CPEC completion to usher new era of development in Xinjiang: Speakers
Speakers at a webinar have expressed the hope that the completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would usher a new era of development and prosperity in Xinjiang.
“Belt and Road Initiative infused hope for a brighter future in Xinjiang as it connects China with eight countries including Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia and Tajikistan,” said the speakers at a webinar title ‘The success of Chinese policy against extremism in Xinjiang’.
The webinar was organised by the Pak-China Center for Friendship and Cooperation, Islamabad to highlight the economic development in Xinjiang due to effective policy of Chinese government.
Xinjiang -a western province of China- is a vast region of deserts and mountains, possessing abundant natural resources such as metal ores, sub-soil and renewable energy resources.
“Xinjiang is today one of the fast-growing areas of China with the energy sector leading the way. Big industries are being set up in the region and the CPEC will meet its growing energy needs,” said Columnist and Former Ambassador Javed Hafiz, highlighting the success of the Chinese policy which spurred economic growth in the area.
Contrary to the propaganda peddled by foreign media about instability in Xinjiang, he said the Chinese government has been successful in poverty alleviation, controlling extremism and making this region a hub of development activities.
Javed said the central government had invested 2.35 trillion Yuan in the Xinjiang during the last several years. Between 2014 and 2018, about 10 per cent of the provincial population had been lifted out of poverty.
He said last year, Xinjiang rural GDP (gross domestic product) increased by 9.7 per cent. “Today, no child is out of school in Xinjiang.”
At the moment, unemployment in the region had been alleviated in the region, whereas youth from other areas came to meet huge development requirements in Xinjiang, he added.
The former ambassador noted that the health indicators of Xinjiang showed life expectancy of 72 years in the region, proving the fact that ‘Beijing does care about people of Xinjiang.”
Javed said also rejected the propaganda of motivated quarters about the presence of concentrated camps in the area. “The region has camps which only impart vocational training and language courses,” he added.
Former Air Force Officer Sultan Mahmood Hali said the fake news being churned out by the enemy of China based on lies and negated the on-ground situation of Xinjiang.
He said China adopted ‘Going West’ policy in 1999 to reduce disequilibrium between western provinces of China through a dynamic investment policy, aimed at boosting industrial production infrastructure development. The policy had been renewed several times since 1999, he added.
Hali said a development plan was rolled out in Xinjiang in 2010 to transform its rich base of raw materials such as coal, gold, oil and uranium into real economic force along with agriculture and tourism.
He said Chinese President Xin Jinping brought this policy a leap forward with the launching of the Belt and Road Initiative which made of the Xinjiang province the outpost to the Eurasian continent.
Sinologist Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan said the Chinese government, adopting a unique model of development, had asked 19 other provinces to allocate a certain amount of funds for Xinjiang development.
The provinces including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Liaoning were engaged in the commitment of ‘pairing assistance’ support projects in Xinjiang to promote the development of agriculture, industry, technology, education and health services in the region.
The webinar was also attended by foreign journalists, including Editor in Chief of the French monthly Nouvelle Solidarite Christine Bierre, National President of New Zealand China Friendship Society Dave Bormwich, Washington Bureau Chief of the Weekly Magzine,-Executive Intelligence Review- Willam Jones and Chief Journalist of Chinese Gaung Ming Daily Professor Zhou Rong.
They also rejected the propaganda of foreign media about the prevalence of extremism in Xinjiang and endorsed the fact that the region had been witnessing economic development and prosperity.