China / Society

Region sees success in preventing terrorism

By Cui Jia (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-25 08:46

Although terrorist activities in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have been active in recent years due to influences from other parts of the world, the number of violent terrorist attacks in the region is decreasing, a senior official said on Thursday.

"Xinjiang now has an effective mechanism to prevent and deal with terrorist attacks. Battling terrorism in the region is everyday work," the region's chairman, Shohrat Zakir, said at a news conference in Beijing at which a white paper was released on the achievements and developments of Xinjiang.

Most terrorist groups in Xinjiang have been knocked out in the planning stages, according to the white paper - Historical Witness to Ethnic Equality, Unity and Development in Xinjiang - published by the State Council Information Office.

Since the 1990s, three forces - ethnic separatism, religious extremism and violent terrorism - have worked from bases both inside and outside China to plan and execute a series of incidents in Xinjiang and elsewhere, causing great loss of innocent life and property across all ethnic groups, the white paper said.

The goal of the three forces is to use violence and the differences between different ethnic groups to create misunderstandings among people and then instigate trouble, Shohrat said.

About 48 percent of the region's population consists of Uygurs, while 37 percent is Han Chinese. Xinjiang also has been the home for people from 11 others including Kazak, Hui and Mongolian ethnic groups. About 51 percent of China's Muslims live in Xinjiang. The penetration of religious extremism has intensified and complicated the battle against terrorism, the paper said.

Xaukat Emen, a member of the Xinjiang Communist Party standing committee said that satisfying Xinjiang Muslims' needs for normal religious practice is extremely important, but at the same time the region is determined to curb the spread of religious extremism.

He said a ban on the wearing full face and body coverings in the region is an important measure to eliminate religious extremism.

"Such coverings are not the traditional clothes of the Uygurs but are associated with religious extremism. Many women are forced to wear the coverings and even some men wear them to kidnap children," he said.

Shohrat said people of different religions and those who have no religious beliefs in Xinjiang have learned to show respect and understand each other. He also wished a happy Eid al-Adha to Muslims around the world. Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice is an important holiday for Muslims, which falls on Thursday this year.

The white paper was published ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which falls on October 1. China's top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng will lead a delegation to participate in a series of celebratory events in Xinjiang from Friday to October 1.

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