Young members of China’s Uygur Muslim minority should “love the motherland” and learn Putonghua to help fight a perception they are “terrorists”, Uygur members of the ruling Communist Party said in state media on Thursday. Sporadic violence, from knife attacks to riots to car bombs, have hit China’s far western region of Xinjiang in recent years. Most incidents are said to have been carried out by Uygurs, a mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking minority who call the region home. The government has responded with displays of military might, including regular “anti-terror” police rallies in various cities, most recently in the regional capital of Urumqi on Tuesday. Xinjiang’s Uygurs ‘not radical Muslims’, says China’s former culture minister Four senior Uygur officials, writing in a front-page article in the official Xinjiang Daily newspaper, asked young people to reflect on why Uygurs were labelled “terrorists”. “A small group of devils create violence and terror in order to split the motherland and destroy ethnic unity,” they said. “Because of this, we regularly face round-upon-round of safety checks, sometimes we finding it hard to stay in hotels or to rent housing.” Young Uygurs should reflect on how the party had created a “harmonious, prosperous, happy and safe” life for minorities in Xinjiang, they said, adding that a failure to grasp the nation’s common language of Putonghua was a “disgrace”. “Siblings, the great motherland has granted us a blessed, heavenly life, how can we follow those devils to abandon our motherland?” they said. China official in restive Xinjiang chides fellow Uygur cadres for ‘anti-terror’ failings Rights groups say restrictions on the culture and religion of Uygurs, combined with policies encouraging the Han minority to live and work in the region, foster tension that bubbles over into violence. Beijing denies any repression and blames attacks on groups spreading “splittism” and “religious extremism” in the region. Officials have also launched a propaganda campaign, asking people to “warmly love the party, motherland, and the big family of the Chinese people” and “oppose splittism, extremism and violence”. Terrorism threat transforms China's Uygur heartland into security state Such campaigns are common, but in the current effort, an unusually large number of Uygur officials have come forward to ask fellow Uygurs to do more to support counterterrorism and to weed out “two-faced” people . The new party secretary of the region, Chen Quanguo, has also beefed up already expansive security, increasing identification checks and expanding a network of police posts.