Xinjiang faces "severe" challenges in maintaining social stability, officials

13:16, March 08, 2011      

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Xinjiang is on the whole safe and stable, but facing severe challenges in maintaining social stability as its social management foundation is still weak, local officials said here Tuesday.

Maintaining stability and fighting separatism are still top priorities for Xinjiang, said Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government, when attending the ongoing parliamentary session in Beijing.

"If there is no stability, the region would not achieve development and great improvement in the livelihoods of its people," he told reporters.

"We must earnestly undertake the task of maintaining stability anytime and under any circumstances," he said.

"I have great confidence in and have no worries about the stability in Xinjiang, but the lessons from the Middle East should be learned on a technological level," Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang, told reporters.

Nur Bekri said servicemen and policemen had been deployed in the streets to reinforce and safeguard social stability after the riot in Xinjiang, but the society there has come back to normal.

He meanwhile said Xinjiang's security situation is under control and is getting better and better, almost two years after a deadly riot rocked the ethnic region in China's far west.

The July 5 riot in the Xinjiang regional capital Urumqi in 2009 left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.

In a failed move in March 2008, Xinjiang terrorists attempted to explode a passenger airplane.

They launched another bombing attack on August 19 last year, killing six people and injuring 15 in Aksu in Xinjiang.

"The rapid growth in the tourism industry since July last year has fully demonstrated that Xinjiang is safe and stable now and can make investors, tourists reassured," Nur Bekri said.

Statistics show that the number of domestic and overseas visitors to Xinjiang reached more than 30 million and 1 million, respectively, last year, up 44.8 percent and 45.7 percent, the official said.

"From July 20 till now, there have been no discounts for plane tickets from Beijing to Urumqi. In August last year, it is very hard for a tourist find a ticket and a bed in Xinjiang," he said.

Zhang Chunxian told reporters that the people's love for their country and home is the best way to keep destabilizing factors away.

"What is more important is to maintain long-term stability so that the people can enjoy the fruits of the reform and opening-up," he said.

"The government will do more to focus on the people's well-being and improving their living standards," he added.

Source: Xinhua
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