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Following unrests in Middle Eastern countries, the Chinese regime has become cautious of its rule in the far western Xinjiang region. More than two thirds of the population there are Muslim Uighurs, and they have long been discontented under the Communist regime's heavy handed rule.
A top Chinese Communist official from Xinjiang has expressed concern over maintaining stability in the far-western region in China. Rights group, Amnesty International reports the regime's crackdown of Muslim Uighurs in the area continues.
During an annual political meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, Xinjiang's Governor admitted difficulties in ruling the region, mostly populated by Muslim Uighur minorities.
[Nur Bekri, Governor of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region]:
"The current situation in Xinjiang is generally stable, controllable and improving. However, the foundation to maintain stability remains weak. The situation is still severe and the task of maintaining stability is complicated and heavy."
Following a violent ethnic unrest in 2009 in the regional capital Urumqi, local authorities stepped up security in the area. Rights groups say local scholars and intellectuals have been targeted since then.
On Monday, Amnesty International reported an ethnic Uighur website manager was sentenced to seven years in prison after a secret trial. In a statement, the group's Asia-Pacific Deputy director Catherine Baber said this type of secret persecution of Uighurs is common of the Chinese regime.
The Chinese Communist regime has exerted tight control on Xinjiang which is rich in oil and gas deposits. There has been simmering discontent among locals over the regime controlling religion and undermining minority culture and languages.