China Army called on to keep order on anniversary

Last Updated: Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 21:49

Beijing: China`s military on Saturday celebrated its
82nd anniversary, with an editorial in the official paper
calling on the armed forces to maintain social stability in
the wake of unrest on the fringes of its territory.

The People`s Liberation Army, the world`s largest with
2.3 million members, should strengthen coordination with local
governments to prepare to deal with all kinds of "unexpected"
incidents, a front-page editorial in the official People`s
Liberation Daily said.

"We must closely pay attention to developments in the
domestic and international situation ... and firmly oppose all
violent criminal activities and attempts to split the
country," it said.

The editorial echoed comments by Defense Minister Liang
Guanglie in a speech yesterday to mark the anniversary.
"Social stability" has become a watchword for China`s leaders
as economic growth slows and exposes rifts between rich and

The government is also worried about ethnic fault lines,
particularly after a riot last month in the far western
Xinjiang region between minority Uighurs and Han Chinese, the
country`s predominant ethnicity.

The violence in Xinjiang - where nearly 200 were killed -
and a similar uprising in Tibetan areas last year were branded
by Beijing as the work of terrorists, separatists and foreign
forces, part of a plot to carve up China.

Bureau Report

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First Published: Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 21:49

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