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China seeks to boost development in ethnic minority areas

Published on Mar 3, 2014 5:09 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will boost development in ethnic minority areas and spur their industrialisation, a senior Communist Party official said on Monday, in implicit recognition of the economic causes of some unrest in areas like Xinjiang.

The comments by Mr Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth most senior ruling party member who heads a largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, came as China reeled from a deadly attack on a train station blamed on militants from Xinjiang.

"We will conduct investigations and studies on ways to improve the distribution of industry in ethnic minority areas ... promote faster development and spur unity and harmony in ethnic minority areas," Mr Yu said at the opening session of the advisory body, held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

More than 100 people, including several policemen, have been killed in violence in Xinjiang, a region in China's far west with a significant Muslim population, since last April.

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