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China urges better preservation efforts for ethnic minority cultures

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As the lyrics of a popular folk song in China goes, “the brothers and sisters from the 56 ethnic groups belong to the same family.”

China is home to 56 ethnic groups – the majority Han makes up around 91.5 percent of the country’s population along with 55 ethnic minorities, according to 2021 data. Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been a multi-ethnic region since ancient times and, right now, it consists of over 45 ethnic groups.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, paid a visit to Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning. On Wednesday morning, he watched a show called “Manas”, which is from the Kirgiz ethnic minority at the Museum of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The performances have been inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage.

A cultural heritage like “Manas” is a treasure of both the Kirgizs and the Chinese nation, President Xi said, urging better preservation and promotion efforts. 

The president added that the extensive and profound Chinese civilization is composed of outstanding cultures of various ethnic groups.

Xi urges officials to better respond to the needs of the people

While visiting the Guyuanxiang residential community in the Tianshan District on Wednesday morning, Xi urged local officials to put more effort into community-level work to better learn and respond to the needs of the people.

A lot of work must be done by relying on communities, Xi noted, adding that he attaches great importance to the work at the community level.

Xi also called for strengthening Party organizations at the community level and improving services in communities to benefit residents of all ethnic groups.

Xinjiang, a hub in Belt and Road cooperation

As Belt and Road cooperation advances, Xinjiang is no longer a remote corner but a core area and a hub, President Xi pointed out during his Tuesday afternoon inspection in Urumqi International Land Port Area.

Remarkable progress has been made since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, Xi said, telling the staff at the land port area that their work is of great significance.

While acknowledging the progress they have made, Xi encouraged them on to even greater success. 

The ‘irreplaceable’ Corps

Xi traveled to Shihezi City on Wednesday afternoon, where he inspected the officials and staff workers at the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a group whose status he called “irreplaceable.”

Speaking to XPCC officials and staff workers, Xi said he was pleased about the great progress made by the XPCC in reform and development, and XPCC officials and staff workers themselves should also be proud. He stressed efforts to make the Corps stronger and more prosperous.

Xi also expressed his hope that XPCC officials and staff workers will carry forward the spirit of the XPCC, continue to work hard, step up reform, and make down-to-earth and persistent efforts to make the XPCC stronger and more prosperous.

During his stay in Shihezi City, Xi also learned about the history of the XPCC in cultivating and guarding the frontier areas, as well as the Corps’ efforts in strengthening its primary-level organizations, developing specialty agriculture, and promoting the integrated development of the Corps and local areas. 

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Chinese foreign minister resolutely rebukes G7 statement over Taiwan region

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday slammed the so-called statement of the G7 foreign ministers and the EU high representative over China’s Taiwan region following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island, saying it “calls white black.”

Wang made the remarks as he attended the China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

The joint statement issued on Wednesday, claimed China’s “escalatory response” to Pelosi’s visit risks increasing tensions across the Taiwan Strait while calling on China not to “unilaterally change the status quo by force” in the region.

The Chinese foreign minister refuted the G7’s groundless accusations against China’s reasonable and legitimate initiatives to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The statement of the G7 foreign ministers calls white black, confuses right and wrong, and makes groundless accusations against China’s reasonable and lawful measures to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity. How do they have such rights? Who gives them that right?” said Wang.

He pointed out it is the U.S. who stirs up trouble, provokes crisis and continues to escalate tensions, adding U.S. blatant provocation has set a bad precedent.

“If there is no correction and no countermeasures, will the principle of non-interference in internal affairs still exist? Should international law be upheld? How should regional peace be guaranteed?” Wang asked.

He also called on the international community to oppose any moves challenging the one-China principle, and unite to safeguard peace and stability in the region. 

Speaking at a regular press conference on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also lashed out at the G7 countries over its so-called statement, saying the hypocrisy and ugliness of the G7 have been fully exposed as they have turned a blind eye to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit before it happened, but have now jumped up to accuse China when it is taking actions of justice.

Hua reiterated that China has the right to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, saying U.S. acts seriously undermined the one-China principle as well as China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The fundamental cause of the current tension across the Taiwan Strait is that the U.S., who in disregard of China’s strong opposition and solemn representations, connived at the visit of the No. 3 official of the U.S. government to China’s Taiwan region aboard a U.S. military aircraft,” she stressed.

Responding to the claim in the G7 statement that “it is normal and routine for legislators from their countries to travel internationally,” Hua said that China always firmly opposes any form of official exchanges between the region of Taiwan and countries who have diplomatic relations with China, and the one-China principle is an important political foundation for the seven countries to establish diplomatic ties with China.

The heads of the legislatures of the seven countries are supposed to follow the foreign policies that the governments acknowledge and commit to, she noted.

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