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Top Official of Xinjiang Stresses Development to Ensure Stability

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A top official of northwest China's Xinjiang said Tuesday the problems in the autonomous region, which has been scarred by a deadly riot, should be resolved by faster and scientific development.

Wang Lequan, secretary of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China made the remarks at a conference celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"In an economically under-developed region like Xinjiang, we must speed up economic development, shorten the gap between the region and coastal provinces, and ensure faster growth and better livelihood of people than neighboring countries," he said.

"Only by doing so can we beef up people's confidence and determination in construction of socialism with Chinese characteristic and in achieving unity and prosperous development of all ethnic groups," he said.

The far west autonomous region borders Russia, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Its capital Urumqi was rocked by a riot on July 5, in which 197 people were killed.

Hundreds of people were stabbed by hypodermic syringes or needles in Urumqi in August and early this month, which triggered mass public anger.

As Xinjiang still faces a grave stability task, Wang noted, faster development is "the best reply to the 'three evil forces' of terrorism, separatism and extremism".

Wang stressed development of agriculture, as Xinjiang is an agricultural and stockbreeding region. He also talked about exploitation and processing of petroleum and natural gas in the resource-rich area.

"Xinjiang is the road pass linking China with central Asia and Europe," he said, noting that the region should give full play to its geographical advantage, opening up international trade.

Wang vowed to ensure and improve people's livelihood by improving educational condition, creating more jobs, encouraging population control and relocating people to better houses.

Looking into the future, the official believed that stability is the premise and guarantee of development.

"Without stability, we could do nothing," he said. "Development is our paramount goal, while stability is our chief responsibility."

(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2009)

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