China's ambassador to Ankara Yu Hongyang praised the steadily developing ties between Turkey and China, stressing that people from Xinjiang living in Turkey will benefit from the enhanced ties.
"I believe that enhancing Turkish-Chinese ties will provide more opportunities for development for our students and citizens from Xinjiang living in Turkey," Yu said on Wednesday in an event organized by the Chinese Embassy in Ankara.
China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is home to many ethnic minority groups, including Uighur Turks, who make up around 45 percent of the population. Uighur Turks have been criticizing China for following repressive policies that restrain their religious and cultural activities.
The Chinese envoy pointed out that relations between Turkey and China have been developing and added, "Mutual political trust is increasing each passing day, economic and trade cooperation are diversifying, cultural exchange has been intensifying and the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey has been increasing."
Touching on efforts to stabilize China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the Chinese ambassador said that security and stability are for the common interest of the people of Xinjiang.
"In recent years, due to the the common efforts of all ethnic groups and the China Communist Party Central Committee, the public is able to live in peace," the Chinese envoy said. He added that Chinese President Xi Jinping attributes great importance to the Xinjiang region and stresses the protection of different ethnic groups.
He highlighted that the gross domestic product of Xinjiang grew 7.6 percent in 2017 and underlined that 317,400 people that had lived in poverty have now permanently escaped poverty.
"Xinjiang has become a window for China opening to the West and Eurasia with developments in the fields of economy, culture and society as the Belt and Road initiative has been firmly progressing," Yu said.