BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The situation in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region remains tough but has been improving, the region's Communist Party of China (CPC) chief said Thursday.
Zhang Chunxian, who is attending an annual session of the country's top legislature in Beijing, told reporters after a panel discussion, "Although the situation remains tough, the overall stability in Xinjiang is improving and under control."
Zhang said Xinjiang should contain, resist and prevent the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism step by step in a historical way.
He said the "three evil forces" are closely linked with and affected by the international environment such as the 2004 "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine and the Jasmine Revolutions that swept some Arab countries.
Zhang said some information on the Internet was totally fake and contradicted the truth.
Rumors were fabricated while some cases were exaggerated by evilly-intentioned people to sabotage national unity, Zhang said, citing the case of nut cake, or literally known as "cut cakes," as proof of Internet hype.
Made of a mixture of nuts, sweets and rice, nut cakes are originally a common Muslim specialty of Xinjiang. Uygur vendors typically sell them by cutting small pieces from chunks carried on their tricycles on streets across the nation.
Last year, police in central Hunan Province detained a man of the Han majority over a fight with the vendors when he refused to buy a slice of cake much heavier and more costly than he had expected.
The man, whom many believe was blackmailed by the vendors, was surprisingly ordered to pay compensation worth more than 24,000 U.S. dollars.
Xinjiang is home to nine million Uygur minority people and has been targeted by separatists.
In June last year six persons tried to hijack a plane that had taken off from Hotan in the far-western region and were thwarted by passengers and crew.
In July 2009, a riot broke out in the capital city of Urumqi, leaving nearly 200 people dead and 1,700 injured.