President stresses that ethnic unity is lifeline for the entire Chinese people
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspects a local village in Turpan, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, July 14, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
President Xi Jinping's remarks on the importance of ethnic unity and fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation during his visit to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have made people in the region feel more confident that by standing together and cherishing ethnic unity, Xinjiang will become more prosperous and they will have a better life.
Ablet Tursun, a resident of the Guyuanxiang community in the regional capital of Urumqi, whose apartment Xi visited, said that the president cares greatly about ethnic unity at the grassroots level as this is the prerequisite for an invincible nation with a bright future.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected Xinjiang from Tuesday to Friday and made important remarks on the region's development. It was his first visit to the region in eight years.
On Wednesday morning, he visited the community in Urumqi's Tianshan District, where more than 95 percent of the residents are from non-Han ethnic groups.
"I invited him to take a seat on the sofa in the living room, but he insisted that I sat down first. I keep on replaying the scene in my head because this small detail shows that he cares about the people," Ablet, who is a member of the Uygur ethnic group, said on Sunday.
Ablet, 67, said Xi expressed great interest in learning about ethnic unity in the community, which is inhabited by people from the Han, Hui, Uygur, Kazak and Tatar ethnic groups.
"Xi asked me how people from different ethnic groups in the neighborhood get along with each other. I said that we see caring for each other as natural behavior. Just like he said, we are closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together," he said.
Ablet said that his neighbors and family recently celebrated Corban Festival, also known as Eid al-Adha, which fell on July 10 this year. "As usual, people from upstairs and downstairs have all come to visit us and offered their best wishes no matter which ethnic group they are from. The feeling is really heartwarming," he said.
During his visit to the community, Xi stressed that ethnic unity is the lifeline for people of all ethnic groups in China and that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are inseparable members of the family of the Chinese nation.
People should value the current stability and unity in China, with all 56 ethnic groups standing together. Furthermore, people's support is vital to ensure Xinjiang's lasting stability, he said during his trip to Xinjiang, which has traditionally been home to people from more than 13 ethnic groups and shares a border with eight countries.
"I believe that with people from different ethnic groups in Xinjiang standing together and cherishing ethnic unity, the region will become more prosperous and we will have a better life," Ablet said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Xi visited Xinjiang University in Urumqi, the first stop of his inspection tour of the region. This shows that the central government attaches great importance to the development of talent in the region, said Yao Qiang, president of the university.
China is a unified multiethnic country, with the Chinese people of all ethnic groups united in diversity being a salient feature. Ethnic theories and policies in the country are sound and effective, Xi said during the visit to the university. What's more, China, a country with ethnic unity, is invincible and will have a bright future, he added.
During his trip to the region, Xi also stressed that it's important to develop a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation and encouraged more exchanges and interaction among different ethnic groups. Also, the country needs to take further steps to advance the project that aims to create a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation among young people, he added.
"Xinjiang University aims to create a talent development system that can help students foster a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation and become talents that can take on the responsibility of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Yao said.
Zhang Jiafei, vice-president of the university's School of Marxism, said young students need to better boost the sense of community for the Chinese nation as well as stand against ethnic separatism and religious extremism on their own initiatives.
Mao Weihua contributed to this story.