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Security official pledges to improve social stability in China's Xinjiang

2012-01-19 09:31 Xinhua     Web Editor: Xu Aqing comment

A high-ranking security official of far western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region pledged Wednesday to strictly guard against "violent terrorism" to create a harmonious social environment for the healthy development of the regional economy and society.

Xiong Xuanguo, secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the CPC Xinjiang Regional Committee, made the remarks while addressing a conference held in the regional capital of Urumqi.

Xiong said local political and legislative authorities must further improve their capabilities for maintaining social stability and amplify the crackdown on religious extremist activities.

"We must strictly guard against violent terrorist incidents so as to create a harmonious, stable social environment for the convening of the 18th CPC National Congress and for the sound, rapid development of Xinjiang's society and economy," he said.

Xinjiang has been battling separatism, extremism and terrorism for decades. About 41.5 percent of Xinjiang's 21 million population are Uygurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group, and security experts worry growing religious extremism in the region has fanned most of the violent attacks.

During Xinjiang's most deadly unrest in decades, 197 people were killed and about 1,700 others injured after riots broke out in Urumqi on July 5, 2009.

After the riots, the central government implemented a series of policies to boost economic development in the autonomous region, hoping that a rise in living standards and prosperity would bring an end to the violence.

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