Xi's remarks after Xinjiang inspection tour
Unofficial translation and footnotes
From July 12th to the 15th, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Xinjiang, inspecting various locations in the capital city of Urumqi and the cities of Shihezi and Turpan.
At the end of his tour, Xi chaired a meeting with senior Xinjiang officials, listened to their reports and made remarks.
The official Xinhua News Agency released a (photo-rich) full account of Xi’s inspection tour, including Xi’s remarks. This newsletter will try to offer a translation of those remarks, along with footnotes for some important terms. Here’s an English report by Xinhua, it’s not a translation of Xi’s remarks but summed up the trip pretty well. Your host’s been told that there will be a more official translation to be released later.
Some of the languages may resonate with Xi’s older speeches, so you are encouraged to refer to those for better context.
On the morning of the 15th, Xi Jinping listened to the work report of the party committee and government of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). He approved of the achievements Xinjiang had made and expressed hope that the Xinjiang party committee and government would promote unity and exercise leadership as they carry on with their work.
Xi Jinping pointed out that Xinjiang should focus on the overarching goal of Xinjiang① and conduct fundamental, basic, and far-visioned work to ensure lasting peace in Xinjiang. Xinjiang needs to continuously explore effective ways to comprehensively implement the party's new era strategy for governing Xinjiang, translate the directives of the CPC central committee into actual work and tangible results, and ensure the governance of Xinjiang always stays on the right track. The key to preserving lasting peace in Xinjiang lies in the hearts and minds of the Xinjiang people. Xinjiang needs to stay united and forward-looking, maximize the positive potentials of the people and officials in maintaining stability, seek development, and promote reform. Xinjiang needs to listen to the views of all sectors of society and ensure that stability is maintained in accordance with the law and on a regular basis. Xinjiang needs to conduct multi-level, all-around, three-dimensional communication of Xinjiang affairs with the outside world, improve initiatives to invite people to Xinjiang②, and have Xinjiang story told well.
① The overarching goal of Xinjiang is social stability and lasting security （社会稳定和长治久安）, as pointed out by Xi at the Second Central Work Conference on Xinjiang in 2014.
②“请进来”, or literally “inviting in“, is a common policy of inviting people for incoming exchange. Normally it refers to inviting a targeted group of people with specific qualities or skills.
【On Ethnic affairs】
Xi Jinping stressed fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation③, promoting exchanges, interactions and integration among different ethnic groups. Chinese civilization is the root of the culture of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Xinjiang needs to educate and guide the officials and people to correctly understand the history of Xinjiang, especially the history of ethnic development, so that a historical view of the Chinese nation can be widely accepted. Xinjiang needs to help people search for a Chinese heart and soul, with a focus on the younger generation, so that all ethnicities share a common spiritual home of the Chinese nation. The goal is to help all ethnic groups remain closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate that stick together., physically, culturally, economically, socially, and psychologically.
③ The term sense of community for the Chinese nation (中华民族共同体意识) also first appeared in Xi’s speech at the 2014 meeting on Xinjiang. Later in 2014, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued "Opinions on Strengthening and Improving Ethnic Work under the New Situations", which expanded on the term. The document stated
The opinion requires the cultivation of the sense of community for the Chinese nation. Officials and people of all ethnic groups shall be guided to fully recognize that China is a country jointly built by all ethnic groups, the Chinese culture includes the culture of 56 ethnic groups, the Chinese civilization is jointly created by all ethnic groups, and that the Chinese nation is a family that is shared by all ethnic groups.
Xi Jinping pointed out the need to improve governance capacity of religious affairs and realize the healthy development of religions. Enhanced efforts should be made to uphold the principle that Islam in China must be Chinese in orientation, and to adapt religions to socialist society. Xinjiang needs to cultivate a talent pool of party and government officials who are proficient in Marxist views on religion, familiar with religious work, and is well plugged-in with people of faith. Xinjiang needs to formulate a group of religious representatives who are politically reliable, religiously attained, morally convincing, and reliable at crucial moments. Xinjiang also needs to train a cohort of religious scholars who are firm in ideology and politics, adhere to Marxist’s view on religion, excel academically, and are innovative. The normal religious needs of religious believers should be ensured and they should be united closely around the Party and the government.
【On Cultural Identity】
Xi Jinping stressed the goal of enhancing recognition, and using culture to sooth Xinjiang. Cultural identity is the highest level of identity. Xinjiang needs help its people correct cognition of historical and cultural issues, highlight Chinese cultural characteristics and visual images of the Chinese nation. Xinjiang needs to construct multi-angled and all-round discourse and effective carriers to showcase the commonality of Chinese culture and the historical interaction between Xinjiang and the various ethnic groups in the hinterland, so that Chinese culture can reach the hearts of people through with the help of exhibited objects, scenarios and facts. This way, Xinjiang can educate and guide all ethnic groups to establish a correct view of the country, history, ethnicity, culture and religion, and strengthen their identification with the motherland, the Chinese nation, Chinese culture, the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics.
【On balancing economic development and environmental protection】
Xi Jinping stressed the need to deeply understand the close connection between development and stability, development and people's livelihood, development and people's hearts, and said the achievements of development should better benefit people's well-being and rally people's support. Xinjiang needs to accelerate high-quality economic development, cultivate and grow industries with special advantages, and enhance job-creation. Xinjiang needs to effectively connect the poverty eradication and rural revitalization campaigns, and improve the long-term mechanism of sustainable development in rural areas. Xinjiang needs to integrate protection and management of the mountain, water, forest, lake, grass and sand, prioritize the environment and green development, carry on with the battle against pollution and hold firm to the red line of ecological conservation. Xinjiang needs to further open up, invent itself as a west-facing④ bridgehead and a core area of the Silk Road economic belt.
④Here west-facing refers to the west of Xinjiang, or Central Asia, not the West in the geopolitical sense.
【On party building】
Xi Jinping pointed out that party authorities must exercise full and rigorous self-governance, and effectively improve the quality of its officials. Xinjiang needs to strike a strict tone, promote all-aspect party-building by prioritizing political construct, and seriously enforce political discipline and political rules. Xinjiang needs to consolidate and expand the results of party history education, educate and guide party members and officials to reaffirm their ideals and beliefs, inherit the red gene, continue the red bloodline. Xinjiang party organizations needs to strengthen its foundation at the grass-roots, and fortify its grass-roots party organizations to become strong fighting bastions. Xinjiang needs to effectively improve its working style at the grassroots level, and resolutely overcome bureaucracy and formalism. Xinjiang party organization needs to optimize the structure of leadership bodies, and give full play to the roles of ethnic cadres.
【On the XPCC】
Xi Jinping stressed that the XPCC should adapt to the new landscape and new demands, and play a greater role in achieving the overarching goal of Xinjiang. Xinjiang and the XPCC need to better coordinate, and synchronize on major infrastructure constructions. Xinjiang and the XPCC should comprehensively coordinate to promote the overall development of economy, society, culture, ecological civilization and ethnic group unity, and talent sharing, to achieve the goal of jointly constructing infrastructure, sharing resources, deep inter-connection and complementing strengths.
【On Xinjiang’s importance】
Xi Jinping pointed out that whether Xinjiang is well-governed is closely tied the overall picture, and it is the will of the entire party and country to see to it that it is. The entire party needs to recognized the importance of the governance of Xinjiang from a position of strategical height, increase pairing assistance⑤ to Xinjiang, improve the mechanism of pairing assistance to Xinjiang, work together to improve governance in Xinjiang, and take concrete action to welcome the victory of the 20th Party Congress.
⑤ Pairing assistance refers to a mechanism that a Chinese province directly offers aid to certain Xinjiang cities or counties. While the mechanism existed before 2010, it was solidified in an assistance pairing conference in 2010. In that meeting, 19 provinces and cities are paired up with 82 counties in Xinjiang and 12 divisions of the XPCC. In practice, the provinces would further break down the work to its cities or SoEs for implementation.
Disclaimer: The translation offered by this newsletter is done in a personal capacity and should NOT be taken as an authoritative translation. Please refer to the original text for the most precise meaning.