Xinjiang's progress in the eyes of national legislators, political advisors

(Xinhua) 09:32, March 11, 2024

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Li Lan, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), has seen firsthand the development of the Alataw Pass port and opening up of the inland Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.

Bordering Kazakhstan, the land port is a vital port in Xinjiang, boasting 115 freight train routes linking 25 countries and regions.

Li, deputy director of the port's customs technical center, has witnessed profound changes of land ports in Xinjiang amid the country's opening-up drive.

"We saw more types of goods imported from an increasing number of countries," Li said.

In 2023, Xinjiang's foreign trade surged by 45.9 percent year on year to a new high over 357 billion yuan (about 50.35 billion U.S. dollars), according to Urumqi Customs.

Since being elected as a national lawmaker, Li has actively visited local foreign trade enterprises, conducting research, taking part in training and exchanging ideas with them, to better understand their needs and facilitate their trade activities.

"It enables me to provide more targeted suggestions for Xinjiang's high-level opening up," she said.

Last year, Li submitted seven suggestions to the NPC session, covering topics such as land border ports, China-Europe freight trains and the development of core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt. All suggestions received responses from relevant authorities.

One of her suggestions this year focuses on the region's border trade, which she believes has untapped potential.

The five-month-old Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone, the country's youngest, will build up the momentum of Xinjiang's opening up and development, she said.


Dressed in brightly colored attire and adorned with exquisite headwear, Muhtabar Abdolla was easy to spot amid the crowd during the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.

Muhtabar Abdolla, a hematological physician at a hospital in the regional capital Urumqi, witnessed the remarkable progress in Xinjiang's healthcare over the past decades.

Improvements in diagnosing blood diseases, along with the introduction of new treatment methods, such as medicines and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation technology, have significantly improved survival rates for patients, she said.

Xinjiang has seen the level of healthcare continue to improve, with the average life expectancy rising from 30 years in 1949 to 74.7 years in 2019.

Muhtabar Abdolla raised a proposal regarding the employment of medical staff and the introduction of medical talent to support Xinjiang's healthcare development, calling for efforts to improve rare diseases treatment.

As an Uzbek ethnic, Muhtabar Abdolla hopes to draw attention to her hometown, the Uzbek Township of Danangou, with a population of approximately 3,500.

Nestled amid picturesque landscapes of snow-capped mountains, rivers and grasslands, residents of the township have benefited from tourism. However, Muhtabar Abdolla believes that tourism development requires better infrastructure and standardized operation.

"I hope that people can know about the Uzbek ethnic group, our unique culture, delicacies and landscapes," she said.


Enzat Tohti runs a cultural media company in Xinjiang, which started sharing short videos of people's daily life on various media platforms in 2015.

These videos, recorded in diverse ethnic languages, aim to present the authentic Xinjiang to the world, and the video accounts have garnered over 100 million domestic and international followers, according to the national political advisor.

Last year, Enzat Tohti's company provided new media training for about 10,000 farmers and herdsmen in the remote areas, helping them launch online businesses via short video platforms to sell farm products.

Enzat Tohti also noted significant progress on the preservation and inheritance of cultural heritage in Xinjiang -- increasing funds for the preservation of cultural relics, the establishment of new museums, and rising participation of young people in the inheritance of intangible cultural heritage.

His ideas were shared by Dilshat Parhat, an NPC deputy and also head of the Muqam Art Troupe of Xinjiang Art Theater. Thanks to government support, Muqam, a traditional Uygur art form once on the brink of extinction, has been revitalized, said Dilshat Parhat.

China will enhance the protection and preservation of intangible cultural heritage, according to this year's government work report.

Dilshat Parhat's troupe has staged Muqam performances in dozens of countries and regions, showcasing the unique charm and inclusiveness of Muqam art to the world.

"This attests to the achievements of intangible cultural heritage protection in Xinjiang," he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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