The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), what we understand, is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This mega initiative emerged when President Xi came to power in 2013.
The BRI wants to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks, and realise diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.
It aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea route. During Xi’s historic visit, Bangladesh formally joined the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, a drive which has already drawn the close attention of the world.
China has said the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is not only for the development of China but it is also an answer for the common destination of human being through stronger partnership and broader connectivity among countries along the Belt and Road.
Describing massive development in the largest region Xinjiang, China has also said they have made a lot of achievements in terms of social stability in the region that the international media should see with an eye of “objective understanding”.
“We’ve made a lot of achievements. Terrorism, separatist and religious extremist ideas, these aren’t only the problems of China but these are also the common problems all over the world,” Vice Director of the Information Office of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Ailit Shaliyefu told Dhaka Courier.
It is clear that China is making the best use of Xinjiang’s geographic advantages and its role as a window of westward opening-up to deepen communication and cooperation with Central, South and West Asian countries.
Xinjiang works as a key transportation, trade, logistics, culture, science and education centre, and a core area on the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Responding to a question, the senior Chinese official said the global problems of separatists, religious extremists and terrorism could be solved under the framework of common destination of human being.
“We know we also have some problems. However, we believe all the problems will be fixed in the future and the situation will even be better,” Ailit said.
He said some of the information China’s foreign friends hear about Xinjiang are “misleading or false, even biased ones.” “You’ve visited here; you saw what’s really happening here. You can continuously pay attention what’s happening here to have an objective understanding of Xinxiang.”
An objective understanding
Xinjiang, the resource-blessed largest region of China, is bordered by eight countries -- Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India -- with a borderline of more than 5600 kilometres.
Responding to a question, Ailit said they believe other common problems of countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt, component of the Belt and Road Initiative, will be resolved by not a single country but by all.
He hoped that more international cities and cosmopolitans along this belt and road will prosper just because of connections and connectivity.
Responding to a question, the official said they will be taken into custody as per the laws of China if anybody breaks that. “If anybody is misled or cheated by evil force, we’ll educate them and bring them back to society after correction.”
Ailit said awareness campaign and education for better understanding over religion are going on in every educational institution to help young people have better and deep understanding so that they are not misled or cheated. “It’s important to have the correct understanding of religion and history.”
He said separatist forces in and out of China, and some international organisations tried to destroy stability in Xinjiang as ‘some countries wished to do so’.
The official said about 200 billion Yuan were invested in Xingjian in 2017 which is much more than other places in China.
At the end of current year, officials said, the first line of the six-lane 100-km subway will be opened to public which covers 20 km inside the Urumqi city.
The Chinese government officials say these examples show the “unprecedented opportunities” for Xinxiang with support from China’s central government.
According to Chinese government sources, high-speed trains from Urumqi to Beijing will be opened to public soon, which was designed to reach Beijing from Urumqi by 15-16 hours.
Responding to a question, Ailit said Xingjian is so rich in terms of electricity generation -- wind power, solar energy, hydro power and coal power.
From January to July this year, some 75 million tourists visited Xinxiang and by the end of this year, the Chinese Tourism Bureau, is expecting to receive more than 100 million tourists.
Ailit said development of tourism requires stability of society and Xingjian can attract more and more tourists just because of that stability.
“I believe some of the journalists from countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt may have better understanding about great changes in their countries. We also have witnessed great changes in this area. However, some media may not be very happy about this initiative,” he said.
Xinjiang is a multi-ethnic area and a region of rich cultural resources and there are 56 ethnic groups living in the vast land of Xinjiang, with a population of nearly 21.81 million, according to Chinese government data.
In Xinjiang, there are 13 native inhabitants, namely Uygur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Kirgiz, Xibo, Manchu, Tajik, Uzbek, Daur, Tatar and Russian.