03-16-2007 08:29

China's economic policies are spreading across the country, including the far western regions. They are changing the traditional lifestyles of the people. In our final episode of Across China, let's go to Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and see how development is taking shape there.

Chinese Uyghurs are attending Friday prayers at the Idkha Mosque in Kashgar city.

The imam, Zunongkari Aji, is one of Kashgar's most respected figures. He teaches harmony, unity, and doing good. While some may think diversity means division, Zunongkari believes practicing Islam helps stabilize society. The imam is also a member of China's political advisory body.

Zunongkari Aji said, "China's religious policy has further improved over the past few years, and legal activities are well-protected. We feel grateful for the government's support."

Kashgar is on China's northwestern frontier with Central Asia. Historically, it was the hub of the Old Silk Road. The city is famous for its bazaar, where social changes are reflected.

Milladi Taiwanguli used to be a herdsman. Seven years ago, he opened this shop with his brother. Milladi says business has really improved during the past three years, thanks to growing numbers of tourists. His brother says it also helps that Milladi is so handsome.