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Chinese government treats all ethnic minorities well
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Dmitry Vinogradov, a Russian journalist who has visited northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region several times, said that people of all ethnic groups live in harmony there.

In an article published by the Russky Reporter weekly, Vinogradov said the Chinese government treats the ethnic minorities well. "For instance, Beijing does not apply the one-child policy to the minorities," China's People's Daily newspaper quoted the article as saying.

In order to improve the living standards of all Xinjiang people, Vinogradov said the Chinese central government has been heavily funding the vast western region.

People of all ethnic groups are living in harmony, he said. "In Urumqi, young Han women feel at ease when they buy clothes at markets run by the Uygurs."

After the Xinjiang riot broke out on July 5, some 20 Russian students from the New Siberian University who had been studying in Xinjiang returned to Russia.

Elena Pinko, a 23-year-old teacher who accompanied the students, described to the Komsomol Pravda newspaper on Sunday what she had witnessed.

"I clearly remember how everything started," she said.

"July 5 was Sunday, so we went out visiting parks, going shopping and then to a coffee bar. Everything was quiet as usual.

"When we were about to go home before lunch, we came across a friend who had been attacked. He said the car they were in was hijacked by a mob, and he had helplessly watched a passer-by being beaten to death," Pinko said.

Russian college student Alina Brazhnik also described to the Izvestia newspaper on Monday what she had witnessed in Xinjiang.

She said Urumqi is a nice city, all government offices and the majority of stores have their sign boards written in both the Han and Uygur languages.

"Han and Uygur students have normal contacts, there are no problems," she said.

On the evening of July 5, Brazhnik said she watched from her window a group of thugs marching along a street attacking anyone carrying a camera.

Someone told her later that blood could been seen on neighboring streets, and that many buildings had been destroyed.

"This was definitely not peaceful demonstration," Brazhnik said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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