Government pledges to clamp down on terrorism in Xinjiang

Updated: 2013-06-30 07:42

By Cui Jia in Urumqi (China Daily)

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Although Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region's economy has developed over the past few years, problems undermining the region's stability haven't been fundamentally solved, as foreign and domestic separatist forces have intensified their activities, a top Chinese leader said on Saturday.

Recent terrorist attacks have affected ethnic unity and social stability, Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, who is also China's top political advisor, said during a Xinjiang cadres' meeting in Urumqi.

Yu's remarks came after an attack on June 26 rocked Lukqun township, Turpan prefecture, in which 24 people were killed by terrorists. Two days later a group of armed people gathered in Hotan county, Hotan prefecture, around 3:30 pm, causing unrest on Friday. No casualties were reported.

Yu, who leads the central government's coordination team on Xinjiang affairs, conveyed details of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau conference helmed by President Xi Jinping on Friday, which discussed maintaining Xinjiang's stability.

He urged the region to crack down on terrorism and ensure stability. Maintaining social stability was the work of grassroots organizations, which would have to be more effective to prevent acts of terror, Yu added.

On April 23, 15 people, including police officers and community workers, were killed by terrorists in Selibuya township, Kashgar prefecture; while the attack in Turpan on June 26 included two police officers among the dead.

Yu vowed to clamp down on terrorism and punish those found guilty of beatings, looting and arson. The government would continue to expose terror groups and chase down fugitives for justice.

The government should publish information about terrorist attacks in a timely manner to guide public opinion, Yu added.

The terrorists are the enemies of all ethnic groups, said Meng Jianzhu, head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. He added the authorities should be prepared and strike hard to defuse attacks.

In a commentary by People's Daily published on Saturday, it says: "Social turmoil is a disaster for people in Xinjiang. The violent terrorist incidents cannot stop the progress of Xinjiang's reform and construction or sway people's determination and confidence in promoting development and maintaining stability.

"This tragedy will let more people make a clear distinction between right and wrong and unite the people to consolidate Xinjiang's development momentum and social stability."

Armed forces around Xinjiang participated in ceremonies on Saturday evening to support the fight against terrorism, just days ahead of the fourth anniversary of the July 5 riot in Urumqi, which left 197 dead.