BEIJING, Jul 5 (FAM) – A Chinese expert on Central Asia said China’s neighbors bordering northwestern China’s Xinjiang pose no imminent threat to the Belt and Road Initiative, hitting back at Western comments that play down China’s ambitious plan.

Speaking at a seminar in Beijing on July 1, Zhu Yongbiao, an associate professor at the Institute for Central Asia Studies at Lanzhou University, said Central Asia’s terrorism situation hasn’t worsened, even though the number of terrorist attacks saw a slight increase.

In 2016, when several major world powers were shaken by multiple attacks, Central Asia only reported a total of four terrorist attacks in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. From 1992 to 2016, there were some 250 attacks, dozens of which occurred between 1994 and 1997 when Tajikistan was fighting a civil war, Zhu’s data showed.