News / Asia

China Seeks to Boost Development in Minority Areas

FILE - Two ethnic Uighur men walk in a clothing market in downtown Urumqi, Xinjiang province.
FILE - Two ethnic Uighur men walk in a clothing market in downtown Urumqi, Xinjiang province.
Reuters
— China will boost development in ethnic minority areas and spur their industrialization, a senior Communist Party official said on Monday, in implicit recognition of the economic causes of some unrest in areas like Xinjiang.
 
The comments by Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth most senior ruling party member who heads a largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, came as China reeled from a deadly attack on a train station blamed on militants from Xinjiang.
 
"We will conduct investigations and studies on ways to improve the distribution of industry in ethnic minority areas... promote faster development and spur unity and harmony in ethnic minority areas," Yu said at the opening session of the advisory body, held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
 
More than 100 people, including several policemen, have been killed in violence in Xinjiang, a region in China's far west with a significant Muslim population, since last April.
 
A further 33 were killed in the Saturday attack on the station in the southwestern city of Kunming, including four of the knife-wielding assailants who were shot dead.
 
State media reported in January that President Xi Jinping was shifting Xinjiang's focus to maintaining stability over development, after a series of attacks last year fuelled by what the government said was religious extremism.
 
However, state media said last month that the government will pump more than $10 billion in extra funds into Xinjiang this year to improve housing and employment.
 
Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
 
Exiles and many rights groups though say the real cause of the unrest is China's heavy-handed policies including restrictions on Islam and the Uighur people's culture and language, accusations the government strongly denies.
 
However, the government has begun to recognize the economic roots of some of the upheaval, especially underdevelopment and lack of job opportunities in heavily Uighur areas like rural southern Xinjiang, and has poured money in to rectify the problem.
 
Yu told the more than 2,000 delegates at the meeting that religious leaders and followers had a role to play in development too.
 
"[We will] get religious leaders and believers to play a positive role in stimulating economic and social development," he said.
 
President Xi believes China is losing its moral compass and he wants the party to be more tolerant of traditional faiths in the hope these will help fill a vacuum created by breakneck growth and a rush to get rich, sources told Reuters last year.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid