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Delegation introduces Xinjiang to US
2017-10-31 source:Chinadaily
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A delegation from China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region visited New York on Saturday, promoting mutual understanding and communication by holding discussions with leaders of overseas Chinese communities, local cultural organizations and scholars from local think tanks.

"If you haven't been to Xinjiang, you have no idea how big China is," said Zuo Feng, deputy director of the human rights bureau at the state council information office. "It's better to see it once than to hear about it a thousand times."

During a discussion hosted by the US East Coast Chinese Association Federation, Zuo said that the delegation aims to promote understanding of Xinjiang, especially among scholars in the US.

"We hope to increase people-to-people exchange and cultural cooperation, and deepen understanding and friendship between our two peoples," said Zuo.

Zuo discussed Xinjiang's recent developments in its economy, education, transportation and culture, China's stance on human rights issues and the implementation of ethnic and religious policies in the region.

Zou explained that according to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, China will fully leverage Xinjiang's geographical advantages and its role as an important window westward, making it a core of the Silk Road economic belt.

"Xinjiang also plans to create five centers, including a regional transportation center, a trade logistics center, a financial center and a regional medical center," said Zuo.

James Heimowitz, president of the China Institute who visited Xinjiang four decades ago, said he had been impressed by the progress Xinjiang has made. Many Americans have little knowledge of Xinjiang, he said. He suggested the delegation send artists, writers and scholars to hold exhibitions and forums in the US to enhance understanding.

"The only way to develop friendship (between China and the US) is through a deeper trust, and the way to have deeper trust is to have a deeper understanding through language, culture and business," Heimowitz said.

"That appreciation doesn't really come from the formal political level putting forward policies, but from the appreciation at the people-to-people level," he added.