Top leadership vows strong action against terrorists and extremists
The government will crack down harshly on terror attacks and maintain lasting social stability and security in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the top Chinese leadership said on Monday.
The message came one day after the central government launched a one-year campaign targeting terrorism and religious extremism in the region.
President Xi Jinping said at a meeting of the top leadership that the stability of Xinjiang is strategically vital to China's reform and development as well as national security.
The fight against violent terror attacks and religious extremist forces must be a top priority, according to a statement released after the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the nation's top decision-making body.
"Strike hard and maintain high pressure on the three forces (of separatism, extremism and terrorism) and effectively contain the expansion of terrorist activity into the heartland," the statement said.
A deadly terrorist attack in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, on Thursday killed 39 people and injured 94 others.
Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang and one of the 25 members of the Political Bureau, said in an article in People's Daily on Monday that the struggle against separatism will be long-term, complicated and intense.
The top leaders also pledged to enhance ethnic unity in Xinjiang, create more jobs, provide free and accessible education and improve people's livelihoods.
Nearly 75,000 officials from Xinjiang government departments sent to work in the grassroots have been told to cancel their annual leaves after the latest terror attack.
These officials, as the first batch of the planned 200,000 to be sent to the region, started their yearlong work in villages in March.
Wang Tianyun, 41, a member of the work team from the Xinjiang Women's Federation, had planned to spend International Children's Day on June 1 with her son at home in Urumqi, but she had to cancel her flight.
Wang and her 18 colleagues have visited every villager after they arrived at their workplace - Youkakmalazhad village of Kashgar.
They have helped villagers with cooking, housework and children's education and enriched their cultural lives with performances, said Sun Hua, the team leader.
The team members also helped local villagers build houses that can withstand earthquakes, provided funding for sheep breeding and established handicrafts cooperatives.
"We want all villagers to enjoy the achievements of China's fast economic growth," Sun said.