China's Xinjiang resolutely fights terrorism as risks remain: officials
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Sunday said the region has maintained a high-pressure crackdown to ensure stability as destabilizing factors remain.
Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the regional government, said Xinjiang has been "resolutely and forcefully" fighting terrorism to maintain stability in the past year.
People across Xinjiang have recently joined public gatherings to show resolve fighting terrorism.
The action gave the public a strong sense of security, further mobilizing them to join "the people's war" against terrorism, said Sharhat Ahan, deputy secretary of the commission for political and legal affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s regional committee.
"Terrorists should be warned not to 'hit the rock with eggs' or they would face serious consequences," he said.
The Xinjiang officials made the remarks at a panel discussion of the Xinjiang delegation to the National People's Congress (NPC) at the annual parliamentary session in Beijing.
Joining the delegation's discussion two days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping said a "great wall of iron" should be fortified in Xinjiang to safeguard national unity, ethnic solidarity and social stability.
Xinjiang is an important "security barrier" in northwest China which holds a special strategic position and faces special issues, Xi said.
"Xinjiang is moving onto a generally stable path," Sharhat Ahan said.
But due to uncertainties rising from global counter-terrorism movements and infiltration of religious extremism, he added, Xinjiang finds itself struggling with active violent and terrorist activities, a fierce anti-separatism fight, pains-taking intervention and treatment.
The high-pressure crackdown has ensured the safety of all ethnic groups and their property, the official said.
Shohrat Zakir said with stability, Xinjiang's economy grew fast last year, public services improved, and all ethnic groups felt increasingly safe and happy.
In 2016, Xinjiang's GDP grew by 7.6 percent while urban and rural residents' dispensable incomes rose 8.3 percent and 8 percent respectively. It received 80 million domestic and foreign tourists, more than three times the local population.
Shohrat Zakir said Xinjiang aims at more than 7 percent economic growth this year and to achieve "substantial" progress in turning itself into a core area in the Silk Road Economic Belt, part of the Belt and Road Initiative.