Between 1990 and 2016, this Chinese autonomous region went through a period of intense ethnic conflict, in which hundreds of people and police officers died.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Tuesday mentioned that his country maintains “deradicalization” policies in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) because it still faces security threats.
“Even though Xinjiang has not recorded a single terrorist attack over the past four years, the region continues to face threats and challenges from terrorism and extremism,” Zhao said
"It is very necessary for Xinjiang to continue carrying out counter-terrorism and deradicalization works based on laws," he pointed out.
The XUAR, which is a mountainous and desert-like territory located in northwest China, is home to many ethnic communities among which the Turkic group Uyghurs represent the majority of the population.
An exhibition in Beijing titled “Singing in #TianshanMountain - Life of People in Xinjiang” showcases picturesque natural scenery, cultural diversity and poverty alleviation efforts in Northwest China’s #Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. pic.twitter.com/dOgaAtR4NU— Ambassador Deng Xijun (@China2ASEAN) March 30, 2021
This region has performed well economically in recent decades. From 2014 to 2019, for example, its gross domestic product increased at an average annual growth rate of 7.2 percent, lifting more than 3 million rural residents out of poverty.
Between 1990 and 2016, however, the XUAR went through a period of intense ethnic conflict, in which hundreds of people and police officers died.
"The damage to local communities was incalculable while stability in the region quickly deteriorated. Authorities have been trying hard to restore peace to this land," CGTN recalled.
Currently, this Chinese region has gained greater relevance due to the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. Besides having significant natural resources, the XUAR has been historically the geoeconomic nexus between China and the Central Asian countries.