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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Opinion
UPDATED: July 15, 2009
Unity Is 'Basic Benefit' for Xinjiang People

Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said Tuesday that ethnic unity was the "basic benefit" for all the people in Xinjiang.

"Ethnic unity is the basic benefit for the 21 million people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang... and these people have a long tradition of loving and supporting each other," Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit told Xinhua in an interview in Urumqi Tuesday.

Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit, an ethnic Uygur, was born in 1942 in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1960 and was elected CPPCC National Committee vice chairman in 2008.

"No matter whether in war or peace, people of Han and minority groups always had a strong emotional tie and they could not be separated from each other," he said.

Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit cited many heroic stories during the July 5 riot in which people from Han and other ethnic groups risked their lives to save people from the violence.

According to media reports, an 81-year-old Uygur old man risked his life to save 18 people, and a Han boy named Li Huan saved more than 10 people and even captured a rioter.

"The loving relationship among us has gone through all kinds of weather and will never be destroyed by these ethnic separatists," Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit said.

He condemned the riot as an "extremely outrageous" crime organized by people who intentionally wanted to arouse ethnic conflicts and disturb social stability.

The unrest which occurred on July 5 in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, resulted in at least 184 deaths and left 1,680 injured.

Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit said that since the founding of the New China, health care, education, science and technology in Xinjiang had developed rapidly.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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