V. Undertakings and the Cultural Industry
The core of cultural development is to satisfy people’s cultural and intellectual needs. The Chinese government has given steady support to Xinjiang in its efforts to improve the quality of public cultural services, promote progress in literary and artistic creation and the press and publishing, strengthen the cultural industry, protect citizens’ cultural rights, and enrich the cultural life of all ethnic groups. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of Public Cultural Service, Law of the People’s Republic of China on Public Libraries, and Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Promotion of the Film Industry among others have served as important legal guarantee to protect the basic cultural needs of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, provide them with public cultural services and promote the development of its cultural industry.
The quality of public cultural services is improving. In 1955, there were only 425 sports venues and one public library in Xinjiang. With the massive support of the central government, successive cultural projects have been launched in Xinjiang such as “conservation and renovation project of county-level cultural centers and libraries”, “cultural information sharing project” and “township cultural centers project”. By the end of 2017, Xinjiang had 112 public libraries, 173 museums and memorial halls, 57 art galleries, 119 cultural centers, 12,158 cultural stations, 302 radio and television stations (covering 97.1 percent and 97.4 percent of the population, respectively), and 29,600 sports venues, representing a comparatively complete public cultural service system at all levels.
Xinjiang has made efforts to ensure equal access to public cultural services for both urban and rural residents. Public cultural facilities such as cultural centers, libraries, museums and cultural stations are open to the public for free. The radio and television network covers almost every household. Movie projection is available in all administrative villages. Theatrical performances of various types are given in impoverished villages with the support of government funds. A reading campaign is encouraged by ensuring full coverage of rural libraries over all administrative villages. By the end of 2017, 13 sports meetings, eight traditional ethnic minority sports meetings, five games for senior citizens and six games for disabled people had been held in Xinjiang. Fitness projects for farmers and herdsmen cover all villages. Gym equipment of all sorts is available even in remote villages. Rich and interesting sports events and fitness activities are popular with people of all ethnic groups.
Literary, artistic creation, press and publishing are booming. A variety of brilliant works of literature and art created in Xinjiang demonstrate the glamour of Chinese culture. The following have all won national prizes such as the Best Works Award, Lu Xun Literary Prize, China Movie Awards, and the first prize in International Acrobatic Festival:
·Soldiers from the Snow Mountain(novel),
·Holy Mountain (poetry anthology),
·In Xinjiang (collection of prose writings),
·Western China: Literary Writing in Remote Provinces (collection of literary review),
·Praying on Plateau, Chinese Mourning Day on May 19th(oil painting),
·Braving the Storm (photography),
·Grand Bazaar (drama),
·Dance Steps in the Sun and Young Blood in Gobi Desert (dance drama),
·A Uygur Motherand Visitors on the Icy Mountain (musical),
·Hello, Advanti(musical and acrobatic drama),
·My Parents Stationing and Reclaiming Wasteland in Xinjiang (song),
·A Nuclear Scientist’s Story in the Desert(radio play),
·The Great River, Flower, Genuine Love, Life and Death in Lop Nor, Taklimakan’s Drumbeat(movie).
·Travel of Life(acrobatic show),
·Somersault on Balance Beam (acrobatic show).
In 2006, Xinjiang Radio, Film and Television Translation and Production Center was set up, establishing branches in 11 prefectures, Yining City, Shache, Kucha and Yutian counties. Currently, about 6,200 episodes of translated ethnic film and television programs are being produced every year. There were only two newspapers in Xinjiang before the founding of the People’s Republic of China. But by the end of 2017, Xinjiang had 126 newspapers, 223 periodicals, and publishes around 10,000 titles of books, audio and video products and electronic publications every year.
Strength in cultural, sports and ethnic medicine industries is growing. At present, Xinjiang has over 10,000 cultural companies covering press, publishing and distribution, radio, film and television, performances, entertainment, games, cultural tourism, arts and crafts, artwork, animation, cultural exhibitions, innovation design and digital cultural services. By the end of 2017, there were six model bases for cultural industries at national level, 109 at autonomous region level, 11 government-approved animation companies, 20 cultural industry parks, 12 national 5A tourist attractions and 17,000 tourist guides. The added value of the cultural and tourist industries is growing every year.
A group of professional sports clubs have been set up, with sports competitions and sports show flourishing. The Taklimakan Rally is a commercial success and China Basketball Association (CBA) in Xinjiang is doing well. The sports leisure market is maturing as demonstrated by the success of the China International Camping Congress, International Desert Cross Rally, Aydingkol Motorcycle Rally, and Sayram Bicycle Rally. Huge potential is also apparent in horseracing, winter sports and aviation sports.
Xinjiang has formed a complete industrial system of medicine and health covering Chinese medicine (including ethnic medicine), hospital-made preparations, foods (including health foods), medical equipment, and packaging for medicines. Among ethnic medicines, many Uygur medicines, Kazak medicines, and Mongolian medicines – boasting a long history and regarded as cultural treasures – have been categorized under national standards or included in national standardization research projects. The sales of ethnic medicines in Xinjiang’s pharmaceutical industry are increasing year by year, and ethnic medicine companies are expanding sales not only in domestic markets, but also in neighboring countries and regions as an effort to enter the international markets.
Internet culture develops rapidly. The rapid development of the internet in China has made it the new space for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to study, work and live, and a new platform to access public services. By the end of 2017, Xinjiang had 11,520 registered websites, 5.7 million fixed broadband subscribers, and 18.56 million mobile internet users. The subscribers on the official WeChat platform “Last Kilometer” extend across all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government and dozens of countries and regions. Over 30 internet cultural projects such as “making a good netizen”, “Etles Silk from Tianshan to the World” and “video programs on ethnic solidarity” launched more than 7,000 online cultural activities across Xinjiang. In 2017, online retail sales to Xinjiang consumers reached 56.91 billion yuan, an increase of 29.8 percent over 2016. The prosperity of Xinjiang’s internet culture helps to foster healthy social morals.