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Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first trip to China’s remote Xinjiang region since ordering the “strike hard” campaign eight years ago that targeted the local Uyghur population and soured ties with the U.S. over alleged human rights abuses.

Xi made an “inspection” of the western region’s capital of Urumqi, where he “called for strengthening party organizations” and offering services “to benefit residents of all ethnic groups,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported late Thursday.

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