In this Aug. 6, 2008, file photo, Uighurs rest near a food stall and Beijing Olympic Games billboards in Kashgar in China's western Xinjiang province. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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The Chinese government will spend 1.875 billion yuan ($298.92 million) to improve irrigation systems in the heavily ethnic Uighur southern part of the violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.Aksu, Kashgar and Hotan in southern Xinjiang are among the poorest parts of China, with more than 1.6 million people living below the poverty line as of the end of 2017, the report added.China denies any repression in Xinjiang.But recognising the economic roots of some of the violence and frustration of many young Uighurs at missing out on China's economic boom, Beijing has increased its focus on southern Xinjiang, pumping in money and encouraging development.
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