China's stranglehold on terrorism in its far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has got
tighter, legislators said yesterday.
"Now, the unity and stability situation in Xinjiang is firmer
and firmer," Ismail Tiliwaldi, chairman of the autonomous
region and a deputy to the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), told a press conference in Beijing. "The
room for activities of the 'East Turkistan' terrorist forces is
smaller and smaller."
On January 5, police in Xinjiang raided a training camp run by
the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement," a terrorist organization
named by the UN in 2002.
Police killed 18 terrorists, arrested 17 others and seized at
least 1,500 half-finished grenades and a large number of homemade
explosives during the raid.
The camp had "close links" with al-Qaida, Tiliwaldi and Shi
Dagang, another NPC deputy, said at the briefing held on the
sidelines of the annual session of the country's top
"We are still scouring for (the members of) the organization,
trying the arrested, and capturing some who have fled," Shi
Terrorist leaders in the camp had been trained by the Taliban
and al-Qaida and had later sneaked into Xinjiang, said Shi, also a
top official from Xinjiang's Kashgar.
They intended to carry out acts of terrorism and separatism to
sabotage the country's security, the lawmakers said.
Tiliwaldi vowed to strengthen international cooperation in the
crackdown on terrorism.
He said Xinjiang is now getting more stable, as people of all
ethnic groups in the region are "resolvedly" opposed to any
separatist and terrorist activities.
Xinjiang is home to 13 major ethnic groups of the 56 in
"People there know that stability is a blessing while disruption
brings disasters," he said.
He said that Xinjiang would continue to strive for sound and
fast economic and social development to ensure common prosperity
for all people.
The region posted a record 11.2 percent of GDP growth last year,
faster than the national average, according to Tiliwaldi.
The number of investors and tourists to Xinjiang was rising due
to growing social stability.
Last year, 66 newly registered foreign companies invested more
than 50 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) in the region, which also
received some 350,000 foreign tourists and 16.5 million domestic
tourists, the chairman said.
(China Daily March 10, 2007)