China's Xinjiang posts 12 per cent GDP despite unrest

China GDP

China's Xinjiang province posted double-digit economic growth despite a violent separatist movement being carried out by the Uygur Islamic militant groups, official media reported today.

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is expected to show that the GDP grew by 12 per cent year-on-year and its registered urban unemployment rate stayed below 3.4 per cent, according to Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government.

"The disposable income of Xinjiang's urban residents is expected to have grown by 17 per cent to reach over 18,000 yuan (USD 2,800) in 2012 while the growth in total income for their rural counterparts is forecast to stand at 18.4 per cent to reach over 6,400 yuan," the official told the opening session of Xinjiang's People's Congress, the regional legislature.

He also said the autonomous region aims to double the per capita income of its urban and rural residents by 2015 on the basis of the 2010 level, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Southern Xinjiang is densely populated by Uygur Muslims, who have been restive in recent years over the increasing settlements of Han Chinese in the province.

China blames banned East Turkistan Islamic Movement, (ETIM) for the violent attacks.

A year ago, Xinjiang witnessed its most deadly unrest in decades in which 197 people were killed and about 1,700 others injured in Urumqi.

Nur Bekri told the congress' gathering of over 500 delegates, over 43 per cent of whom are Uygur people, that work to maintain Xinjiang's stability was carried out on a regular, scientific and legal basis last year.

"People's sense of safety and satisfaction have been further enhanced," he said.

However, the battle against the separatists is still severe, complicated and chronic, warned the leader of Xinjiang, which covers one-sixth of China's landmass but still lags behind economically.

Bekri vowed at the session to nip terrorist activity in the bud.

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