On Nov. 19, an online meeting themed “Xinjiang Is A Wonderful Land” was simultaneously held in Beijing and Urumqi by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. BFSU’s international faculty and students from nearly 30 countries including Russia, Pakistan, South Korea, attended the meeting via video link to experience Xinjiang’s customs, history, and culture, listening to the stories of local people.
Zumureti Wubuli, Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee and Head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee, introduced the stable development of Xinjiang and invited attendees to come and visit this beautiful and thriving land.
“Xinjiang is a safe and stable place that sees harmonious social development, continuous economic growth and improved people’s livelihood, enjoys the freedom of religious belief, and encourages cultural exchanges.” said Jia Wenjian, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Vice President of BFSU. He noted that this online meeting would enable international faculty and students at BFSU to learn more about the reality in Xinjiang. BFSU would take its 80th anniversary as a new starting point to gain a full understanding of and implement the spirit mentioned in General Secretary Xi Jinping’s reply letter, and keep contributing to paired educational assistance including outstanding teacher selection, talent training and scientific research, according to Jia.
Seeing tourists attracted by the unique history and culture, as well as the colorful customs of Kashgar, an ancient city in Xinjiang, international faculty and students at BFSU were deeply impressed even via video link. They learned the striking development of the local winter sports industry after watching an introduction video shot in the Silk Road International Ski Resort. Connected to people in Xinjiang Islamic Institute via video link, they gained a thorough understanding of the freedom of religious belief in this area.
International teachers and students also visited the home of A’nipa A’limahong who lived in Altay, Xinjiang and was honored as one of “Top Ten People Who Moved China in 2009”, feeling the close relations and happy atmosphere of her multi-ethnic family. They then visited the ruins of the Ancient City of Beiting in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, the Kizil Thousand-Buddha Caves in Aksu and the Nang Cultural Industrial Park in Urumqi. Through this online trip, they embraced the charm of Xinjiang’s history and culture and witnessed its dynamic economic growth. During their visit to colleges and universities in Turpan, they listened to graduates talking about how their minds had changed, what employment skills they had acquired, and how they had developed a career in e-commerce thanks to the education. BFSU’s faculty and staff who supported Xinjiang shared their stories and progress of education in Xinjiang at the meeting. They were Dr. Song Yi from the School of International Journalism and Communication, Dr. Huang Qiang from the School of English and International Studies, Dr. Sun Lei from the School of Russian, retired teacher Wang Fengying, and Zhao Yangang from the Infrastructure Department.
All of the overseas faculty and students acknowledged the significance of this two-hour online meeting as it presented locals’ happy life and positive living attitude, and a booming Xinjiang with colorful cultures coexisting in harmony. This meeting debunked distorted western coverage of Xinjiang and enabled them to see real Xinjiang. Teachers and students also raised questions about the culture of Xinjiang’s minority groups, and the development of its tourism and education.
The purpose of this online meeting is to implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s reply letter to BFSU’s senior professors and other reply letters to overseas youth representatives and international students of Peking University. The meeting encouraged international teachers and students to learn more about real China, and about the efforts the Communist Party of China has paid to support Xinjiang boosting its economy and eliminating poverty. In this way, they may help to improve the overall image of Xinjiang and even China overseas by telling China’s stories well.
He Jing, Director of the International Exchange and Cooperation Office, and Li Bing, Deputy Director of the International Exchange and Cooperation Office and Head of the Overseas Students Affairs Office, attended this online meeting.