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Xinjiang celebrates 50th founding anniversary
Updated: 2005-10-02 08:52

URUMQI, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The 50th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was celebrated at a grand gathering in the regional capital, featured by a 50-gun solute, dove flying, the issue of commemorative stamps and other activities.

Xinjiang celebrates 50th founding anniversary

The celebration began at 11:00 a.m. with China's national anthem played and national flag hoisted amid the sounding of a 50-gun salute and the flying of 5,000 doves.

The founding of the autonomous region on Oct. 1, 1955 marked a "new historical phase of Xinjiang's development," Luo Gan, head of the central government delegation, told an audience of 12,000 people at the Hongshan Sports Stadium.

"Earth-shaking changes have taken place in Xinjiang in the past 50 years" under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, he said. According local statistics, the value of gross domestic production in the region hit 220 billion yuan in 2004, 42 times more than 50 years ago.

He pledged that the central government, as well as developed regions in east China, will continue to support Xinjiang in economic development "so as to jointly promote prosperity and development in Xinjiang and ensure lasting political and social stability in the northwestern frontier of the country."

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