A group of 22 journalists from 14 countries concluded a trip to Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Wednesday, after gaining firsthand knowledge about the region's development and diverse culture.
The nine-day trip, which started on Sept 12, took the journalists from 17 overseas media organizations to various places in Xinjiang, including the regional capital Urumqi, the city of Turpan and Kashgar prefecture.
During the trip, they witnessed Xinjiang's social stability, economic development and diverse culture, as well as the happy lives of residents.
At a shopping center in the port city of Horgos on the China-Kazakhstan border, Maxim Cherevik, an editor at the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia, quickly spotted goods from Russia.
"The Chinese government has invested heavily in port construction, created many job opportunities and driven up regional growth," Cherevik said. "From here, I can see great potential for Belt and Road construction."
Since ancient times, Xinjiang has been a region where diverse cultures meet. In the ancient city of Kashgar, the journalists strolled through the streets, immersing themselves in the rich folk culture.
After visiting the ancient city and a memorial hall, Sakalasooriya, an editor from the Daily Mirror in Sri Lanka, learned about the tremendous changes that Kashgar has undergone.
"China has invested a lot of resources in transforming the old city, which shows Xinjiang's commitment to the protection of traditional ethnic culture," Sakalasooriya said.
Visiting the Xinjiang Art Theater Muqam Art Troupe, the journalists learned about the efforts to protect and inherit the Twelve Muqam, the traditional music of the Uygur ethnic group.
"I was impressed by the performance of the Twelve Muqam," said Afdah Bin Mujap, a director at Sunshine Daily of Malaysia. "The culture and language of ethnic groups in Xinjiang have been well protected."
During the trip, they also visited an exhibition about Xinjiang's efforts in anti-terrorism and deradicalization, where they witnessed China's achievements in this regard.
"I have seen how Xinjiang has fought against terrorism and radicalization over the past years," said Judahnissi Calabroso, a journalist with the Philippines' SMNI TV Station. "Now, Xinjiang is a very safe and harmonious place."
Supachai, a journalist with the Economist newspaper of Thailand, said, "I am impressed by the great efforts China has made in the fight against terrorism and radicalization," adding that China's measures in this regard are very effective.
In recent years, the Chinese government has faced unfounded accusations from some Western powers that the Uygur population in the region has experienced oppression. The government strongly denies these accusations.