Terrorism drops in Xinjiang

By Jiang Jie and Ding Xuezhen Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-9 0:28:01

Region continues to pursue anti-terror campaign

Xinjiang saw a sharp drop in the number of cases involving violence and terrorism in 2015, as the autonomous region continues to pursue a crackdown on terrorism, a top Xinjiang official said in Beijing on Tuesday.

"Xinjiang is heading toward a stable security situation," Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, told the press during the fourth Session of the 12th National People's Congress.

Xinjiang still faces a severe and complicated counter-terrorism situation, which requires the continuous campaign against terrorists, Zhang said, applauding the efforts to arrest terrorists in an attack at a coal mine in the region.

On September 18, 2015, a coal mine in Baicheng county, Aksu Prefecture was attacked by a group of armed men, killing 11 people, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Religious extremism has dramatically dropped in Xinjiang, while the current counter-terrorism campaign has been attracting extensive support among people of various ethnic groups in the autonomous region, Zhang noted.

"The number of terror cases dropped due to efforts to crack down on terrorist activities and to destroy the hotbed for terrorism," Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Li added that rising international terrorism contributed greatly to terrorism in China.

"Religious extremism created hatred among different ethnic groups under the guise of religion," Abudulrekep Tumniyaz, deputy director of the Xinjiang Islamic Association, told media on Tuesday, noting that Islam, as a religion of "peace, unity, tolerance and caring," is opposed to extremism.

The counter-terrorist campaign has helped protect the rights and interests of the public, Nayim Yasen, director of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang People's Congress, told the media at the conference.

"To effectively prevent and counter terrorist activities is an important way to protect human rights," Yasen noted.

In counter-terrorism work, human rights as well as freedom of religion and ethnic customs should be respected, he added.

"Since a terror incident in Urumqi on July 5, 2009, different ethnic groups have become increasingly separated," a Xinjiang-based scholar told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.

The scholar also pointed out that what should be done next is to increase mutual trust among different ethnic groups, which has been harmed by a series of terror attacks in recent years.

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