BEIJING- Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the restive region of Xinjiang this week for the first time since the July 5 riots, urging officials to maintain stability, state television said on Tuesday.
The report about Hu's August 22-25 visit to the frontier region came as a press official in Xinjiang denied a state media report that trials of people suspected to be involved in the riots would begin this week.
In Xinjiang's worst ethnic violence in decades, Uighurs attacked majority Han Chinese in Urumqi on July 5, after taking to the streets to protest against attacks on Uighur workers at a factory in south China in June which left two Uighurs dead.
Han Chinese in Urumqi sought revenge two days later.
Hu told local officials and military leaders that stability is the most urgent task for Xinjiang on the country's far western frontier.
Victory in the struggle against the rioters shows the strength of the party and the people, Hu said.
The separatists don't have the people's hearts and will surely fail.
No firm date has been set for trials of the suspects, a press official in the far-west region told Reuters on Tuesday, denying a report by the China Daily on Monday that trials would start this week for some of the 200 people formally arrested in connection with ethnic rioting on July 5.
The suspects will definitely not be on the court this week, Hou Hanmin, director of the Xinjiang Government Information Office, told Reuters by phone.
No trials and no sentences this week.
Hou also denied that the number arrested had risen to 200, a big jump from the figure of 83 announced earlier this month.
The number is wrong, Hou said. As the investigation is still ongoing, there should be more than 83, but definitely not as many as 200.
State media reported earlier this month that the 83 suspects included both Uighurs and Han Chinese, and the range of charges included murder, arson, assault and disturbing the social order. Another 718 have been detained, but not charged.
The violence left 197 people dead, mostly Han Chinese, and wounded more than 1,600, according to official figures.
(Reporting by Sally Huang, Yu Le and Lucy Hornby; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)