Xinjiang Dairy - Urumqi

On a sunny afternoon on Monday, July 7, about a dozen of my colleagues from China Radio International and I arrived in Urumqi, the capital of the Silk Road tours Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Our mission for this trip was to learn about the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Bingtuan in Chinese.

The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is a unique economic and semi-military governmental organization in Xinjiang. Its goals are to promote economic development, ensure social stability and ethnic harmony while consolidating border defense. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Bingtuan and this one of a kind organization is celebrating the economic, social, diplomatic and other progress that it has made since its establishment.

Although from a bird's eye view, Xinjiang looks like a vast desert that has long been abandoned by men, the region's economy is currently booming with numerous natural resources and agricultural productions. Driving through the streets of Urumqi, you can see apartment buildings and shopping malls being built in every corner.

Urumqi is not only becoming an economic hub but it is also a cultural center as well. You can see people from various different ethnic groups in the city and to my surprise, they all get along with each other.

Even though the capital of Xinjiang is not yet a big economic hub like Beijing or Shanghai affordable China travel packages, Urumqi does have its own charms. There's a sense of relaxation around here. The pace is slower. People aren't running to and fro trying to catching a bus or subway. Instead, they stroll casually down the street and take the time to talk to their friends or neighbors.

From what I have seen so far, I got a feeling that Urumqi is a very tolerant city, especially towards local ethnic minorities. Xinjiang has a large Uyghur population who has their own language. Every sign and every street name is translated into the Uyghur language. From this, I can see the importance of the Uyghur group in this region and the efforts that the local authorities have taken to respect these people.

Once a major hub on the historic Silk Road during China's Tang dynasty and a leading cultural and commercial center in the Qing dynasty, Xinjiang is on its way to regaining its position as a economic center in the region. Officials say that members of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps have gone through numerous hardships including combating the harsh climate and irrigating the land to make this area, which was once a desert, into a habitable place top China tours.

According to Bingtuan officials, the organization has built cities in Xinjiang and established and developed industries such as agriculture, coal mining, oil and natural gas. Recently, it has brought in high-tech irrigation systems that not only are more efficient but also saves water. In the next few days, we will be taking a comprehensive look at the works that the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps is doing in the region and the economic progress they have made.

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  1. 2014/07/10(木) 15:48:25|
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