A colorful song and dance performance raised the curtain for a media tour of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China on Sunday. The gala at Nanhu Square in the regional capital, Urumqi, began events to mark the 50th anniversary of the region this October.
Nearly 100 journalists from Chinese news websites are being taken on the eight-day tour to see the development and changes that have taken place in the region.
The tour is jointly sponsored by the Publicity Department of Xinjiang Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the regional government’s Information Office and www.tianshannet.com, and is being supported by the State Council Information Center.
“Xinjiang has made tremendous achievements in social and economic development over the past five decades,” said Nur Baikli, deputy secretary of the region’s CPC committee in a speech delivered at the performance.
“This is especially true in the past 27 years since the region implemented its reform and opening-up policy,” he continued, “Thanks to the support and help of central government and other provinces and regions, Xinjiang’s economy has developed fast in recent years and the living standard of local people has improved noticeably.”
He hoped the internet media would help Xinjiang become better known throughout the world to further help promote local development.
Lan Qijian, managing director of Xinjiang CPC Committee’s Publicity Department, told china.org.cn yesterday that websites have become a major force in China’s news media.
Journalists from 37 major websites based outside Xinjiang, including china.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily, were invited on the tour, the first of its kind in the past 50 years.
According to Gao Tongqing, president of Xinjiang Telecom, the region has 560,000 broadband users and 1.2 million internet users among its 20 million-population so far.
Also present at the opening ceremony was Li Yi, director of the local CPC Publicity Department.
The region was established on October 1, 1955, covering an area of 1.66 million sq km – one-sixth of China’s landmass. It has 13 ethnic minorities who have lived here for centuries. An important link on the Silk Road, Xinjiang still attracts domestic and foreign visitors for its charming scenery, and diverse customs.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Guo Xiaohong, July 18, 2005)