URUMQI, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- At the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a delegation of diplomatic envoys of developing countries from Asia and Africa to the UN Office in Geneva visited northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from Aug. 24 to 27.
After speaking face-to-face with graduates from vocational education and training centers, Islamic clerics and people of all ethnic groups, the envoys acknowledged the efforts of the Chinese government, as well as its achievements in combating and preventing terrorism, protecting citizens' freedom of religious belief and preserving the traditional culture of ethnic minorities.
The envoys said they will firmly support China's legitimate position regarding Xinjiang and refute all accusations that malign the region.
The envoys visited a memorial hall and the old town in the city of Kashgar, where they witnessed the improvement in the living conditions and livelihood of local residents.
The envoys hailed Kashgar as a modern city that has also retained its historical charm and beauty. They were pleased to see Kashgar residents lead happy lives, and said that they definitely saw no evidence of "ethnic genocide."
In Kashgar, three graduates of vocational education and training centers shared with the envoys how vocational education helped them obtain jobs and improve the lives of their families.
The envoys said they were delighted to learn that the graduates had been freed from the influence of extremist ideology through vocational education and training, and deemed relevant measures taken by the Chinese government very effective.
At the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar and the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, the delegation had in-depth exchanges with local clerical personnel about Xinjiang's efforts to protect people's freedom of religious belief.
The envoys said that the Chinese government not only protects the lawful activities of various religious groups but has also explored a path on anti-terrorism and de-radicalization, which could be a useful example for many countries.
The envoys said they witnessed a diverse, modern and inclusive society during their four-day trip to Xinjiang, which is in sharp contrast to what the rumors of "forced labor" and "ethnic genocide" depicted.
The envoys added that they will share their experience in Xinjiang with others after returning to Geneva, refute rumors and lies about Xinjiang, and firmly support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its legitimate position. ■