Vice-president and vice-premier stress importance of ethnic unity

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 August, 2009, 12:00am

Vice-President Xi Jinping and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang toured two minority-inhabited regions to echo President Hu Jintao's call for ethnic unity ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Mr Xi visited the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north, and Mr Li toured impoverished Qinghai province in the northwest earlier this week as Mr Hu was inspecting Xinjiang for the first time since the deadly riots in Urumqi . On July 5, ethnic violence between Han Chinese and Uygurs claimed the lives of nearly 200 people and injured more than 2,000.

In his four-day trip to Inner Mongolia, Mr Xi called on local cadres to promote education on patriotism in minority communities, Xinhua said. He encouraged local state-owned and privately owned enterprises to develop more innovative and sustainable industries for the region's future economic development and stability.

He also asked local governments, party cadres in state-owned and privately owned enterprises, farming and grassland areas, border checkpoints and schools to take care of minorities' needs.

In Qinghai, Mr Li encouraged local ethnic groups by telling them that the central government would further push western development by boosting local capital growth and expanding domestic demand and structure, according to Xinhua.

He told farmers that the State Council would reinforce infrastructure and intensify environmental improvement on the Qinghai Plateau to turn it into the country's ecological protective screen. Xinhua said the vice-premier had also reminded local officials that the key to future stability was ensuring the development of the province's economy and improving living standards.