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Indonesian, Malaysian journalists visit Xinjiang
March 01,2019   By:Xinhua
URUMQI, March 1, 2019 -- A group of journalists from Indonesia and Malaysia visited the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from Feb. 22 to 27 to interview the local people and find out about the region's development and how it implements policies on de-extremism.
 
The visit by 11 journalists, as part of the ASEAN Elites China Tour 2019, followed a series of tours by overseas media and foreign diplomats to Xinjiang.
 
The journalists visited vocational education and training centers in Kashgar, Shule County, and Hotan County, where they were deeply impressed by spacious buildings and well-equipped lodging facilities.
 
Nugroho Fery Yudho, a senior editor from Kompas, an Indonesian paper, who visited Xinjiang for the first time, commended China's efforts on de-extremism and countering terrorism. He said what he saw in Xinjiang was not as reported by some news outlets alleging that people were being locked up at the centers.
 
The journalists observed classes at two preschools at the Naizerbag Township in Kashgar, where children aged three to six attend for free. The kids are taught in both Chinese and the ethnic Uygur language.
 
At the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar and Gamai Mosque in Hotan, religious staff led the journalists on tours.
 
These mosques are old but well-preserved and are places where Muslim believers honor their religious customs, said Asmaliza Binti Mansor, assistant editor at Sinar Harian, a newspaper in Malaysia.
 
Also her first visit to Xinjiang, Asmaliza Binti Mansor said many news reports about Xinjiang are done in a negative way, and the tour is good for her to see Xinjiang as it is.
 
Zulfiani Lubis, the chief editor of Idntimes.com, said she has spent 16 years focusing on reports about terrorism.
 
Vocational training is a common way to counter terrorism, extremism and separatism, she said. "I found through interviews that the way extremist thoughts infiltrated China was very similar to how it infiltrated Indonesia, which is all through the internet."
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