpersons of the standing committee of the people's congress of the autonomous region, chairpersons of the autonomous regional government, and chairpersons of the regional committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are all citizens from ethnic minorities; the heads of autonomous prefectures and counties are all citizens from the ethnic groups exercising regional autonomy. Most of the prefectures' (prefectural cities) administrative chiefs are all officials of ethnic minorities; in general, either the chief Party or government post at level of counties and equivalent areas is held by an ethnic minority official. Ethnic minorities account for 62.1% of the deputies of the 13th Xinjiang People's Congress, and 46.7% of the members of the 13th CCPCC of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. We protect and carry forward the fine traditional cultures of all ethnic groups according to law, and safeguard the rights of various ethnic groups to use and develop their own spoken and written languages according to law. Spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities are extensively used in such areas as the judicature, administration, education, press and publishing, radio, film and television, the Internet and in daily life. We are committed to upholding ethnic unity, making efforts to promote ethnic solidarity promotion activities. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are as united as pomegranate seeds holding together tightly.

We fully act on the policy that "Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief", which is stipulated in the Constitution, ensuring that religious believers and non-believers have full equality in enjoying political, economic and cultural rights. We administer our religious affairs according to law and uphold the principle of independence and self-management of our religious affairs and guide religions to adapt to a Chinese context and to the socialist society. We make great efforts to improve the conditions of religious venues and activities. We intensify the support to and cultivation of religious figures as well as continuously serve the normal needs of religious believers.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representative passed the so-called "Uygur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019". This bill seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs. The measures adopted in Xinjiang in regard to counter-terrorism and de-radicalization are, by principle, no different from those adopted in many other countries around the world, including the U.S. The American side should discard its ideological prejudice, and stop adopting a double standard on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization; otherwise, they are putting themselves in a position opposed to 1.4 billion Chinese people, to the international community, as well as to the justice and conscience of humanity. No force can stop Xinjiang's progress of stable and prosperous development, as well as its people of all ethnic groups from working together and forging ahead. 

That's all for my brief introduction. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Thanks to Mr. Shohrat Zakir for his introduction. Now, the floor is open for questions. Please identify your media outlet before raising your questions. 

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