Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opium Use in Canada Legal Until 1908

This correspondence arose out of an interview with me quoted in John Ibbitson's report "With execution of British man, China sends a signal" published in the Globe and Mail on December 30:

Professor Burton,
    Following quotation is from The Globe and Mail about your comments on Chinese execution on British drug-smuggler.
   "The execution, Prof. Burton said, should serve as a warning to any foreigner visiting or living in China that justice in that country can be brutal, capricious and swift, and that foreigners are not protected."
    I donot understand how you make conclusion that justice in China is brutal, capricious and swift. I suggest you to read some articles about Opium war between Qing Dynasty and Britain. Opium is the product British sells to China 170 years ago without any justice and conscience. Why donot you quote opium war to make comments on justice? why not Canadian allow British to sell opium to Canada?  thank you for your time to read my questions.

My response:
Thanks for your comment.  Actually opium was a common and legal import from China into Canada until 1908 (more than 60 years after the 1st Opium War that ended with the Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanking of 1842).  It was a significant source of customs duty to the Dominion of Canada at that time peaking in 1891 at over $146,000 that year.  Opium was brought into Canada in raw form and processed in B.C.  In 1888 there were 13 licensed opium factories in B.C. that produced almost 90,000lbs of opium a year that sold for $15/pound.  It was also available mixed into processed medicines over that period.  It is a common misconception  that Britain sold a product to China that was illegal in Britain.  Even Lin Zexu 林则徐 thought this as he indicated in correspondence with Queen Victoria.  In fact opium use was legal in Britain at the time.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why the Xinhua News Agency Self Censors

I have been reading reports in the New York Times about the trial and sentencing of Liu Xiaobo for his role in drafting the Charter 08.

Here are 3 extracts from 3 reports:
"Xinhua carried the statement [of Mr. Liu's sentencing to 11 years in prison] only on its English-language service, and
not its Chinese service, an indication the news was for foreign
consumption and not for the Chinese public to know." (
"The state-controlled media has not covered Mr. Liu’s trial — nor has it allowed any mention of Charter 08." (
"Charter 08 signers have tried to show their solidarity by issuing letters
of protest over his case. The most recent one, signed by 165 people,
states, 'If Liu Xiaobo is found "guilty" that means each one of us is
guilty, and we have to shoulder the punishment together with Liu
Xiaobo.'” (

The gist of these 3 put together confirms my suspicion that the Chinese régime's objection to foreign expressions of concern about reports alleging human rights violations in China is primarily based in fear that people in China will be become aware of human rights discourse and become sensitized to the Chinese régime's suppression of the rights and entitlements of Chinese citizens.  So the Communist Party is not genuinely mainly concerned about this as a foreign policy issue of sovereignty but rather as a domestic policy issue of maintaining their authoritarian one-party rule as all costs.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Strengthening ties with China will not prevent the Canadian government from promoting respect for human rights."

According to a December 25 AFP report  entitled "Canada 'deplores' sentencing of Chinese dissident" about the DFAIT statement on Liu Xiaobo:
 "Canada's conservative government has sought in recent months to develop stronger economic ties with China, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Beijing in early December. But Ottawa has also stressed that strengthening ties with China will not prevent the Canadian government from promoting respect for human rights."

Friday, December 25, 2009

“The Government of Canada is fully committed to promoting freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide"

Canada Deplores China’s Sentencing of Liu Xiaobo

(No. 396 - December 25, 200911:55 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the 11-year prison sentence given to Chinese intellectual and dissident Liu Xiaobo by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court:
“Canada deplores the sentencing of Liu Xiaobo, whom we believe is being punished for exercising his right to peaceful and non-violent freedom of expression.
“Canada is concerned by Mr. Liu’s lengthy detention, which began a year ago. We are also deeply concerned by the circumstances of his trial, which was not open, and to which family members and foreign observers—including Canadian Embassy representatives—were denied access.
“As we have done since Mr. Liu’s detention began, Canada once again urges China to release him without condition.
“The Government of Canada is fully committed to promoting freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.”
- 30 -
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heroic Statement by Stainless Steel Mouse

My Statement of Confession - Willing to Share Responsibility for Offence with Liu Xiaobo

By Liu Di

December 23, 2009, the day of Xiaobo's trial

To: The Beijing First Intermediate People's Court, the No. 1 Branch of Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate and the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau

I am Liu Di, also known as Stainless Steel Mouse on Internet.

Considering that the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and the No. 1 Branch of Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate have completed the investigation and prosecution of Liu Xiaobo's case of inciting subversion of state power and delivered to the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court to be tried on December 23, considering that three organs mentioned above have taken Charter 08 as an important criminal evidence against Liu Xiaobo, and considering that I am one of the signatories and organizing plotters, I am now "giving up to confess" to you according to the paragraphs 3 and 4 of PRC Criminal Procedure Law. I declare the following:

1) My "giving up to confess" does not mean that I agree that your allegations and trial against Liu Xiaobo is lawful and just. On the contrary, I believe that the Charter 08, which , Liu Xiaobo and other has drafted, organized, planned and signed, is an outstanding service to promote the country to constitutional democracy and benefit nation's future and people's welfare. I am honored and proud to have been in it.

2) Since you has accounted Mr. Liu Xiaobo's launching of the Charter movement as a crime based on your special values, I must be an integral part of this case because I not only completely agree with the spiritual value of this document but also have been involved in its organizing, planning and operating activities. I should be an accomplice of Liu Xiaobo's case. According to the principle of equality before law, you should take me as Liu Xiaobo's accomplice to judge us together, but not make selective justice to leave out such an important criminal suspect as me.

3) As a judgment of values, a judicial trial should be examined by history. Czech Republic's Charter 77 movement in 1977, Taiwan's Formosa Incident in 1979, and China's Charter 08 movement in 2008 are all the just acts of the people fighting for human rights, freedom and democracy. The former two campaigns have already been justified by history, and so will the latter. As judicial staff, you should bear in mind to safeguard the dignity of the Constitution. To safeguard the people's constitutional rights is your bounden duty.

In 2003, I published an article, Worms of Persimmon Oil (liberals) surrendering to the Party and Government, condemning the authorities for violation of the citizens' constitutional rights to freedom of expression, and so had been detained for one year on the charges cooked up by the Beijing Public Security Bureau. I have known well that losing freedom is a great pain of life, thus full of fear and boredom of imprisonment. However, for the dignity of Constitution and laws, and for no more imprisonment of the people in the future due to their free speeches and independent opinions, I would prefer to share with Mr. Liu Xiaobo the same case with the same penalty.

Liu Di, a Beijing resident

Friday, December 18, 2009

China's "Dialogue" on Climate Change

China's Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei is quoted in thie morning's National Post as saying with regard to the Chinese Government's position on the Copenhagen negotiations on climate change measures that "I think the financial issue is very important. Whatever initiative these countries will announce is a good step.  .  .  . in terms of mitigation actions [emissions curbs], we can also consider, international exchange, dialogue and co-operation that is not intrusive and does not infringe upon our sovereignty" ("China may compromise with U.S. on emissions cuts after $100B pledge"

But as with all of China's international treaty commitments, including those to the UN on human rights, the crux of the matter is that once the terms are set and the documents signed and sealed, then the discussion and negotiations about the nature of the mutual obligations agreed to have to cease.  That means that China cannot blithely accept the West's billions and then claim national sovereignty protects China from having the West "intrude" to ensure that China is in fact keeping its side of the deal.  The key is "trust but verify."  Specious Chinese processes of "international exchange, dialogue and co-operation" after the West has cut China a huge cheque cannot be used to obstruct and obfuscate effective verification measures designed to ensure that China is in fact delivering on what Canada and our allies are asked to pay for.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Op-Ed in the Globe and Mail

My Op-Ed "A more sophisticated engagement with China" appeared in the Globe and Mail on November 30 ( or; the later with expanded text but without illustration of cute cartoon of panda and beaver sitting together).  Happy to see my views get such a broad airing.

There are a couple of minor editing errors in the text in the Globe.  First is that China does not have a "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation"  It has a Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  There are International Cooperation offices in other ministries that Canada engages.  The other is that Australia had a trade imbalance with China of 1.53:1 in 2004.  Today it is 1:1.

December 2: An expanded and improved version of  this Op-Ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on December 1 under the title "How to deal with China" (  The same version until the title "It's time for Canada to rethink the way it engages China" appeared in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on December 2 (

December 10: The same version with the minor editing errors that was published in the Globe and Mail appeared in the Vancouver Sun on December 10 entitled "Canada's China policy needs a major overhaul" (

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lansdowne Lecture on "The past, present and future of Canada-China relations"

Exploring Canada-China Relations with Charles Burton

Exploring Canada-China Relations with Charles Burton
Charles Burton has been an observer of Chinese affairs for over 35 years, is the author of and editor of numerous books and articles about China, and is a frequent commentator in the Canadian and Chinese press, radio and TV on Chinese affairs.  Dr. Burton will giving the University of Victoria's prestigious Lansdowne Lecture on "The past, present and future of Canada-China relations" on Friday November 20, 2009 at 7:30 pm in Harry Hickman Room 110 which will kick-off CAPI's "Chinese Uncertainties and Canadian Responses in Light of the Global Financial Crisis" Conference on November 21 and 22, 2009.

Friday, November 13, 2009

USA Shuns Chinese State Media to Do Press Conference with Bloggers Only

Mark MacKinnon's item in the morning's Globe and Mail entitled "China equates Tibetan traditions with U.S. slavery " ( ends with an intriguing piece of information:
"In a rebuff of China's state-run media, the U.S. embassy in Beijing Thursday hosted a 'press conference' with 13 independent Chinese bloggers. No official media were invited."

This does strike me as a rather pointed comment on the lack of free press and honest reporting by the Communist Party controlled media in China.   As well it is a strong acknowledgement that thanks to new technologies Chinese people can nevertheless be reached with the facts via blogs.  While the Chinese blogs that report on the U.S. Embassy briefing will likely be taken down by the Chinese authorities soon after they publish, based on what I have seen in China last summer that will  not be before a large number of people have downloaded the content to their hard disks and re-distribute it via e-mail, USB drives, etc.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chinese Spokesman Qin Gang on Lincoln, Dalai Lama and Slavery

Asked about a possible meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama, Qin said the U.S. president should recognize the exiled Tibetan leader, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, as the former head of a slave state.
"In 1959, China abolished the feudal serf system just as President Lincoln freed the black slaves. So we hope President Obama more than any other foreign state leader can have a better understanding on China's position on opposing the Dalai's splitting activities," Qin told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference. (

Comment by me: Chinese authorities really don't do public diplomacy very well.  They grasp at straws to defend their Tibet policy very badly yet again.  But as Lincoln put it at the end of his address at Gettysburg, I do believe that China before long "shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lansdowne Lecture: The past, present and future of Canada-China relations

Lansdowne Lecture: The past, present and future of Canada-China relations

Lansdowne Lecture: The past, present and future of Canada-China relations
November 20, 2009 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Harry Hickman Building, Room 110
University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
Featuring Charles Burton, Brock University.
Charles Burton has been an observer of Chinese affairs for over 35 years. He began his career at the Communications Security Establishment of the Department of National Defence in 1981. Charles joined the Department of Political Science at Brock University in 1989. He was subsequently posted to China by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on two occasions. In 2006 he wrote a report for DFAIT Assessment of the Canada-China Bilateral that has been the subject of a study Human Rights Dialogue by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. His most recent report on Canada-China relations A Reassessment of Canada's was released by the Canadian International Council Interests in China and Options for Renewal of Canada's China Policy earlier this year.
This lecture is presented by the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives through the University of Victoria's Lansdowne Lecture Series, with generous support from the Faculty of Humanities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

REVISED: Chilling Allegation About Chinese Adoptions

1. August 21, 2009:
While I was in China this past summer, I was invited to dinner and the dinner table the conversation turned to recent loosening of the one child policy requirements.  I had felt rather uncomfortable in Kunming seeing billboards and ads on buses place by hospitals and clinics competing for the business of abortion of "unplanned pregnancy."  Some offered "specials" of only 100 yuan for professional fees for an abortion, no appointment necessary.  That would be about $15 Canadian.  So I am happy to learn about this loosening due to the new problem of aging population in some areas such as Shanghai. 

Continuing the table chat, I mentioned how many childless Canadian couples had adopted abandoned baby girls from China and what a joyous thing it was to see happy families of loving white parents and Chinese looking girls together.  I was then asked about the costs of adoption and I explained my understanding of the various not inconsiderable costs of adopting from China including the "donation" to the Chinese orphanage.  To this I was told, "you should recommend to Canadian couples that if they want to adopt they could save money by coming to my province to get them.  It would be cheaper and chances of getting a boy to adopt much better."  I asked how so?  The answer was that some out of plan babies, boys as well as girls, ended up in orphanages because their parents could not pay the fine for having an "illegal" second child (usually about a year's average salary as determined by the economic conditions locally).  So the local authorities are keen to get their share of the foreign "donation" for such babies and offer such "out of plan" infants from poorer families at a discounted rate to ensure that the babies are well away in case their grieving parents try and find them and steal them away without paying the fine.  So these are not actually orphans on offer but actually children forcibly ripped from the arms of their loving mothers.

I have no evidence that this sort of thing actually has been going on or if it is just some urban myth repeated between toasts of Chinese wine at a convivial occasion.  Nevertheless, it gives me the chills to think about it.

2. October 20, 2009:
The National Post published a from page story this morning entitled: "Canada probes claims of baby abductions" ( or here) about the sort of "official baby napping" I described above.  I can imagine that this sort of publicity causes the Canadian parents of lovely girl babies adopted from China a great deal of doubt, guilt and mental anguish.  I deeply regret that.

The fact is that  parents in the People's Republic of China have to get a permit from the state to have a "legal" child.  "Out of plan" children cannot be entered into the "household registry book" (hukou bu) so they are ineligible for government subsidized education and health services.  This is certainly a major causative factor in the abandonment of baby girls to be cared for by the state (in which case they do qualify for educational and health services as orphans).  For the most part while adoption within families is surprising common in China, domestic adoption of non-relatives is not.  I only know of a very few examples of this.  

There is lots of nonsense on this subject put out on the internet and in print by groups that have serious gripes against the Chinese regime.   I remember a few years ago there were claims that made quite a sensation in the Western press that Chinese orphanages all had special rooms where a portion of the infants were left to die a miserable death by starvation.  My judgement is that this is absolutely impossible and untrue.  Chinese people would never put up with anything like that whatsoever.  It was ridiculous to even imagine such a thing of a nation of people who are so soft-hearted and kind to all children whether their own or someone else's children.  Unfortunately a lot of people in the West wrongly assumed it was the fact.

Last week by coincidence I was in touch by telephone with the director of a combination orphanage and old age home in Zhejiang near Hangzhou.  This orphanage has been extensively involved in foreign adoptions.  He told me that in December construction of a new and modern facility for the orphans and indigent old people under his care would begin.  The new building is presumably at least partly funded by the donations from foreign adoptive parents.  

I am absolutely confident  that the vast, vast majority of the girls adopted by Canadians from China are children whose families have had to abandon them out of concern for the future well-being of the child.  The fortunate among them become much-loved daughters of Canadian parents.  What could be better and more beautiful than that?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Jean Chretien and Friendship in Canada-China Relations

There is an item in the press this morning quoting some remarks made by former Prime Minister Chretien in Paris today.  It sumarizes his comments as follows: "Canadian goodwill towards China began with Pierre Elliott Trudeau's recognition of Beijing, and grew to the point where he was once told by a Chinese leader that Canada was China's best friend."

I was present at a dinner in Beijing in the autumn of 1998 when the Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji abandoned his prepared remarks and said that "Canada is our best friend" (Jiananda shi women zuihaode pengyou).  Mr. Zhu was sitted at the head table between Mr. Chretien and Mr. Chretien's son-in-law, Andre Desmarais whose Power Corporation has extensive business interests in China, at the time.

Of course I am a proponent of "goodwill" in all things.  But I am of the school of thought that Canada only has interests in its international relations, "friendship" not properly entering into it.

October 21: Lorne Gunter published an opinion piece "The 'soft power' myth" in the National Post today that I agree with on this point and on others: or here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Minister Kenney met with Dalai Lama Yesterday

On October 4, 2009, Jason Kenney met in Montreal with His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is one of Canada's four living honourary citizens.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fragment from AP report "China clears central Beijing for anniversary party"

Many Chinese are justifiably proud of what China has achieved since the People's Republic was founded in 1949, a transformation from an impoverished, war-wracked country to an economic and diplomatic power. Life expectancy has risen from 41 years in 1949 to 73 today. Incomes have soared, even as the population has more than doubled from 500 million to 1.3 billion. In just the last 30 years, GDP per capita has grown tenfold from $200.

Arable land in China has been reduced but the population tripled since 1949.  The fact that most people in China get enough daily calories to sustain life despite this is a remarkable accomplishment.  The extraordinarily extensive development of irrigation systems in the early years of the regime, accompanied by improvements in agricutural technology and widespread use of agricultural chemicals today accounts for this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary

As the People's Republic of China approaches the 60th anniversary of its Party-State October 1, preparations are being made for a big celebration with very impressive fireworks, gala performances and a grand parade of China's most terrible military implements of destruction on the day.  In preparation for the celebration, new restrictions on movement about Beijing and crackdowns on human rights defenders and proponents of liberal democracy, ethnic rights, freedom of expression over the internet, etc. are being firmly enforced.  Lately new measures to limit access to non-approved internet sites have been implemented rendering most proxy servers useless.

It does make me wonder about the nature of a "celebration" that requires such intensification of repressive measures directed against the freedoms of the ostensibly celebrating Chinese citizenry.

September 29:  See this report from Reporters without Borders "'Paranoid' China ramps up firewall on anniversary: RSF"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Development and Progress in Xinjiang

To render it easier to print out in its entirety, the whole text of this white paper can be found on one webpage at:

The original source is:

I will blog my thoughts on this document after I have had a chance to absorb it myself.

Full text: Development and Progress in Xinjiang

    BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Information Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, published
a white paper on the development and progress in Xinjiang Monday.

Following is the full text:
    Development and Progress in Xinjiang

    Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China



    I. Swift Economic Development

    II. Remarkable Improvement in People's Lives

    III. Steady Development of Social Programs

    IV. Preservation of Ethnic Cultures

    V. Upholding Ethnic Equality and Unity

    VI. Protecting Citizens' Rights of Freedom of Religious Belief

    VII. Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability



    Extending through the northwest of the People's Republic of
China (PRC) is the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which accounts
for about one sixth of the country's land territory.

    Historically, Xinjiang was the passage for land transport
and civilizational contact between Asia and Europe. The famous Silk
Road linking the ancient civilizations of the East and the West went
through this vast land. Its geographical location has resulted in
Xinjiang's distinctive feature: coexistence and integration of diverse
peoples and their cultures. Since the first century BC, the region has
been an important part of China, and played a significant role in the
construction and development of a unitary multiethnic country.

    Prior to the founding ceremony of the PRC on October 1,
1949, Xinjiang witnessed its peaceful liberation. The diverse peoples
of Xinjiang, who had undergone great sufferings together with the
people in other parts of the country, became the masters of the state,
and Xinjiang entered a new era of development.

    Over the past 60 years, under the leadership and care of
the Communist Party of China and the central government, and with the
support and assistance of all peoples in other parts of the country,
the Xinjiang people of various ethnic groups through arduous efforts
have made great advances in building a comfortable life and a beautiful
home. The region has made a historic leap out of underdevelopment, with
tremendous changes taking place in the areas north and south of the
Tianshan Mountains.

    The development and progress of the autonomous region
should be attributed to the concerted efforts by all peoples of
Xinjiang under the banner of solidarity of all ethnic groups, as well
as to the success of China's policies on ethnic minorities.

I. Swift Economic Development

    Before the founding of New China in
1949, Xinjiang had a natural economy mainly comprised of farming and
animal husbandry. Local development was stagnant, with low productivity
levels and underdeveloped production modes. There was not an inch of
railway, no large-scale farms or large fertile fields. Privately owned
small workshops were what signified industry here. The people led a
life of poverty and hardship.

    Since 1949, particularly after
China's reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, Xinjiang has entered
an era of rapid economic and social progress and enhanced comprehensive
strength, with the local residents enjoying the most tangible benefits.
Proceeding from the state development strategy and the fundamental
interests of the people of various ethnic groups, the Chinese
government has paid great attention to the development and construction
of Xinjiang. It has made it a national basic policy to help the
frontier areas develop their economy for the common good and wealth,
and worked out timely a series of strategic decisions to promote
Xinjiang's development. Xinjiang has been given priority in the
national strategy launched in 2000 to develop the western regions.

    Over the years, Xinjiang has made
full use of its own advantages, and focused on economic restructuring
and changing the modes of economic growth, infrastructure construction
and environmental protection, along with improvement of people's
livelihood and basic public services, so as to keep the development of
Xinjiang in pace with the national development, and to ensure
beneficial interaction between the development of southern Xinjiang and
that of northern Xinjiang.

    - Comprehensive strength remarkably
enhanced. Calculated at constant prices, the local GDP in 2008 stood at
420.3 billion yuan, which is 86.4 times higher than that of 1952 (three
years before the establishment of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous
Region), up 8.3% on average annually; 19.6 times over that of 1978 (the
first year of reform and opening-up), up 10.4% on average annually; and
2.2 times above that of 2000 (launching of the western development
campaign), up 10.6% on average annually. Local revenues reached 36.106
billion yuan in 2008, which is 4.56 times that of 2000, 50.57 times
that of 1978, and 208.71 times that of 1955.

    - Economic structure gradually
optimized. In recent years, Xinjiang has witnessed rapid growth of its
industry, agriculture, and service sector. As industrialization
quickens, industry has replaced agriculture to become the pillar
economic sector. Tertiary industry, or services, is also playing a
prominent role in economic advancement. Wholesale and retail businesses
and catering industry have expanded swiftly, while post and
telecommunications networks have been widely set up, and new sectors,
such as real estate and finance, are booming. In 2008, primary,
secondary and tertiary industries accounted for, respectively, 16.4%,
49.7% and 33.9% of the local GDP.

    Fig.1 Xinjiang's Industrial Structure

Graphics shows Xinjiang's Industrial Structure. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    - Infrastructure construction reinforced.
Given its "irrigation farming in oases," Xinjiang has built a number of
large modern water conservancy projects, such as the Kizil Reservoir in
Aksu and the Ulug Ata Reservoir in Hotan, in addition to canals,
ditches and seepage control projects, which have greatly increased the
amount of water diverted, reservoir storage capacity and effectively
irrigated areas. The completion of the Tarim River improvement project
in 2008, with an investment of more than 10 billion yuan, put an end to
the river's 30-year history of running dry for some 300 km in its lower
reaches. Efforts in building shelterbelts of north, northeast and
northwest China, greening the plain areas, returning farmlands to
forests and returning pastures to grasslands have also improved farming
conditions. Drip and spray irrigation is now available to nearly
800,000 ha of farmlands, thus saving five billion cubic meters of water

    By the end of 2008, Xinjiang had
completed eight national highways, 66 inter-province highways, and more
than 600 county-level roads, with the combined mileage reaching 147,000
km. A highway network has taken shape centering on Urumqi (capital city
of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), with roads surrounding the
two basins (Junggar and Tarim) and crossing the two large deserts
(Gurbantunggut and Taklimakan) and the Tianshan Mountains, to link
southern and northern Xinjiang. With the completion of railways going
through southern and northern Xinjiang and the Lanzhou-Xinjiang
double-track rails, the total length of railroads in Xinjiang surpassed
3,000 km by 2008. Civil aviation has expanded swiftly, and a network
with 114 domestic and international flight routes has formed, radiating
from Urumqi and connecting some 70 Chinese and foreign cities and 12
prefectures in Xinjiang, with flight routes totaling over 160,000 km.
Xinjiang now boasts the largest number of airports and the longest
flight routes among all provinces and autonomous regions in China.    

    The post and telecommunications
industry has seen rapid growth. A complete modern communications system
has been put in place, composed of program-controlled exchanges,
fiber-optical communication, digital microwave, as well as satellite
and mobile communications; and the entire region has been covered by
optical cable, digital microwave and satellite communications.

    - Overall agricultural production
capacity notably enhanced. Xinjiang boasts abundant agricultural
resources. In recent years, the industrialized production of grain,
cotton, special fruit and quality livestock farming as well as
agriculture facility building have quickened, and industrialized belts
of advantageous and special farming products are taking shape. The
fundamental status and overall production capacity of agriculture have
both been enhanced, and the effective supply of agricultural products
is increasing multifold.

    In 2008, agricultural added value
reached 69.1 billion yuan, 1.4 times more than that of 2000; and the
total output of grain was 10.2285 million tons, leaving a slight
surplus after meeting local demand. As one of China's major bases of
commercial cotton, Xinjiang produced 3.0155 million tons of cotton in
2008, ranking first in China in terms of total output, per-unit output
and per-capita output.

    Modern animal husbandry has
accelerated its growth, and it now accounts for 27% of local
agricultural output value. In 2008, meat output stood at 1.7549 million
tons, up 95% from 2000. Fruit production is also increasing quickly. In
2008, the total area of fruit trees exceeded one million ha, and fruit
output totaled over four million tonnes, worth six billion yuan in
output value.

    By 2008, Xinjiang had 1,059
enterprises engaged in agricultural produce processing. It is the
largest tomato processing and export base in China. Its daily
dairy-processing capacity has been boosted from less than 1,000 tonnes
to nearly 3,000 tonnes in a couple of years, the fastest growth in all
provinces and autonomous regions. It is also the largest production
base of beet sugar in China, with an annual output of 600,000 tonnes.
The wine-making industry is advancing dynamically. Agricultural
processing has made production-on-order available to more than half of
the planting areas, benefiting 65% of rural households.

    - Modern industry system gradually
formed. Xinjiang's industry has grown out of nothing, and developed
from small to big. In recent years, through transforming advantageous
resources, and supporting large enterprises and groups while nurturing
small and medium-sized ones, Xinjiang has quickened its
industrialization pace. Its main industrial products have seen multiple
increases in output; and a complete modern industrial system has taken
shape, comprising petroleum, coal, iron and steel, chemical industries,
power, building materials, and textiles. Industrial zones have emerged,
including the economic belt on the northern slope of the Tianshan
Mountains, the Urumqi-Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture integrated
economic zone and the Korla-Kuqa petrochemical belt, while 32 national
and regional industrial parks have been built.

    Industry has become an important
factor propelling the local economy. In 2008, the industrial sector
reported a 52.3% contribution to local economic growth, and industrial
added value totaled 179.07 billion yuan, 274 times more than that of
1952, 16.6 times above 1978, and 3.98 times more than figures in 2000.
The use of information technology in major industries and sectors has
been strengthened, while the total amount of major pollutants
discharged has been basically controlled, and energy-saving and
emission-reduction efforts have yielded good results.

    - Mineral resources further
developed. Xinjiang is one of Chinese regions rich in oil, gas and coal
resources. Encouraged by the state policy of large-scale exploration
and development through big investments, Xinjiang has endeavored to
turn its resource advantages into economic advantages, and to boost the
local economy through resources development so as to benefit all people
in Xinjiang.

    In 2008, Xinjiang ranked second in
China by generating 27.22 million tonnes of crude oil; and first, by
producing 24 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Driven by local
oil-and-gas development and China's cooperation with West Asian
countries in relevant fields, the construction of pipelines in Xinjiang
is advancing rapidly. By 2008, Xinjiang had a network of pipelines
whose total length exceeded 4,000 km, covering southern, northern and
eastern Xinjiang.

    In recent years, thermal power and
coal-chemical industries have boomed in Xinjiang. The rapid growth of
energy and chemical industries has not only met local demands for
energy and petrochemical products, but also spurred services and other
relevant sectors. This is important for the formation and upgrading of
regional economic structure, as well as for job creation and the
urbanization rate.

    - Opening wider to the world.
Xinjiang is one of China's major gateways opening to the west. It is
also an important passageway on the new Eurasian continental bridge.
Bordered by Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, Xinjiang has the longest land borders
among all frontier provinces and autonomous regions in China. Since
China's reform and opening-up in 1978, Xinjiang has experienced a
change from being closed or semi-closed to all-round opening up.

    Now, Xinjiang has 17 Grade-I ports
approved by the state and 12 Grade-II ports approved by the autonomous
region itself, linking it immediately to over a dozen surrounding and
nearby countries. By the end of 2008, Xinjiang was conducting economic
and trade cooperation, as well as scientific and technological and
cultural exchanges, with 167 countries and regions.

    In 2008, Xinjiang's volume of
foreign trade reached US$22.217 billion, ranking 12th in China (and
second among central and western municipalities, provinces and
autonomous regions); it made US$164 million in non-finance direct
investment abroad, ranking 13th in China; and its turnover from
overseas contracted projects reached US$795 million, ranking 14th. The
region dispatched 8,548 people to work overseas, ranking 13th in China.

    - Tourism has witnessed buoyant
growth. In recent years, Xinjiang's tourism has become a new economic
growth point. By 2008, the region has opened nearly 500 scenic zones or
spots. Besides the main tourist route along the Silk Road, there are
also the Kanas Lake eco-tourism zone, the Heavenly Lake, Sayram and
Bosten lakes, ancient cultural ruins in Turpan and Kuqa, the folk
customs zone in Kashi (Kashgar), and the Ili grasslands. In 2008,
Xinjiang hosted 22.3132 million foreign and domestic visitors, and
reported nearly 20 billion yuan in tourism revenues.

    - Regional economic growth
coordinated. The state and the autonomous region have supported areas
with advantageous conditions to take the development lead, while
adopting preferential policies and measures to boost the development of
southern Xinjiang (with the focus on Kashi, Hotan and Kizilsu Kirgiz
Autonomous Prefecture) as well as pastureland and frontier areas, for
more balanced development between southern and northern Xinjiang, and
between urban and rural areas.

    The economic belt on the northern
slope of the Tianshan Mountains will take the initiative in taking on
the industries from China's eastern coast, so as to build a new
industrial base. Urumqi-Changji integration will be accelerated, while
construction of national export processing zones, development zones and
industrial parks will be sped up, and a modern service sector will be
further developed. Based on oil and gas resources, and thermal power
and coal-chemical industries, the construction of the Turpan-Hami
petrochemical belt on the southern slope of the Tianshan Mountains will
be expedited to seek a congregating effect of large projects to form
groups of ancillary industries.

    Great efforts will be made to
promote the economic and social development of the three prefectures
(i.e., Kashi, Hotan and Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture) in
southern Xinjiang, with priorities on a number of projects that are
central to long-term development and improvement of people's
livelihood, such as quakeproof housing, transformation of the old town
of Kashi, rural infrastructure construction, underground water tapping,
reclamation of saline-alkali lands, provision of safe drinking water,
and spread of biogas in the countryside. Preferential policies shall be
adopted to improve production and living conditions in pastureland and
frontier areas, and to accelerate their development.

    The great economic achievements are
the results of concerted efforts by all peoples of Xinjiang, and of
support from the central government and the entire nation. Over the
years, the central government has, in formulating plans on national
economic and social development, listed Xinjiang's projects in
infrastructure, agricultural development and a modern industrial system
construction as key state projects enjoying preferential policies and
funding support.

    From 1950 to 2008, the central
government invested 386.23 billion yuan in Xinjiang, accounting for
25.7% of the total investment in the region. From 1955 (when the
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was established) to 2008, Xinjiang
received a total of 375.202 billion yuan in subsidies from the central
budget. Along with the implementation of the western region development
campaign in 2000, the amount of subsidies has grown by 24.4% on average
annually, reaching 68.56 billion yuan in 2008. The central government
has increased capital input and support to the region by using loans
from international financial organizations and foreign governments.

    In recent years, to optimize
Xinjiang's industrial structure, the central government has moved a
number of enterprises and factories from the economically more
developed southeast coast to Xinjiang, and transferred engineers and
technicians from other areas to the region's newly built pillar
enterprises. A large number of workers from Xinjiang's ethnic
minorities have been selected to work as interns in other areas, thus
fostering a contingent of skilled workers for the region within a short

    Moreover, the various
municipalities and provinces have been paired up with different parts
of Xinjiang to provide the latter with large sums of capital,
technology and talents, which have played an important role in the
region's development. On the one hand, the more-developed areas have
dispatched technicians, teachers, doctors, management personnel and
other professionals to work in Xinjiang's prefectures and counties, to
disseminate advanced technology and concepts. On the other, Xinjiang
has dispatched teams of its own officials, technicians and workers from
Party and government organs, as well as economic management
departments, to work and study in relevant provinces and

    In recent years, at the request of
the central government, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Shandong,
Liaoning, Jiangxi and Henan as well as 15 state-owned large enterprises
have been paired up with 33 counties (or cities) in southern Xinjiang
to provide them with economic, scientific and technological, and
cultural assistance.

 II. Remarkable Improvement in People's Lives

    Having eliminated poverty and solved
basic subsistence problems, the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang
have now set their eyes on more prosperous lives, along with marked
improvement in their standard of living.

    In 2008, the per-capita net income
of farmers in Xinjiang was 3,503 yuan, which is 28 times more than that
of 1978, and 1.2 times more than that of 2000 when the western
development campaign was launched; the per-capita disposable income of
urban residents reached 11,432 yuan, which is 35 times more than that
of 1978, and double that of 2001. The per-capita deposited savings of
urban and rural residents averaged 14 yuan in 1955, 52 yuan in 1978,
4,913 yuan in 2000, and 11,972 yuan in 2008. Per-capita consumption was
122 yuan in 1952, 181 yuan in 1978, 2,662 yuan in 2000, and 4,890 yuan
in 2007.

    Fig. 2 Per-capita Deposited Savings of Xinjiang Residents (Unit: yuan)

Graphics shows Per-capita Deposited Savings of Xinjiang Residents. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Per-capita Deposited Savings of Xinjiang Residents. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    Fig. 3 Per-capita Consumption of Xinjiang Residents (Unit: yuan)

Graphics shows Per-capita Consumption of Xinjiang Residents. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    The residents' income increases have become
more diversified. In the countryside, besides conventional crops such
as grain and cotton, fruit trees have become a new source of earnings
for farmers and herders, bringing in 340 yuan per capita in 2008. In
places that had developed fruit growing earlier, earnings from selling
fruit accounted for more than 40% of the total income of farmers and
herders. Another way to increase earnings is seeking jobs elsewhere,
particularly in eastern China. In 2008, more than 1.5 million farmers
and herders found jobs outside Xinjiang, bringing back an additional
150 yuan per person for all rural residents. The development of tourism
has promoted the production and sales of tourist products with
distinctive features of minority ethnic groups, and the growth of local
handicrafts, directly or indirectly producing hundreds of thousands of
jobs, and thus increasing household incomes.

    The consumption levels of rural and
urban residents have steadily risen. Average per-capita amount of grain
rose from 195.62 kg in 1949 to 300.09 kg in 1978, and further to 426.60
kg in 2008; average per-capita amount of cotton rose from 1.18 kg in
1949 to 4.46 kg in 1978, reaching 141.52 kg in 2008; and average
per-capita amount of meat was 11.68 kg in 1949, 7.83 kg in 1978, and
increased to 53.85 kg in 2008.

    Fig 4. Average Per-capita Amount of Grain and Cotton (Unit: kg)

Graphics shows Average Per-capita Amount of Grain and Cotton. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Average Per-capita Amount of Grain and Cotton. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    The consumption structure has changed. The
Engel's Coefficient (the proportion of food consumption) for rural
residents was 60.8% in 1978, 50.0% in 2001, and 42.5% in 2008; while
for urban residents it was 57.3% in 1980, 36.4% in 2001, and 37.3% in

    Family consumption patterns are
shifting from everyday items to services, culture, education, travel,
healthcare, credit, information, private cars, and luxury housing. The
consumption structure is changing from agricultural products like
foodstuffs to electronic products for comfort and leisure. Food
consumption is shifting from staple foods to non-cereal foods stressing
nutritional balance. Clothing consumption is following the trends of
readymade garments, latest fashions, brand names and unique styles. The
consumption on home appliances has experienced a shift from bicycles,
sewing machines, watches and radios, to color TV sets, refrigerators,
washing machines and cameras, as well as personal computers (PCs),
video cameras, pianos and gym facilities. Now, cars are also becoming
more affordable for an increasing number of families.

    Fig. 5 Engel's Coefficient for Xinjiang Residents

Graphics shows Engel's Coefficient for Xinjiang Residents. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Engel's Coefficient for Xinjiang Residents. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    The number of home appliances bought by
urban and rural families has been steadily rising. In the countryside,
in 1990 every 100 households owned 12.58 washing machines, which
increased to 20.87 in 2000, and to 38 in 2008; in 1990 every 100
households owned 0.40 refrigerators, which increased to 9.93 in 2000,
and to 30.32 in 2008; in 1990 every 100 households owned 1.37
motorcycles, which increased to 18.33 in 2000, and to 50.77 in 2008;
and the number of cell phones per 100 households increased from 0.33 in
2000 to 54 in 2008.

    In the cities, every 100 households
owned 2.78 air-conditioners in 2000, and 11.18 in 2008; 4.81 cell
phones in 2000, and 144.40 in 2008; 5.68 PCs in 2000, and 41.32 in
2008; and 0.82 private cars in 2000, and 4.62 in 2008.

    Fig. 6 Consumption on Home Appliances by Rural Households

Graphics shows Consumption on Home Appliances by Rural Households. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Consumption on Home Appliances by Rural Households. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    Fig. 7 Consumption on Home Appliances by Urban Households

Graphics shows Consumption on Home Appliances by Urban Households. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Consumption on Home Appliances by Urban Households. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    People's living conditions have seen
continuous improvement. A wide range of transportation vehicles
available has made travel much easier and faster. In the early days of
reform and opening-up in the 1980s, it took nearly one week to travel
from Urumqi to Beijing by train, while now it takes only three hours by
air. The length of paved road per 10,000 urban residents was 1.6 km in
1978,4.5 km in 2000, and up to 15.7 km in 2008. The number of buses per
10,000 urban residents was 3.1 in 1978, which increased to 13.2 in

    Housing conditions have also
greatly improved. Per-capita floor space in the countryside was 10.2 sq
m in 1983, 17.25 sq m in 2000, and 22.79 sq m in 2008; while per-capita
floor space in cities was 11.9 sq m in 1983, 20.06 sq m in 2000,
increasing to 27.3 sq m in 2008.

    Presently, 97.86% of the population
in cities have access to tap water and the rate is 87.18% in county
seats. While 89.33% of people in cities have access to cooking gas, the
rate is 66.67% in county seats. In cities and towns the rate of
centralized heating is 51.2%, the rate of sewage treatment 68%, and the
rate of treatment of domestic waste is 16%. The urban green-coverage is
30.49%, the vegetation-land ratio is 26.19%, and per-capita public
green area is 6.94 sq m.

    In recent years, reasonably priced
clean gas has become available to more than 300,000 households in 23
counties and cities in southern Xinjiang, including Korla, Hotan,
Kashi, Artux,Aksu, Moyu, Lop and Shule. The number of household gas
users in southern Xinjiang keeps growing by 1,000 every month. The
felling and burning of poplar trees for household fuel has become a
thing of the past.

    Fig. 8 Per-capita Floor Space in Xinjiang (Unit: sq m)

Graphics shows Per-capita Floor Space in Xinjiang. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Per-capita Floor Space in Xinjiang. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    III. Steady Development of Social Programs

    Before the founding of the PRC in
1949, Xinjiang had but one college, nine secondary schools and 1,355
primary schools. Only 19.8% of school-age children attended primary
school, and the overall illiteracy rate was a shocking 90%.
Unprecedented changes have taken place in education in Xinjiang after
1949. At present, Xinjiang has basically made the nine-year compulsory
education universal and eliminated illiteracy in the young and
middle-aged population. Adult and vocational education started from
scratch, and has been developing steadily. Since 2006, with the
introduction of a new mechanism that guarantees rural education
funding, Xinjiang's primary and secondary school students have enjoyed
free compulsory education. In 2008, the government granted living
subsidies to all underprivileged students who live at school and
exempted urban students from tuition fees during their compulsory
education period. Since 2007, the state has initiated an annual budget
of 129 million yuan for the education of 51,000 very poor university
students and 95,000 secondary and higher vocational school students,
70% of whom come from ethnic minorities. In 2008, the Xinjiang
autonomous region government invested a total of 18.77 billion yuan in
the region's education system, representing a year-on-year increase of
32.3%. Statistics from that year show that Xinjiang had 4,159 primary
schools with 2,012,000 students, and a 99.6% enrollment rate for
school-age children. There were 1,973 secondary schools with 1,722,000
students, and 32 institutions of higher learning with 241,000
undergraduate and 10,300 graduate students in total.

    The state gives priority to
education for ethnic minorities and has enacted special policies to
support its development. To ensure their rights to higher education,
the state adopted favorable enrollment policies for ethnic-minority
students in the 1950s, now including further policies for proportional
enrollment, separate examinations and admission scores. The state has
set up primary and secondary boarding schools in farming and pastoral
areas, providing free accommodation and food, as well as books and
stationery. The state is committed to the cultivation of high-caliber
professionals from minority backgrounds, sending promising students for
overseas studies and through programs such as Specialized Training for
Xinjiang Minority Sci-Tech Personnel and the High-Level Minority
Talents Program. To develop education for ethnic minorities, it
encourages the use of minority languages in classroom teaching. For
ethnic groups with their own written languages in Xinjiang, school
education is conducted in their own languages. Over the years, special
state funds have been earmarked for the compilation and printing of
textbooks in Uyghur, Kazak, Mongolian, Xibe and Kirgiz languages,
satisfying the needs of minority students for textbooks of major
courses. In Xinjiang, test papers for the annual national college
entrance examinations are printed in Uyghur, Han, Kazak and Mongolian

    With social and economic
development and increasing exchanges between different people of
various ethnic groups, more and more minority people also wish to learn
the Han Chinese language. In view that around 70% of the 10 million
ethnic minorities in Xinjiang hardly understood written Han Chinese,
therefore posing challenges for the minority people themselves and the
region's development, the autonomous region government decided in 2004
to promote bilingual education among minority students, requiring high
school graduates to master both their mother tongue and the Han Chinese
language. In 2008, as proposed by the Uyghur community, bilingual
training programs for teachers and preschool children were carried out.
Today, bilingual education efforts have proved to be a significant
measure for better understanding and communication between different
ethnic groups, and the development of relations among the various
ethnic groups featuring equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony,
and promoting common prosperity for all peoples.

    To provide better basic education
for minority students in frontier areas, from 2000 the state opened
special classes for Xinjiang students in 13 high schools in 12
more-developed provinces and municipalities, including Beijing and
Shanghai. By 2008, 28 cities in 12 provinces and municipalities had
altogether 50 such classes for a total of 5,000 students, quintupling
the initial enrollment. These special classes have to date enrolled
24,000 students over nine years, with 90% of the graduates advancing to
higher education in inland universities, 85% at key schools. Since
2003, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region government has followed
suit by starting junior-high classes in eight cities, including Urumqi
and Shihezi, recruiting 5,000 students each year, mainly primary school
graduates from farming and pastoral areas, especially poverty-stricken
or border areas. More than 80% are children from minority farming and
herding families.

    Xinjiang's scientific pursuits did
not really start up until after the PRC was founded in 1949. Six
decades of efforts have basically established a well-structured
scientific research and development system and professional teams with
high achievements to support regional scientific development. By the
end of 2007, a total of 1,972,000 professionals were working in
Xinjiang, and by the end of 2008 these people had produced over 6,000
major scientific achievements, winning nearly 200 national awards and
registering 200,000 patents. Scientific and high-tech enterprises
continue to explore an innovative development path, drawing global
attention with well-known names such as Gold Wind Technology, TBEA and
other companies.

    Before 1949, Xinjiang had no
professional arts groups or academic research organizations for arts.
In the past six decades, with extensive support from the government,
arts and cultural facilities of all types have been established step by
step, providing rich and colorful cultural activities to local
communities. Statistics show that, by 2008 the region had 119 arts and
performance groups, two literature and art research institutes, two
arts creation centers, 15 mass art galleries, 94 cultural centers, and
1,034 village and town cultural stations. A total of 4,355 individuals
became creative and performance professionals. The region has 93 public
libraries and 47 museums. In addition, it has six radio stations and
eight TV stations at the autonomous regional level, and 93.5% of the
local population has access to radio and TV programs. By 2008
households subscribing to cable TV services reached 1,638,900, while
those with digital cable TV exceeded 324,200. Since the implementation
of the western region development strategy, the state has invested a
total of 2.484 billion yuan in developing Xinjiang's cultural
facilities. In recent years, the Xinjiang government has initiated a
series of cultural programs for the general public, including
organizing cultural and recreation activities in city squares and rural
villages. The government also schedules professionals to go on tour to
rural villages, publicizing cultural, scientific and medical knowledge.
Public cultural construction projects have also boomed, introducing
different cultures and promoting diverse folk cultures as well as Silk
Road border cultures. The government has also set up village libraries,
and radio and TV stations all over the autonomous region, to connect
local peoples with the rest of the world. Other key projects include
sending books and publications to Xinjiang and constructing information
centers to share resources with other areas of the country. These
measures have significantly promoted the development of Xinjiang's
cultural programs and endeavors.

    Before 1949 outbreaks of endemic
and epidemic diseases were frequent due to the low level of Xinjiang's
health and medical services. The overall mortality rate was 20.82 for
every 1,000 people, while infant mortality rate was an astonishing
420-600 for every 1,000 births. The average life expectancy was below
30 years. In 1949 Xinjiang had only 54 medical centers, which were
located in a few cities and towns, with a total of 696 beds. Every
10,000 persons had to share 1.6 beds and 0.19 doctors. Over the past 60
years, the central government has been making more and more investments
in Xinjiang's medical services. By 2008, Xinjiang had altogether 7,238
medical service centers, including 1,629 hospitals with a total of
93,600 beds, and 43,800 doctors. That means 36 hospital beds and 21
doctors for every 10,000 people. Health and epidemic prevention
institutions have been established out of nothing, and a systematic
urban and rural health and disease-control network has been formed.
Local disease control and prevention capabilities have greatly
improved; some endemic diseases, such as smallpox, have been
eradicated, and the incidence of other endemic and epidemic diseases
has been significantly reduced.

    Since the mid-1970s, Xinjiang has
implemented a planned immunization program, with the vaccination rate
rising steadily over the years. The improvement of healthcare services
has greatly improved people's health conditions and quality of life.
According to 2008 statistics, the general mortality rate was 4.88 for
every 1,000 persons, and infant mortality was 29.76 per 1,000 births.
The population's average life expectancy has reached 72 years. Health
services in farming and pastoral areas have significantly improved, and
a three-tier disease-prevention and healthcare network has been
established in counties, townships and villages. Xinjiang implemented
the new rural cooperative medical care system in 2003, and 89 cities
and counties, or 94.6% of the rural areas, were included in the system
by 2008, covering 10,059,000 farmers and herders, and those who
actually participated in the program were 9,503,000, or 94.5% of the
population covered by the program.

    Employment has a vital bearing on
people's livelihood. Over the years the Xinjiang government has been
committed to the implementation of proactive employment policies and
the promotion of employment growth through sustainable economic
development. The government has taken effective measures to increase
job opportunities and expand the scale of employment. In 2008, a total
of 8,475,800 people in Xinjiang were employed. The registered
unemployment rate in urban areas was 3.7%. Since the implementation of
the western region development strategy, over 300,000 people in
Xinjiang have been employed or reemployed each year. Local human
resources agencies have been set up and on the increase; and market
forces are playing a fundamental role in allocating human resources. A
public employment services system has taken shape, comprising of
comprehensive services centers at county and district levels,
grassroots-level services posts in communities, townships and villages,
along with other types of services entities. In 2008, there were
altogether 107 public services centers, with 3,944 employees providing
resident services and other services.

    In recent years, export of labor
services has become a new channel for Xinjiang to expand employment.
For many years people living in remote areas of southern Xinjiang
experienced hardships, since they mainly relied on the not very
profitable farming and animal husbandry for a living. Since 2006, the
Xinjiang government has launched a labor-export program first in
southern Xinjiang's Jiashi County and then throughout the whole
autonomous region. Through the program local rural residents could
apply for positions at inland companies after signing up and going
through training courses that give them the necessary qualifications.
The local government is required to appoint a leader (or leaders) who
supervise the migrant workers in their new company, and also take along
with them Halal cooks to cater to their needs. Since 2006, Jiashi
County has exported some 19,000 person-times of labor services to
inland enterprises, making a total profit of almost 200 million yuan.
The migrant workers enjoy an average per-capita yearly net income of
7,000 yuan, double that of local farmers and herders in 2008. The
Xinjiang government attaches importance to professional training for
migrant workers, spending 300 million to 400 million yuan each year on
such trainings.

    Since the introduction of the
reform and opening-up policies at the end of 1978, Xinjiang's
social-security system has gradually taken shape, to provide basic
living guarantees for the people. The 2008 figures show that Xinjiang
has 799 community services facilities in urban areas. About 9,645,700
people have taken part in the five major insurance programs, of basic
pension insurance, unemployment insurance, medical insurance,
industrial injury insurance, and maternity insurance. A total of
638,000 urban residents are receiving the minimum living allowance from
the government. Social welfare institutions of various types have
19,000 beds by the end of 2008, taking in 14,000 residents under their
care. From July 2007, the rural minimum living allowance system was
introduced, providing subsidies for farmers and herders with annual
average per-capita income lower than 700 yuan. In 2008, 1,310,000
farmers and herders in extreme poverty received the subsidies. By the
end of 2007, medical aid services were available in every city,
district and county. In 2008 the government invested 310 million yuan
in medical assistance services for a total of 2,164,000 users,
including 938,000 receiving medical services and 1,226,000 persons who
have participated in medical insurance programs or cooperative medical
care programs.

    Economic development in such a
large region is not balanced. Since the mid-1980s, the local government
has launched a large-scale poverty-alleviation campaign, aimed at
ensuring basic subsistence for the impoverished rural population, and
with a major focus on the promotion of economic and cultural
development. The program also underwent changes, from providing money
and food, to well-planned development-oriented poverty reduction
efforts with good organization and clear goals. Over the period from
1978 to 2008, Xinjiang's impoverished population decreased from 5.32
million to 2.53 million, and their living and working conditions have
been significantly improved. In recent years the state has put more
efforts into poverty-alleviation in southern Xinjiang, where the
situation is the most severe. From 2001 to 2007, 78% of the central and
local governments' poverty-alleviation funds, work-relief subsidies and
subsidized loans were invested in southern Xinjiang, where 70% of the
total poverty-alleviation programs were based. Since 2004,
earthquake-resistant housing programs have been carried out in
quake-prone areas, a six-year plan to provide safe housing for people
in these areas. The state invested 41.2 billion yuan in these programs
by the end of 2008, constructing and fortifying 1,895,000 houses. In
southern Xinjiang, 742,300 impoverished farming families have since
moved into quakeproof housing.

   IV. Preservation of Ethnic Cultures
    The people of various ethnic groups
in Xinjiang have created rich and vibrant cultures which have made
unique contributions to the development of Chinese culture. Originating
out of a pivotal region along the ancient Silk Road, Xinjiang culture
has acquired strong regional and ethnic characteristics, featuring
profound heritage, varied forms as well as rich and diverse folk arts.
For many years, China has been continually devoted to collecting,
sorting out, translating and publishing the cultural heritage of the
various ethnic minority groups, protecting their places of historic
interest and scenic beauty and other valuable cultural and historical
heritages. A preservation system combining government guidance,
academic support and public participation has been established, which
has ensured the inheritance and development of the fine cultural
heritage of all ethnic groups.

    Minority folk music and dances are
a major cultural component in the culture of Xinjiang. Since the
founding of PRC in 1949, art troupes at various levels, art schools and
institutes have been established in Xinjiang; they have rescued,
collected, compiled and preserved large numbers of folk music and dance
works, and trained one generation after another of art workers to pass
on and develop further traditional folk music and dances. In the 1990s,
some books or book series related to art, including Collection of
Chinese Ethnic and Folk Musical Instruments Compositions (Xinjiang
Volume), Collection of Chinese Drama Music (Xinjiang Volume),
Collection of Chinese Folk Songs (Xinjiang Volume) and Collection of
Chinese Ethnic and Folk Dances (Xinjiang Volume), were published, thus
effectively guaranteeing the preservation of all categories of fine
traditional music and dance of the various ethnic groups in the form of
music, music scores and images, as well as text and audiovisual form.

    Twelve Muqams, known as "Mother of
Uyghur Music," is a group of classical music pieces combining Uyghur
singing, dancing and music, considered a treasure of Chinese ethnic
music. Before the founding of PRC in 1949, Twelve Muqams had almost
become lost. In August 1951, Twelve Muqams was listed at the top of
arts that called for rescue by the people's government of the then
Xinjiang Province, which mobilized efforts for systematic research,
collection and compilation. In 1955, music recording along with
notation and lyric collation of Twelve Muqams was completed; and the
music score of Twelve Muqams was published in 1960, marking the turning
point from a purely oral legacy to a textual heritage. After the 1980s,
the government of the autonomous region established a Muqam research
institution and a Muqam art troupe, both of which specialize in
collecting, sorting out, researching and performing Uyghur classical
music, folk songs and dances, especially the muqams, thus further
promoting the rescue, preservation and development of the muqam arts.
In 2003, Xinjiang Uyghur muqam arts were included in the first group of
pilot projects in the "Chinese Ethnic and Folk Cultural Preservation
Program." In 2005, Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam Arts of China was approved by
UNESCO as "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of

    The Sixty-two Kongeri (62 melodious
divertimentos) is a comprehensive art form mainly composed of kui
(instrumental music composition) while combining folk songs, dances and
ballad-singing, representing the finest of Kazak folk culture. Since
the 1990s, the government has set up special organizations for the
collection, compilation and publication of Akku Kongeri (White Swan

    Xinjiang boasts a wealth of folk
literary resources of all ethnic minorities. With state support over
the years, the government of the autonomous region has formulated plans
and organized efforts to systematically rescue and preserve the folk
literary works of the various ethnic minorities, resulting in the
collection, compilation, translation and publication of a large number
of folk literary heritages of the Uyghur, Kazak, Mongolian, Kirgiz,
Tajik, Xibe, Uzbek and other peoples, including folk song lyrics, myths
and legends, humorous anecdotes and stories, fables and proverbs. Great
achievements have been made in collecting, editing, translating,
publishing and researching of folk epics, including Manas, Janger and
Life of King Gesar. A Comprehensive Turkic Dictionary and other
exceptional minority historical and cultural heritages have been
effectively preserved. The Uyghur literary classics Rabiya and Se'idi
and Ferhad and Sherin, and the Kazak long poem Seliha and Semen were
edited and translated into Chinese and published. The compilation of
Collection of Chinese Folk Literature (Xinjiang Volume) has also been

    Ancient books of Xinjiang
minorities, in multiple languages with extensive distribution,
represent a major component of China's traditional cultural heritage.
In the early 1980s, a planning and leading team, along with an office
in charge of the collection, editing and publication of ancient books
of ethnic minorities, was established in Xinjiang. Similar
organizations were successively established in four autonomous
prefectures, eight other prefectures, one prefecture-level city and
several counties. Since then, the work to rescue, collect, edit and
publish such ancient books have been in full swing throughout the whole
autonomous region. By 2008, the Xinjiang Minorities Ancient Books
Editing Office collected and registered 20,518 volumes (or pieces),
with over 100 titles published, including facsimiles of three
handwritten copies of the Uyghur classic Kutadgu Bilig, the Kazak
medical opus Annals of Medicine, and the Xibe Shamanist classic Shaman
Divine Songs, among others.

    To promote the rescue, compilation,
research and preservation of intangible cultural heritage in the
autonomous region, the Xinjiang Intangible Cultural Heritage
Preservation Research Center was established. It formulated and
promulgated regulations on how to administer intangible cultural
heritage preservation projects and provisional rules on applying for
and appraisal of masterpieces of the intangible cultural heritages. In
2006 and 2008, 63 intangible cultural heritage projects in Xinjiang,
including the Kirgiz epic Manas, Mongolian epic Janger and Kazak Aytes,
were listed in the first and second groups of national intangible
cultural heritage.

    Xinjiang is a region very rich in
historical sites. By 2008, over 4,000 cultural relics sites had been
found in Xinjiang, of which 58 were listed as key spots of cultural
relics under state protection. The state has always attached great
importance to the conservation and renovation of historical sites in
Xinjiang, and significant achievements have been made in legislation on
cultural relics preservation, archeological study and excavation,
renovation and conservation of cultural relics, and their exhibition.
Under the guiding principle of "giving priority to both conservation
and rescue," a large-scale renovation has been carried out to the
region's key cultural relics sites, including the Kizil Thousand Buddha
Caves, Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves, Simsim Thousand Buddha Caves,
Bezkilik Thousand Buddha Caves, Gaochang Ancient City Ruins, Hami
King's Tomb, Former Residence of Yili General, etc. A number of
renowned architectures representing the preeminent historical and
cultural heritages of the Uyghur, Mongolian, Hui, Xibe and other
peoples have been properly renovated and preserved, including the Tomb
of Afak Hoja in Kashi, Tomb of Tughluk Tumur in Huocheng, Zhaosu
Lamasery, Former Residence of a Mongolian Prince in Hejing, and
Chimtoghrak Manor. In 2009, the "Key Cultural Relics Rescue and
Conservation Program for the Silk Road (Xinjiang Section)" was launched
in the autonomous region. Extensive financial and human resources have
been mobilized for the comprehensive rescue and preservation of large
historical sites and key cultural heritages along the main route of the
ancient Silk Road in Xinjiang.

    In recent years, significant
progress has been made in the conservation of Kashi, as well as other
famous historical and cultural cities. Kashi was historically a place
of strategic importance on the Silk Road. The city and its culture have
distinctive ethnic characteristics. But the city is located in an area
frequently hit by earthquakes, and houses in the old city of Kashi are
mostly old and dilapidated, extremely vulnerable to earthquakes or
fire. To protect people's life and property, and improve their living
conditions, while enhancing the quake-resistance of the old houses and
preserving the original appearance of the ancient city, China
officially undertook the comprehensive restoration of dilapidated
houses in old Kashi city in February 2009. Three billion yuan will be
spent on the renovation work which will be done in line with the
national conservation standards for historical and cultural cities.
During the renovation efforts will be made to maintain Kashi's original
appearance, so the structures will keep their original architectural
and cultural characteristics after the renovation.

    Folk cultures and arts in Xinjiang
have seen further development on the basis of inheriting the past
legacy. Traditional cultural events, such as the Uyghur's "Meshrep,"
the Kazak's "Aytes," the Kirgiz's "Kobuz Ballad Singing Fair," the
Mongolian "Nadam Fair," the Xibe's "West Moving Festival" and the Han
people's "Lantern Festival," have been widely held. A number of
impressive dramas with rich ethnic and regional characteristics have
been staged, such as the modern drama Ghunchem, the Uyghur play Gherip
and Senem, the acrobatics show Darwaz, as well as the Kazak Aytes,
Kirgiz Manaschi ballad drama Manas. In the 21st century, more than 20
folk song and dance performances, including The Good Place Called
Xinjiang, Joyous Songs of Tianshan Mountain and Kashgar, have won
national prizes.

    To ensure minority languages keep
pace with the development of our time, China has set up the "Work
Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Languages and
Scripts of Ethnic Minorities" and research institutes of minority
languages at varied levels, responsible for regulation, standardization
and scientific research and administration of the languages of the
ethnic minorities. With government support, software such as the "Bogda
Uyghur-Kazak-Kirgiz Languages Typesetting System," "Xibe and Manchu
Languages Processing and Efficient Printing System," "Xinjiang 2000"
and "Arabic and Multiple Languages Typesetting System," has been
developed. They provide clues to the standards and software development
methods for languages of other ethnic minorities in terms of software
code, keyboard layout and input methods.

 V. Upholding Ethnic Equality and Unity

    The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
is inhabited by people of many ethnic groups. According to the fifth
national census in 2000, Xinjiang is home to people of 55 ethnic
groups, including the Uyghur, Han and Kazak. In 2008, Xinjiang's
population totaled 21.308 million, of which people of ethnicities other
than the Han was 12.945 million, or 60.8% of the total. In 2007, there
are three ethnic groups each with a population over one million,
namely, Uyghur (9.651 million), Han (8.239 million), Kazak (1.484
million); three ethnic groups each with a population between 100,000
and one million: Hui (943,000), Kirgiz (182,000), and Mongolian
(177,000); and six ethnic groups each with a population between 10,000
and 100,000: Tajik (45,000), Xibe (42,000), Manchu (26,000), Uzbek
(16,000), Russian (12,000), and the Dongxiang. The population of all
the other ethnic groups is less than 10,000.

    Fig. 9 Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang with Population over 10,000 (Unit: 1,000 persons)

Graphics shows Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang with Population over 10,000. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang with Population over 10,000. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    Xinjiang has been inhabited by diverse
peoples since ancient times. The inhabitants of Xinjiang all migrated
from other areas historically. According to historical records, in 101
BC the Han Dynasty (206-220 BC) began stationing garrison troops to
open up land for crop cultivation in Luntai (Bugur), Quli and other
areas. Later, it sent more troops to all other parts of Xinjiang for
the same purpose. After the Protectorate of the Western Regions was
established in 60 BC by the Han central government, the inflow of Han
people to Xinjiang, including officials, soldiers and merchants, never
stopped. By the end of the dynasty, Han residents could be found in
scattered settlements in Xinjiang, with garrison reclamation points
forming compact communities. The Han thus became one of the earlier
peoples who inhabited Xinjiang. After 1759, the government of the Qing
Dynasty sent Manchu, Mongolian, Xibe, Daur (Suolun), Han and Hui troops
to Xinjiang in order to strengthen the frontier defenses of the region,
and encouraged Uyghurs to move from southern Xinjiang to Ili in the
north, as well as Han and Hui people from inland areas to migrate to
Xinjiang to promote production. From the late 19th century to the early
20th century, a great number of Russian, Uzbek and Tatar people settled
down in the region. When the People's Republic of China was founded in
1949, Xinjiang was comprised of 13 ethnic groups, with Uyghurs as the
majority. Each ethnic group was characterized by living together or
mixing with other groups, or in compact communities. The majority in
southern Xinjiang were Uyghurs, while northern Xinjiang was mainly
inhabited by Han and Kazak peoples. The Kirgiz, Xibe, Tajik and Daur
peoples mostly lived in compact communities, while most of the
remaining ethnic groups reside scattered among other groups.

    Since the founding of the PRC in
1949, an increasing number of people have moved to and from Xinjiang,
making more prominent the phenomenon of a multiethnic population living
together. Especially since reform and opening-up in 1978, many
citizens, guided by market forces, have frequently moved simultaneously
and on their own will between Xinjiang's rural and urban areas, between
its northern and southern areas, and between Xinjiang and other inland
areas, for the purposes of education, employment, business or
job-seeking. In 2008, about 240,000 surplus laborers went from Xinjiang
to work in the economically developed coastal areas. In addition, there
are large seasonal flows of people moving within Xinjiang or between
Xinjiang and other inland areas. Each year from late August to
November, hundreds of thousands of people from other provinces and
municipalities go to Xinjiang to pick cotton.

    The socio-economic development of
Xinjiang has given rise to a recurrent flow of labor, leading to a
series of changes in the population and ethnic distribution in the
region. First, the number of ethnic groups has increased. In 2000,
except for the Jino people, Xinjiang was inhabited by people of 55 of
China's 56 ethnic groups. Second, the population of almost every ethnic
group in Xinjiang is increasing. From 1978 to 2007, the populations of
the region's four largest groups - Uyghur, Han, Kazak and Hui - have
increased, respectively, 74%, 61%, 81% and 78%. Third, the percentage
of the population of each minority in their traditional settlements has
decreased. For example, the ratio of Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang's
three prefectures, namely, Kashi, Hotan and Aksu, to the total Uyghur
population in Xinjiang fell from 84.6% in 1944 to 71.5% in 2007. The
percentage of Kazaks in the Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Ili to the
entire Kazak population in Xinjiang decreased from 83.4% in 1944 to
76.8% in 2007. Fourth, the multiethnic mixture in the cities and towns
of Xinjiang has become more prominent, and the population of ethnic
minorities has increased in the cities. Urumqi, the capital of the
autonomous region, is inhabited by people from 52 ethnic groups, and
the percentage of minority residents in the city's total population
increased from 18% in 1978 to 27% in 2007.

    The diverse peoples of Xinjiang
have formed deep friendships while living together for generations.
Over the last 60 years, they have established, developed and
consolidated strong ties of mutual respect, trust, support and harmony.
These make up the important contents and fundamental guarantees for the
advancement of Xinjiang.

    Recognizing the existence of each
ethnic group and guaranteeing its equal rights in every aspect is the
fundamental principle and policy of the Chinese government to handle
ethnic problems. It is also the foundation of all other policies
concerning the ethnic issue. The Constitution of the PRC stipulates:
"All ethnic groups in the People's Republic of China are equal. The
state protects the lawful rights and interests of ethnic minorities,
and upholds and develops the relationship of equality, unity and mutual
assistance among all of China's peoples. Discrimination against and
oppression of any ethnic group is prohibited; any acts that undermine
national unity or instigate secession are prohibited." In Xinjiang,
citizens of every ethnic group enjoy the rights prescribed by the
Constitution and laws, including freedom of religious belief, and
rights to vote and stand for election, to equally administer state
affairs, to receive education, to use and develop their own spoken and
written languages, and to preserve and advance the traditional culture
of their own peoples.

    Over the past 60 years, China's
central government and local governments in Xinjiang have made
tremendous efforts to protect equal political rights and social status
for each and all of Xinjiang's peoples, and achieve their common
development and prosperity. Before the founding of the PRC in 1949,
there were still remnants of feudal serfdom in some areas of southern
Xinjiang, and in certain individual areas serfdom was even found
intact. In the 1950s, democratic reform was carried out in Xinjiang.
The abolishment of the old system enabled minority peoples to enjoy
basic human rights, with their rights to participate in the
administration of state affairs under special protection. In the
previous terms of National People's Congress (NPC), deputies were
selected from minority communities in Xinjiang for proportional
representation. All 60 deputies in the Xinjiang delegation to the 11th
National People's Congress came from 11 ethnic groups, and 60% of them
were ethnic minorities. At present, some members of the NPC Standing
Committee and the leadership of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference are from Xinjiang's minority ethnic groups. In
the local people's congresses of Xinjiang, there are deputies from each
ethnic group who live in compact communities. In the Ninth People's
Congress of the autonomous region, the 542 deputies were comprised of
13 ethnicities, and the proportion of minority deputies accounted for
65.5%, four percentage points higher than the ratio of the minority
population to the total population of the region.

    In Xinjiang, political equality for
the various ethnic groups is realized mainly through the system of
ethnic regional autonomy. Under the unified leadership of the state,
implementing ethnic regional autonomy in place where ethnic minorities
live in compact communities to allow them to manage their own internal
affairs is a basic policy for China to resolve ethnic problems; it is
also an important political system of China. Founded in 1955, the
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is an ethnic autonomous area with the
Uyghurs as the principal body of the local population. Within the
territory of the autonomous region, there also exist areas where other
minorities live in compact communities. Thus, five autonomous
prefectures for four ethnic groups - the Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz and
Mongolian - have been established, in addition to six autonomous
counties for five ethnic groups - the Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Tajik and
Xibe, and 43 ethnic townships. Xinjiang is the country's only
autonomous region with autonomous areas at all three administrative
levels (region, prefecture and county). When it comes to the
composition of deputies to the people's congresses and the appointment
of cadres, the region's autonomous organs at each level have adhered to
the principles of equal participation and common management, so as to
ensure that all peoples become masters of the country. In light of
actual conditions, these organs shall formulate and implement
autonomous laws, local laws, and decisions of legal force, to safeguard
their rights of autonomy in accordance with the law. By the end of
2008, the people's congress of the autonomous region and its standing
committee had altogether enacted 127 local laws and regulations, and
approved 28 statutory resolutions and decisions, and approved 100 local
laws and regulations formulated by Urumqi City and the governments of
the various autonomous prefectures and counties.

    The state and the autonomous region
have always considered the selection, training and employment of cadres
from among ethnic minorities to be a key to carrying out the policy of
ethnic regional autonomy. A large number of outstanding cadres of
minority origin have been trained and fostered by being sent out for
study, receiving training, working at the grassroots level, or at
different places through job exchanges or on rotation basis. In this
way, the numbers of cadres have increased, their overall quality
improved, ensuring corresponding percentages of such cadres at various
levels and categories. The number of Xinjiang's cadres from minority
ethnic groups was 46,000 in 1955, 67,000 in 1965, 93,000 in 1975,
202,000 in 1985, 272,000 in 1995, 340,000 in 2005 and 363,000 in 2008.
The last figure accounts for 51.25% of the total number of cadres in
Xinjiang. In today's Xinjiang, the heads of the autonomous region,
autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties, as well as the heads of
the standing committees of local people's congresses, the presidents of
the people's courts and the procurator-generals of the people's
procuratorates at corresponding levels are citizens from the ethnic
group(s) exercising regional autonomy in the areas concerned. An
overwhelming number of the heads at the prefecture and city levels are
citizens of ethnic minority origin.

    Fig. 10 Numbers of Ethnic Minority Cadres in Xinjiang (Unit: 1,000 persons)

Graphics shows Numbers of Ethnic Minority Cadres in Xinjiang. (Xinhua/Ma Yan)

Graphics shows Numbers of Ethnic Minority Cadres in Xinjiang. (Xinhua/Ma Yan) Photo Gallery>>>

    The government of the autonomous region has
adopted a variety of special policies and measures to implement and
protect all its peoples' equal rights in political and social life.
Promulgated in 1993 and revised in 2002, "Regulations for Work
Concerning Spoken and Written Languages in the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region" enshrines in legal form the equal rights of all
peoples in terms of their own spoken and written languages, encouraging
people to study the spoken and written languages of other ethnic
groups. Enacted in 1996, "Measure Concerning Implementation of the PRC
Lawon Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests in the Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region" stipulates that all commodities produced and
sold in the autonomous region should have both the relevant minority
and Han Chinese languages written on their packaging and users'
manuals; that business operators who have the Muslim phrase "halal"
(qingzhen) or its symbol visible on their business premises or on food
packaging or labeling, should be approved by ethnic affairs
administrative departments of the people's government above the county

    The state adheres to the principle
that the spoken and written languages of all peoples are equal, and
opposes linguistic privilege in any form. In light of actual conditions
in Xinjiang, the government of the autonomous region promulgated,
respectively in 1988 and 1993, "Provisional Regulations of
Administration for the Use of Minority Languages in the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region" and "Regulations for Work Concerning Spoken and
Written Languages in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region," which
legally enshrine the freedom and rights of ethnic minorities to use
their own spoken and written languages. Now, Xinjiang has 13 ethnic
groups inhabiting there for generations and using 10 spoken and written
languages. The government organs of the autonomous region, prefectures
and counties, in handling public affairs, use the language of the
ethnic group exercising autonomy in that particular area as well as the
Chinese language. Spoken and written languages of the minority peoples
are widely used in news, publishing, radio, movies, and television
programs. The Xinjiang Daily newspaper is printed in Uyghur, Han, Kazak
and Mongolian languages, while the Xinjiang Television Station
broadcasts its programs in the same four languages. The Xinjiang
People's Publishing House uses the above four languages plus the Kirgiz
and Xibe languages for its publications. Over 70% of books and
audiovisual products published in Xinjiang use minority languages.

    Respecting ethnic minorities'
folkways and customs is an important aspect of ensuring equal rights
for all peoples. State and local governments in Xinjiang have
formulated a number of policies and regulations to show respect for and
protect the customs of minority peoples in terms of food, attire,
festivals, marriage and funerals, while acknowledging that all peoples
have the freedom to maintain or reform their own folkways and customs.
Every year the government of the autonomous region makes specific
arrangements to guarantee the production and supply of meats and other
foodstuffs consumed daily by ethnic minorities, so as to ensure the
production and supply of special foods for all communities, especially
the 10 groups believing in Islam. In Xinjiang, on the Ramadan and
Kurban festivals, all Muslim communities may enjoy statutory holidays,
while those of Russian background may observe their own statutory
holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

    Ethnic unity is central to
guaranteeing equality among all China's ethnic groups. The state
protects the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities,
while opposing estrangements, discrimination, hatred and conflicts
between ethnic groups, as well as big ethnic chauvinism, especially Han
chauvinism, and local nationalism. In Xinjiang, striving for unity
among all its ethnic groups is of specific significance, because it is
an important guarantee for accomplishing all work in the region. Over
the years, the government of the autonomous region has strongly
promoted the idea that "Everyone treasures the idea of ethnic unity,
understands the policies on ethnic issues, and strives for and
contributes to ethnic unity." Through their experience, the people of
all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have come to the conclusion that "the Han
Chinese cannot live without the minority groups, that the minority
groups cannot live without the Han Chinese, and no one minority group
can live without the other minority groups (known as the 'three
inseparable ties')." In 1982, Xinjiang took the lead in China to launch
a campaign of commendation activities for endeavors towards ethnic
unity. So far, the region has held five conferences commending a total
of 862 model units and 1,520 exemplary individuals. Since 1983, the
government of the region has launched an "educational month of ethnic
unity" in May throughout the whole region, carrying out intensive and
extensive public education work concerning ethnic unity. Now this work
has been ongoing for 27 years. Xinjiang's primary schools right up
through its universities, all include in their syllabuses courses
concerning ethnic unity and knowledge of other ethnic groups. Through
constant education, people of all communities in Xinjiang have been
suffused with the concepts of equality and unity, and the idea of
"three inseparable ties," and treasuring mutual support, respect and
love has become a common practice.

    In Xinjiang, ethnic relations
featuring equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony are reflected
in every aspect of social life. Influenced by their traditional ways of
production and life, the Uyghur and Hui peoples tend to focus on
business and food services, while Han people would grow vegetables, and
Kazaks are more inclined toward pasturing. With their respective
strengths, they have cooperated with one another, aiming at common
development in a unified market and with the same production
objectives. The unified social system, common political and economic
organizations as well as shared community living have all helped form
stable cooperative relationships between different communities and have
made them become closer comrades, colleagues, neighbors and friends,
thus greatly enhancing their understanding and friendship. According to
a questionnaire survey conducted in more than 10 counties (or cities)
in 2004 and 2005, among the Uyghur and Han urban residents, those who
have more than two friends from other ethnic groups accounted for 65%
and 61%. Those who have no friends outside their own ethnic group made
up 30% and29%. In recent years, intermarriages have increased between
people of different ethnicities. In Urumqi, the percentage of
intermarriages in the city's registration was 2.1% (218 couples) in
1980, while the figure rose to 5.9% (811 couples) in 2003. In Tacheng,
the percentage of intermarriages in the city's registration was 5.5% in
1995, rising to 39.5% in 2003. According to a 1987 survey conducted in
a neighborhood inhabited by people from four ethnic groups, among 141
who have linguistic abilities, 48 people can use two languages, 16 use
three languages, six use four languages, and one person could use five
languages. Each time Muslim communities, such as Uyghur, Kazak and Hui,
celebrate the Ramadan and Kurban, or when Han and Mongolian peoples
celebrate their Spring Festival, friends and colleagues from other
ethnic groups would send their best wishes and share in the festive

  VI. Protecting Citizens' Rights of Freedom of Religious Belief

    Since ancient times, Xinjiang has
always been a region with a number of religions existing side by side.
The major religions in Xinjiang today are Islam, Buddhism,
Christianity, Catholicism and Daoism. The Chinese government enacts a
policy of freedom of religious belief, which the government of Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region has thoroughly implemented. It protects
citizens' rights of freedom of religious belief in accordance with the
law, safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of religious
circles, and promotes healthy and orderly development of religion.

    Freedom of religious belief is a
basic right bestowed by the PRC Constitution on all its citizens. It is
stipulated in the Constitution as follows: "Citizens of the People's
Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ,
public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or
not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against
citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state
protects normal religious activities." In addition, the State Council
promulgated "Regulations on Religious Affairs," which stipulates:
"Citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief. No organization or
individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any
religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in any
religion or citizens who do not believe in any religion. Citizens who
believe in religions and those who don't shall respect each other and
coexist in harmony, as shall citizens who believe in different
religions." Other relevant laws and regulations have specific
provisions on the protection of citizens' freedom of religious belief.
The state emphasizes that all citizens are equal before the law; that
the citizens have the freedom to believe in, or not to believe in, any
religion; that the citizens enjoy the rights of freedom of religious
belief and at the same time must carry out corresponding
responsibilities; that anyone who violates others' rights of freedom of
religious belief shall bear the legal liability; and that both
religious citizens and non-religious citizens shall bear the same legal
liability for breaking the law.

    In Xinjiang, people of all ethnic
groups fully enjoy the right of freedom in religious belief. The
people's freedom to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion is
protected by the law, and no state organ, public organization or
individual may interfere with their choice. By the end of 2008, the
autonomous region had 24,800 venues for religious activities, including
mosques, churches and temples, in addition to over 29,000 clerical
personnel, 91 religious organizations and two religious colleges. Since
the 1980s, more than 50,000 people from Xinjiang have made pilgrimages
to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In recent years, the number of people from
Xinjiang who make the pilgrimage each year has been around 2,700. By
2008, over 1,800 religious personages in Xinjiang had been elected to
posts in people's congresses and committees of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference at all levels. They have actively
participated in deliberation and administration of state affairs on
behalf of religious believers, and in exercising supervision over the
government in respect to the implementation of the policy of freedom of
religious belief.

    The state and the government of the
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region administer religious affairs and
protect the legal rights and interests of believers, religious
organizations and venues for religious activities in accordance with
the laws. The State Council promulgated the "Regulations on Religious
Affairs." The Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region formulated and promulgated the "Regulations
for the Administration of Religious Affairs in the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region." The government of the autonomous region formulated
the "Provisional Regulations for the Administration of Religious
Activity Venues in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region," "Provisional
Regulations for the Administration of Clergy in the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region" and "Provisional Regulations for the Administration
of Religious Activities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region."
These regulations further clarify that the citizens enjoy the right of
freedom in religious belief, and the country protects normal religious
activities, as well as the legal rights and interests of believers,
religious organizations and venues for religious activities in
accordance with the law; that believers, religious organizations and
venues for religious activities should abide by the Constitution and
related laws and regulations, and safeguard national unification,
ethnic unity and social stability; that no organization or individual
may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public
order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the state
educational system, or in activities that harm state and public
interests, as well as citizens' legal rights and interests; and that no
one should use religion to interfere in the performing of
administrative and judicial functions by the state.

    According to corresponding laws and
regulations, the autonomous region protects all normal religious
activities held either at venues for religious activities or in
believers' own homes in accordance with customary religious practices,
such as worshipping Buddha, reciting scriptures, burning incense,
worshipping, praying, preaching, attending Mass, being baptized or
ordained, celebrating religious festivals, observing extreme unction,
and holding memorial ceremonies, which are all protected by law as the
affairs of religious bodies or believers themselves and may not be
interfered with. However, the autonomous region shall ban, in
accordance with the law, activities that make use of religion to
intervene in the performing of administrative and judicial functions of
the state, as well as education, marriage or civil lawsuits.

    Religious affairs are developing in
a normal and orderly manner in Xinjiang. Religious classics and books
and magazines have been published, including the Koran, Selections from
Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari, Koran with Annotations and
Selected Works of Waez, in Uyghur, Han, Kazak and Kirgiz languages, as
well as the New Collection of Waez's Speeches series and the magazine
China's Muslims in Uyghur and Han languages, the later with a
circulation of over one million. Large numbers of mosques in Xinjiang
have been designated as key cultural relics sites under the protection
of the state, the autonomous region and the various counties. In 1999,
the central government allocated 7.6 million yuan for the
reconstruction of the Yanghang Mosque in Urumqi, the Baytulla Mosque in
Yining and the Jamae Mosque in Hotan. The government has also, on
several occasions, allocated special funds for the maintenance and
repair of the Idkah Mosque in Kashi and Tomb of the Fragrant Imperial
Concubine (Apak Hoja Mazzar), and Sulayman's Minaret in Turpan. In 2008
alone, 33 million yuan was allocated by the state for the maintenance
and repair of Idkah Mosque and the Tomb of the Fragrant Imperial

    Now, most people of Xinjiang's 10
major ethnic minority groups, with a total population of over 11.3
million, believe in Islam. The number of Islamic mosques has soared
from 2,000 in the early days of the reform and opening-up drive to
24,300 now, and the body of clergy from 3,000 to over 28,000. Since its
founding, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute gives lessons in Uyghur and
other minority languages and has trained 489 Imams, Hatips or other
teachers for religious schools in the autonomous region. It currently
has 161 students. From 2001 to 2008, the Xinjiang Islamic School
trained more than 20,000 clerics. In addition, 3,133 Talips were
trained by religious personages, in Islamic schools and classes
operated by Islamic associations in the various prefectures and
prefecture-level cities. Among them, 1,518 have graduated and 803 taken
up clerical posts. In an attempt to cultivate high-caliber clerical
personnel of Islam, since 2001, the regional government has sent 47
clerics for training in colleges and universities in Egypt and

    Historically, the region witnessed
many conflicts between different religions and between different sects
of the same religion. In the mid-10th century, the Islamic Karahan
Kingdom waged a religious war against the Buddhist kingdom of Yutian,
lasting for more than 40 years. During the Ming and Qing dynasties,
religious battles continued for several hundred years within Islamic
circles. These wars between and within religions seriously jeopardized
the unity between different religions and between different sects, as
well as general social harmony and stability. Since the founding of the
PRC, the implementation of the policy of freedom in religious belief
and administration of religious affairs in accordance with the law have
promoted peace and harmony between different religions in Xinjiang, as
well as mutual respect and understanding between religious and
non-religious citizens and between citizens believing in different
religions. There have been no modern conflicts or clashes caused by
differences in religion or religious sect.

 VII. Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability
    The development and progress of
Xinjiang are achieved in the People's Republic of China, a unified
multiethnic country, and in a stable social environment, and are the
results of concerted efforts of the people of all ethnic groups. All
these achievements would have been impossible for Xinjiang without
national unification, social stability, or ethnic unity. For years, the
"East Turkistan" forces in and outside Xinjiang, without any regard for
the well-being of the diverse peoples of Xinjiang, have been trumpeting
national separatism, and plotted and organized a number of bloody
incidents of terror and violence, seriously jeopardizing national
unification, social stability and ethnic unity, thus seriously
disrupting Xinjiang's development and progress.

    Over a long period of time, the
"East Turkistan" forces have unremittingly instigated separatist
activities. The term "East Turkistan" first appeared in the late 19th
century. In the early 20th century, a tiny number of separatists and
religious extremists in Xinjiang further politicized the term "East
Turkistan," and fabricated an "ideological and theoretical system"
about the "independence of East Turkistan." Separatists of different
shades in Xinjiang raised the banner of "East Turkistan" and formed
"East Turkistan" forces, trying to establish a so-called "East
Turkistan" separatist regime. From the early 1930sto the mid-1940s,
with the instigation and support of hostile foreign forces, the "East
Turkistan" forces shouted slogans like "killing the Han and
annihilating the Hui" and "opposing and expelling the Han," creating
many disturbances and even wantonly slaughtering innocent people in
their attempt to split the motherland and set up an illegal regime.
What they did met strong opposition from people of all ethnic groups in

    Since the founding of the PRC,
Xinjiang has entered a new stage, enjoying ethnic unity and social
stability. However, the "East Turkistan" forces have persisted,
carrying out clandestine actions. Supported by hostile foreign forces,
the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China created many
riots and launched armed insurrection in their attempt to split the
country. In the 1990s, influenced by terrorism, separatism and
extremism, the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China
turned to terrorist violence as the chief means of their separatist
activities. The terrorist nature of the "East Turkistan" forces was
eventually recognized by the whole world. In 2002, the United Nations
Security Council added the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)" to
its sanction list of terrorist groups. In recent years, the "East
Turkistan" forces have continued separatist activities under the
banners of "democracy," "human rights" and "freedom," trying to escape
strikes against them or to clear themselves of the name of terrorism.
In 2004, the "East Turkistan" forces patched together the World Uyghur
Congress (WUC) outside China. Since then, they have plotted and
organized a number of separatist and sabotage actions. On the one hand,
they have stepped up infiltration to the ideological field by preaching
separatism and "holy war"; on the other, they have intensified their
efforts in the acts of terror and violence, organizing and instigating
some individuals within China to go abroad to receive training in
religious extremism, separatism and terrorist skills, and openly
calling on extremists inside China to create terrorist incidents,
including bombings and poisonings aiming at kindergartens, schools and
the government institutions, or attacking China's military forces and
government departments.

    Since 2008, the "East Turkistan"
forces have started a new round of sabotage activities, and created a
number of bloody incidents of terror and violence aimed at the Beijing
Olympics. In particular, the seriously violent incident of July 5,
2009, which erupted in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur
Autonomous Region, was masterminded by terrorist, separatist and
extremist forces both inside and outside China. The violence caused
great damage to the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups,
seriously jeopardizing the normal order and social stability of the
region. After the eruption of the riots, the central government and the
government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, relevant
departments of the central and state organs, the military and armed
police relied firmly on the cadres and masses of all ethnic groups to
safeguard social stability, the socialist legal system and fundamental
interests of the people, and took decisive and powerful measures to
stop the violence in accordance with the law, to quickly bring the
incident to an end and restore social stability in Urumqi.

    The "East Turkistan" forces pose a severe threat to the development and stability of Xinjiang.

    The "East Turkistan" forces have
seriously violated the basic human rights to life and development of
all the peoples of Xinjiang. Since the 1990s, the "East Turkistan"
forces have organized large numbers of acts of terror and violence,
seriously jeopardizing the security of lives and property of people of
all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. According to incomplete statistics, from
1990 to 2001, the "East Turkistan" forces both inside and outside China
created more than 200 bloody incidents of terror and violence in
Xinjiang, by means of explosions, assassinations, poisoning, arson,
attacking, riots and assaults. As a result, 162 citizens, including
people of various ethnicities, cadres at the grassroots level and
religious personnel, lost their lives, and over 440 were wounded. In
2002 they again organized several bloody incidents of terror and
violence in Xinjiang. The most recent "July 5" riot in Urumqi caused
huge losses in lives and property of the people of various ethnic
groups. By July 17, 2009, 197 people died (most being innocent victims)
and over 1,700 were injured, with 331 shops and 1,325 motor vehicles
destroyed or burned, and many public facilities were damaged.

    The "East Turkistan" forces have
seriously interrupted the economic development of Xinjiang. Firstly,
they have seriously undermined the environment for investment, as
evidenced by the drastic reduction in investment from other parts of
the country. From 1997 to 1998, when crimes of terror and violence were
frequent, the economic development of Xinjiang witnessed a remarkable
slowdown. Primarily, outside investment declined as foreign investors
withdrew their funding one after another, thus depriving Xinjiang of
many development opportunities. After the eruption of the "February 5"
riots in Yining in 1997, the economy of Ili Prefecture suffered a
prolonged slump, with a depression in the real-estate market and
drastic reduction in tax revenues. Many investors began to have doubts
about Yining's investment environment, and the newly developed Yining
Economic and Technological Zone grinded to a half-standstill. Secondly,
tourism suffered as a result. Tourism is an important industry in
Xinjiang. The "July 5" riot in Urumqi produced a serious adverse impact
on Xinjiang's tourism, causing a sudden drop in both the number of
tourists and revenue of tourism. Thirdly, precious resources have been
dispersed. Plenty of human, material and financial resources have had
to be put to guard against and combat crimes of terror and violence in
order to safeguard the security of the country and social stability.
Fourthly, exchanges between Xinjiang and foreign countries have been
interrupted. The development of international thoroughfares and foreign
trade in Xinjiang has been seriously affected.

    In addition, the "East Turkistan"
forces pose a threat to regional security and stability. The "East
Turkistan" terrorist organizations, with ETIM as representative, have
carried out actions in Central and South Asia over a long period of
time, creating many bloody incidents of terror and violence, including
assassinations, arson and attacks on police. They also secretly
participated in terrorist activities plotted by international terrorist
organizations, posing a threat to the peace and stability of all
countries concerned.

    Terrorist activities organized by
the "East Turkistan" forces aimed against the various ethnic groups of
Xinjiang pose an open challenge to the Constitution and laws of China,
and are serious crimes of violence against society and humanity.
National unification is in the fundamental interests of all peoples of
Xinjiang; social stability is a prerequisite and guarantee of
Xinjiang's development; and ethnic unity is the lifeblood of the people
of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Ethnic unity is a blessing for all
peoples, while separatism would be disastrous. The Chinese government
has, in accordance with the law, combated the sabotage activities of
the "East Turkistan" forces to create a stable and peaceful social
environment for Xinjiang's development. It is in keeping with the
common aspirations of all peoples of Xinjiang and therefore has won
their genuine backing and active support.


    Xinjiang's development and progress is there for all to see.

    Today, it has become clearer for the
people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang that national unification,
ethnic unity, social stability, plus the coexistence and development in
harmony of all peoples who share weal and woe are the lifeblood for the
region's development and progress. The people of all ethnic groups in
Xinjiang cherish dearly this hard-earned remarkable situation. They
will keep taking economic construction as the core, while safeguarding
social stability and working together with the people of all ethnic
groups in China to strive for common prosperity. They will share in a
common destiny, consolidate and develop socialist ethnic relations
characterized by equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony, to
unremittingly advance Xinjiang's development.

    With its beautiful and fertile
lands, Xinjiang enjoys an elevated place in the Chinese people's
hearts. The people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who protect and
develop the land are great and honorable. At present, the Chinese
people are striving toward building a modern socialist nation
characterized by prosperity, democracy, civilization and harmony. With
the care and support of the Communist Party of China and the central
government, following the country's development, all the peoples of
Xinjiang, united as one through common efforts, will ensure a brighter
future for Xinjiang.