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Fighting separatism a long-term, complicated task in Xinjiang: senior official


BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Fighting separatism in Xinjiang would be a long-term, complicated and tough task, said Xinjiang government head Nur Berkri on Sunday when speaking of the current situation in the region.

Nur Berkri said the situation of fighting separatism was still grave as the separatist forces, despite being hit hard after the July 5 riot, would not accept their failure and were likely to "make more troubles."

"Whatever they do, they are doomed to failure," he said.

Nur Berkri made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Conference, the country's top legislature.

He said development and stability were both important for the region. "Without stability, even the achievements Xinjiang have made will be eroded," he added.

The region suffered double blows in 2009 -- the global financial crisis and the riot in the regional capital of Urumqi on July 5, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.

The adverse impacts of the financial crisis on the region were obvious, Nur Berkri said.

Foreign trade in the region fell 37 percent year on year last year, compared with a 61-percent increase in 2008. The oil and petrochemical industries, which accounts 61 percent of regional industrial output, was also hit hard with the world oil prices down from its peak of 147 U.S. dollars per barrel to 30 U.S. dollars, he said.

However, despite these challenges, Xinjiang recorded an 8.1-percent increase in regional gross domestic product last year, which totaled 427.4 billion yuan (62.6 billion U.S. dollars).

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