URUMQI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- A top publicity official has said China would maintain its media openness policy after a riot in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last month, noting that it demonstrated the country's democratic progress and confidence.
The State Council Information Office sent an invitation to overseas media on July 6, just one day after the riot that has left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured in the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi, to help them do more objective and fair reports.
"Openness originates from confidence, and rumors are stopped by truth -- and by rapid and extensive dissemination of truth," said Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, at a working conference in Urumqi on Friday.
A media center was set up following the riot in light of the policy of "timeliness, accuracy, openness and transparency," Wang said.
"We held many press conferences, released authoritative information at the first moment, made public the truth, and exposed the violence masterminded by the 'three evil forces" and their lies," he said.
"(Through the press conferences,) we responded positively to the concerns of the international community, and voiced the firm will and common aspirations of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups for cherishing ethnic unity and opposing ethnic division," he said.
Journalists from more than 100 overseas media organizations had traveled to Urumqi to cover the aftermath of the riot, according to officials with the media center.
"Practice has proven that the policy conforms to the requirements of the opening-up and reform and the pace of the times, and demonstrates the nation's democratic progress, civilization, openness, inclusiveness and confidence," he said.
"It (the policy) is beneficial to safeguarding the overall situation of reform, development and stability. It should be maintained and further improved," he added.
Special Report: Urumqi Riot