A delegation of Islamic figures and scholars visited China's Xinjiang region and witnessed firsthand the region's developments and stability, which proved again some media's lies about the region cannot cover up the truth and the practices of using Xinjiang topics to smear China are doomed to fail, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Friday.
On the same day, the regional government of Xinjiang also held a press conference and offered more detailed information on the visit of the delegation to more than 30 Chinese and foreign media.
Led by Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of The World Muslim Communities Council from the UAE, a delegation including more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries visited Northwest China's Xinjiang region starting on January 8. They went to mosques, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, bazaars and many other places to communicate with local residents and religious groups in Urumqi, Altay and Kashi to get a better understanding of the region's development and protection of religious freedom.
During the press conference held by the Xinjiang regional government, photos and videos of the delegation's visit in the region were streamed with interviews of Islamic scholars with the media.
For example, after seeing the exhibition on the fight of terrorism and extremism in Urumqi, some foreign Islamic scholars praised the region's achievements on deradicalization and said it helped realize social stability and the measures have offered valuable experience for other countries' fight with terrorism.
Xu Guixiang, a spokesperson from the regional government, told the conference that the delegation also went to Kashi to see the reconstruction project of the old town, watching a performance of the Twelve Muqam and going to the workshop of a Kazak resident to see the preservation of ancient fur ski technique in Altay.
After a visit to the regional museum and seeing the Twelve Muqam performance, a Mauritanian writer and scholar said that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have created a splendid culture together, and they saw how China is committed to protecting and promoting multi-ethnic culture in Xinjiang, which is fully in line with the purpose of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization of protecting and promoting diversification of civilizations.
The delegation also had a symposium with faculty and students from the Xinjiang Islamic Institute to exchange views on the fostering of Islamic clergies and the protection of freedom of religion. They also held a symposium with officials in Kashi to understand the poverty alleviation work.
On the last day, the head of the delegation Al Nuaimi had an interview with the media, including the Global Times, in which he spoke highly of the region's deradicalization efforts and said it is a great achievement for the region to see no terror attacks for six years.
"Don't listen to those who criticize you. If you listen to this criticism, you will be misguided. You will spend some of your resources to deal with this criticism. Focus on your national priority. Make sure all your resources are in the right place to develop your country, to invest in your citizens and to do the right thing for your nation," said the leading Islamic scholar.
What the delegation has seen is totally different from some media's description and the allegations that criticized Xinjiang's human rights situation or the accusation of "genocide" on Uygurs, calling white black and distorting the truth, Wang said at the FM's press conference.
Seeing is believing and justice bears in people's heart. The visit of the delegation and their feelings once again proved that lies cannot cover up the truth and the malicious attempt of hyping Xinjiang-related topics to smear China is doomed to fail, Wang said.
The FM spokesperson said that China sincerely welcome friends from all over the world to come to Xinjiang and to feel the social stability, economic development, harmony of ethnic groups and freedom of religion by themselves.