The right to development
Editorial  ·  2024-01-08  ·   Source: NO.2 JANUARY 11, 2024

Let's zoom in on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China: It covers an area of 1.66 million square km, about one sixth of China's total land area. With a population of more than 25.8 million, the region is home to all 56 of China's ethnic groups. The four largest ones in Xinjiang are the Uygur (11.6 million), the Han (10.9 million), the Kazak (1.5 million) and the Hui (1.1 million), according to official figures.

The government has implemented a host of programs focusing on infrastructure development, education, healthcare and employment opportunities to encourage the region's development. These initiatives aim to improve living standards, enhance economic prospects and provide individuals with the means to lead better lives.

The GDP, an indicator of an economy's size and health, of the autonomous region rose from 840 billion yuan ($117.5 billion) in 2013 to 1.77 trillion yuan ($247.6 billion) in 2022. Its residents' per-capita disposable income increased from 13,700 yuan ($1,917) in 2013 to 27,000 yuan ($3,779) in 2022. The number of tourist visits to Xinjiang, then, grew from 48.6 million in 2012 to 260 million in 2023, a record high.

These data indicate that the autonomous region has maintained steady economic growth over the past decade. China regards the rights to subsistence and development as the primary and basic human rights. It believes living a life of contentment is the ultimate human right. It is committed to advancing human rights in an all-round way, from economic, social, cultural and environmental rights to civil and political rights.

The country works to promote multi-ethnic unity and preserve the cultural heritage of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. It highlights the protection of freedom of religious belief and the restoration and maintenance of historical sites in the region.

Notably, China now recognizes the significance of presenting an authentic representation of Xinjiang to the international community to counter disinformation. It has invited diplomats, journalists and officials from other countries to visit the region and get a sense of the progress made there. 

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