• The Hui ethnic group is one of the largest Islamic groups in China.

The Hui ethnic group is one of the largest Islamic groups in China. (Photo : Wikimedia)

On Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang visited a mosque in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and conversed with a group of Muslims, as reported by China Daily.

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Premier Li visited the Najiahu Mosque in Yongning County during the second day of his trip to the region ahead of the Spring Festival.

The mosque, which was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is one of the most historic in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The mosque has a history that dates back for 492 years. It has been refurbished several times, most recently in 2014, during which time it was also enlarged.

Najiahu Mosque is maintained by 4,500 Muslims in the county.

Li removed his shoes before stepping into the main hall of the mosque, sitting down with Muslims to speak with them and learn about their lives and thoughts.

The premier said he was delighted to personally see that the mosque was well refurbished.

"There is a famous saying in Chinese that a harmonious family brings the prosperity of everything," said Li to the ethnic Hui people at the mosque. "I am very delighted to see that the lives of local people in Ningxia have improved a lot."

Yang Faming, vice president of the Islamic Association in Ningxia Hui, was seated beside Li during the discussion.

Yan is the youngest vice president of the organization at the age of 50. He has been studying the Quran for 34 years.

Upon finding out how well-studied Yang is, Premier Li encouraged him to combine his understanding of the Quran with the situation of the region.

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is home to the largest ethnic Hui community in the country, comprising 35.5 percent of the region's population. The Hui ethnic group is one of largest Islamic groups in the country.

Yang Zhibo, vice president of the China Islamic Association, mentioned that he was pleased upon learning about Premier Li's visit to the mosque. He also said that he was excited about the government's encouragement for the care of Chinese ethnic groups.

Yang also said that he hoped the government would improve their efforts to address poverty in China's northwest, where most of the Islamic ethnic groups in the country are found.