China Lists Development of Southern Xinjiang Top Priority
    2014-05-30 19:28:50         Web Editor: Mao

The Chinese government is making the development of southern Xinjiang a strategic national priority.

The decision has been made at a 2-day meeting, where Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued a call for the creation of massive security nets to deal with terrorist threats.

CRI's Yu Yang has more.


At the meeting, President Xi Jinping says good governance in Xinjiang is vital, stressing the priority needs to be improving people's livelihoods.

The President says special policies are going to be put in-place to help with the development of southern Xinjiang.

Xu Jianying is with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"Southern Xinjiang is facing complicated situation. There is a large area of remote deserts and rivers in that region. The central leadership needs to focus on making this region of Xinjiang more liveable. At the same time, the city of Kashgar has a lot of areas of concern, given its geographical location and the lingering ethnic tensions and non-traditional security threats. This is why the central authorities should be prioritizing the governance of southern Xingjiang."

As part of this week's committee meeting on Xinjiang, Xi Jinping says the government is going to spend more money on education and poverty-alleviation programs in Xinjiang, particularly in the remote border areas of the region.

Xu Jiangying says this is critically important for Xinjiang.

"Some people have described the economic development in Xinjiang in the past as a 'funnel pattern', which is to say that although the government helped build a lot infrastructure, it failed to bring real benefits to the locals. The central leadership now needs to focus on bringing real benefits to the locals in Xinjiang by expanding employment and improving people's livelihoods. This is a critical step needed for Xinjiang's development and modernization."

Xi Jinping is also asking authorities to set up -quote- "walls made of copper and steel" and "nets spread from the earth to the sky" to capture terrorists, calling for strengthened precautions and international anti-terrorism cooperation.

He says the basic principles for easing religious strife includes the protection of legal religious activities.

However, he says extremism can't be tolerated.

President Xi Jinping has also issued a call for stronger unity among different ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang, home to the majority of China's ethnic Uyghur population, has been the scene of a pair of bloody terrorist attacks in recent weeks.

The latest, an assault on an open-air market in the capital, Urumqi, left 39 dead and close to 100 others hurt.

For CRI, this is Yu Yang.


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