China president calls for stability in Xinjiang

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for stability in the ethnically-divided region of Xinjiang after clashes this week killed 21 people, state media reported on Friday.

Xi's comments came after 15 police and social workers were killed in violence Tuesday, as well as six members of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority suspected of "terrorist plotting", local officials said.

Xi gave instructions on "how to handle the case, deal with the aftermath, and maintain stability in Xinjiang", the state-run Global Times said on its website, citing a local report, and without quoting Xi's remarks directly.

The comments from China's top leader reflect high-level worries about long-standing unrest in the region which authorities often blame on "terrorism" -- claims which rights groups say are used to repress minorities.

A specialised anti-terrorism unit of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) carried out drills in the province this month, the PLA Daily reported.

The attack prompted a heated exchange between China and the United States after Washington said it was "deeply concerned" by accounts of discrimination against Uighurs and other Muslims in China.

China accused the US of a "double standard" for not condemning the attack despite being a victim of terror itself.

Riots between Uighurs and members of China's Han ethnic majority in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi in 2009 killed around 200 people, leading the ruling Communist Party to tighten surveillance and boost investment in the region.

Xinjiang, a region about twice the size of Turkey, is home to around nine million ethnic Uighurs, accounting for 46 percent of the local population. Another 39 percent are members of China's Han majority.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more 13 hours ago
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future 16 hours ago
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • 919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day 17 hours ago
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world.