World Bulletin / News Desk
Ethnic traditions in East Turkistan (Xinjiang) must be respected, the top official in the restive far western region of China said, despite criticism that government policies there unfairly target the Muslim Uighur ethnic community.
The government must implement "ethnic unity education and propaganda" among all communities, especially among the region's youth, the ruling Communist Party's Xinjiang chief Zhang Chunxian said in comments carried in state media on Wednesday.
"Must treat issues of local tradition with respect and resolve issues of violence with rule of law and severe measures," the official Xinjiang Daily cited Zhang as saying.
China has intensified a sweeping security crackdown in East Turkistan (Xinjiang), further repressing Uighur culture, religious tradition and language, rights groups say, despite strong government assertions that it offers Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms.
Many Uighurs resent local policies imposed by the government and an inflow of Han Chinese migrants, and some Uighur groups are campaigning for an independent homeland for their people.
At least 91 people, including several policemen, have been killed in violence in the region since April, state media reports.Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2014, 11:03