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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Opinion
UPDATED: July 8, 2009
People's Daily Highlights Ethnic Unity after Xinjiang Unrest
People should unite with their brothers and sisters of different ethnic groups against hostile forces from home and abroad

People should unite with their brothers and sisters of different ethnic groups against hostile forces from home and abroad and the outlaws who staged Sunday's unrest in northwest China, the People's Daily said in an editorial to be published Wednesday.

At least 156 people were killed during the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. More than 1,000 others were injured.

According to the editorial, the deaths caused by the unrest and the violent attacks toward innocent civilians were not expected by people of both Han and Uygur ethnic groups.

"History tells us... ethnic unity leads to fast economic and social development, whereas disunity tumbles the society and obstructs development," the editorial read.

Social stability and ethnic unity among all ethnic groups in China were in the best interests of all Chinese, including the 21 million people who live in the Xinjiang region, it said.

Regions dominated by ethnic minorities, including Xinjiang, had seen fast economic development, social stability and ethnic unity since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the editorial said.

"We should cherish the hard-won ethnic unity and development opportunities," it said.

The editorial urged people to answer to the calls of the Communist Party of China and the government, and to restore social order in Urumqi as soon as possible.

(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2009)

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