Uighurs warned not to challenge Chinese rule

Uighurs warned not to challenge Chinese rule

Uighurs warned not to challenge Chinese rule

Updated 7 March 2012, 21:56 AEDT

A senior government official from China's Xinjiang province has warned separatists against destroying the social fabric of the province and the country.

Xinjiang is home to the Uighur minority and has seen outbreaks of violence over the past year - even as recently as last week.

Over the 10 days of the National People’s Congress, delegates from each province are delivering a report on the progress and problems their region has faced over the past year. After their presentations, delegates face the media.

Two of these governments were Xinjiang and Sichuan.

Troubled regions

Those provinces have seen some of the most sensitive incidents in China over the last 12 months.

Sichuan has been host to a large majority of the self-immolations involving exiled Tibetans, while in Xinjiang there have been outbreaks of violence in areas with a strong Uighur presence.

The Xinjiang government blames overseas-trained separatists for the increase in incidents.

Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government, says: "We definitely won't allow anyone to use an excuse to oppose the leadership of the party and socialist system. We definitely won't allow any development to destroy the unity of our country and upset social stability."

Information still remains scarce for local and foreign reporters trying to uncover facts; reporters say it is still difficult to get local Uighurs to talk.

Reporters who have attempted to go to the ethnic Tibetan areas in Sichuan face even greater hurdles.