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China's police chief in Urumqi to defuse unrest

China's Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu arrived in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Friday, Sept. 4 to direct work to defuse ongoing unrest in the city.

Meng, also a State Councilor, urged local governments and Communist Party of China (CPC) committees at all levels in Xinjiang "to restore social order as soon as possible."

"Maintaining stability is the central task of overriding importance in Xinjiang at the present time," he said in a meeting with local officials.

Meng said the recent syringe attacks, which were premeditated, masterminded and conducted by law-breakers and instigated by ethnic separatist forces, were a continuation of the July 5 incident in the city. He said their purpose was to undermine ethnic unity.

"Fellow citizens of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang should sharpen vigilance and not be fooled by law-breakers," he said.

The police chief said legal proceedings against suspects arrested in the July 5 violence should be accelerated. Those who were responsible should be discovered and murderers should be punished according to the law.

Meng held discussions with Urumqi residents during which he said traffic controls imposed in the city on Thursday aimed to ensure normal social order and asked for their understanding, support and cooperation.

He also warned "those involved in violence, assaults, vandalism, looting and burning, and those who disrupt social order by different means or undermine ethnic unity, shall be punished according to the law without exception, whatever their ethnicity is."

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