Growth key to Xinjiang's future, says official
Updated: 2011-08-05 21:48
By Uking Sun (chinadaily.com.cn)
Economic development remains the key for solving various social problems in Xinjiang, despite the three terrorism attacks in Hotan and Kashgar, said Kurax Mahsut, vice-chairman of the autonomous region.
Kurax Mahsut [Photo by Uking Sun/chinadaily.com.cn]
Xinjiang's economy grew by 11.7 percent in the first half of the year, the highest since 2004, and the attacks will in no way alter Xinjiang's development strategy, including the plan to build Kashgar into a special economic zone that enjoys favorable taxation polices, Kurax Mahsut said.
Both violence-hit Hotan and Kashgar are located in "South Xinjiang", underdeveloped in comparison with "North Xinjiang", geographically defined by the stretching Tianshan Mountains.
"Without the security, development, and an affluent society in South Xinjiang, there will be no growth in Xinjiang as a whole," he added.
Hou Hanmin, chief of the autonomous region's information office, said police are still digging deeper into the suspects involved in the Hotan and Kashgar attacks.
The attacks have both international and domestic reasons, in the view of Kurax Mahsut. "China's rise is getting world-wide attention. There are those who hope China's growth can bring opportunities to the world, but there are also those want to block prosperity in China, including Xinjiang," he said.
The vice-chairman also warned that terrorist attacks may happen again in the future and Xinjiang still faces a grim terror threat. "The war against separatists has been going on, and it never stop. The anti-terror war will be long-term, tough and complex."
But Kurax emphasized that the overall situation in Xinjiang is "stable and controllable" and the struggle is definitely not an ethical or religious issue.
In the Hotan attack, rioters killed both Uygur and Han people. "Nobody followed when they shouted slogans like 'join the riots,' and some Uygur shop owners closed their stores and evacuated," Kurax Mahsut said.