Beijing- Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has over 20,000 mosques, 10 times as many as it had more than three decades ago.

Figures proved China's commitment to respecting religious freedom of Muslims, said Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He also mentioned the number of Islamic religious practitioners in Xinjiang rose to 28,000 from 3,000 more than three decades ago. According to Chinese media's reports, since 2001, the Xinjiang regional government has sent about 4,000 people to Egypt and Pakistan to pursue their studies at Islamic institutions, Lyu said.

Over 1 million copies of religious classics, books and magazines in Uygur and other languages have been published in Xinjiang, the spokesman said. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which saw leapfrog economic and social development in the past decades. The region with a vast land, however, was sometimes disturbed by law-breaking extremist activities.