Actions speak louder than words and results matter more than empty promises. The Western Media and a number of Western government officials have been very vocal and highly critical of the Chinese Government’s Policies in Northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The critics claim Beijing has engaged in human rights abuses against Uygur Communities.

There’s very little real hard evidence proving the allegations are true, but what can be known with facts and figures is that Xinjiang has witnessed rapid development and soaring economic growth patterns in recent years.

According to Xinhua reports, Xinjiang’s GDP (gross domestic product) stood at 791 million yuan in 1952. In 2018, the figure surged to 1.22 trillion yuan, about 200 times higher when calculated at comparable prices. From 1952 to 2018, the region’s GDP recorded an average annual growth rate of about 8.3 percent.

Beijing has poured in about 2.35 trillion yuan in Xinjiang over the past seven decades to jumpstart the region’s social and economic development. As China’s largest provincial-level region in terms of territorial landmass, Xinjiang can boast of 21 civilian airports and a road network connecting nearly all villages across the region.

Xinjiang has witnessed dramatic upgrades of its industrial structure. The tertiary industry including tourism and internet plus has contributed to 62.3 percent of the region’s economic growth in the same year in 2018.

The Region’s Foreign Trade volume reached US$20 billion in 2018, about 1,481 times higher than in 1950. Xinjiang has been promoting economic cooperation with neighboring nations largely on account of the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative.

Xinjiang’s urban and rural per capita disposable incomes have both risen more than 100 times from 1978 to 2018. In 2018, the figures were 32,764 yuan and 11,975 yuan, respectively.

The region has performed remarkably in poverty alleviation over the past 70 years. From 2014 to 2018, approximately 2.3 million people were lifted out of poverty, with the region’s poverty headcount ratio slipping from 19.4 percent to 6.1 percent.

Author: Tom McGregor