Muslims peddling food in Urumqi
There is an old Chinese saying: reading ten thousand books is not as good as traveling ten thousand miles. 读万卷书，行万里路.
As part of my Silk Road tour some years ago, I visited Xinjiang and witnessed the gradual booming of the region. Sparkling modernized shopping malls were already in place, where Mulsims in their colourful signature attire and the Han Chinese mingled freely. The roads were clean and tidy. The Uighur Muslims were happily prying their trades and going about eking their livelihood, and I could not see any racial tensions riding high. In Urumqi, I was so enthralled visiting their food streets where the Muslims were peddling a rich arrays of their indigenous cuisines. I recall fondly that we visited the homes of some farmer Uighur Muslims and was mildly surprised they grew vine and made wine.
Seeing is believing. I went to Tibet a few years ago and did not see within my view any signs that the indigenous Tibetans were oppressed or denied of their religious freedom. And, our tour group was not one of those state-sponsored and state controlled arrangement that would sanction or restrict our areas of visit. One thought provoking observation was that most older Tibetan were still over-religiously practicing their faith which seemed to have impacted on their ability to earn a more decent living. Another observation was that the other richer provinces in China – Guangzhou and Fujian were pumping money into Tibet to help in its development of infrastructures. （they called it twining of provinces where the richer one helps out the poorer sibling)
The West always gives a different story about Tibet and Xinjiang – spreading fake news on religious suppression. by the PRC Government Westerners have always been uninhibited in traveling to Tibet and Xinjiang, as I personally observed their backpackers there. They should be the more credible voices in helping to debunk those fake news perpetrated by their Governments and mass media.
I am deeply grieved to see how supposed intelligent western politicians can lie without batting an eyelid, not only within their private space but self-righteously publicize their falsehoods to the whole world. And, there are people who actually choose to believe what they say unconditionally.