Senior Chinese leader He Guoqiang stressed social harmony and stability on Wednesday, in the wake of the riot in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, made the remarks during a two-day visit to Gansu Province, which neighbors Xinjiang where at least 156 people were killed in Sunday's riot.
He said expanding domestic demand and maintaining steady and fast economic growth were indispensable for an harmonious and stable society.
"The recent violence in Urumqi... has again alerted us to the importance of social stability. It is our top priority," he said.
He urged Party and government departments at all levels to stick to the people-first principle in their work, strengthen their efforts in maintaining public security and resolving disputes, and crack down on the acts of sabotage by hostile forces both at home and abroad, in order to ensure national and ethnic unity and social stability.
(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2009)