Beijing : Bracing for a long battle against Islamist militants in Xinjiang, China has said it will harshly crack down on terror attacks and maintain lasting stability in the troubled province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The stability of Xinjiang is strategically vital to China’s reform and development as well as its national security, said a statement released after a meeting of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, chaired by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the committee. China will harshly crack down on terror attacks and maintain lasting stability in Xinjiang, the central leadership of the ruling CPC said.

Xi, regarded as the most powerful ruler of China, holds all the three key posts of president, leader of the CPC and head of the military besides heading the recently formed National Security Council.

Earlier, the local Xinjiang Party has called for a “people’s war” against the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the al-Qaeda-affiliated outfit that has been blamed for a number of terror attacks in China including last week’s bombings in a busy street in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.

All party members should perceive the timeliness and complexity of the acute anti-separatist struggle in Xinjiang and better understand the importance and urgency of maintaining local stability, the CPC statement said.

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