China’s Xinjiang region tightening border security

Beijing, Jan 10 (IANS) Authorities in Chinas Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region intend to strengthen security measures in border areas in 2017 to prevent terrorists from entering or leaving the region, the chairman of the region said.

According to a report in the China Daily on Tuesday, Xinjiang chairman Shohrat Zakir said that the authorities already stepped up efforts in entry-exit management in 2016.

Many terrorists who carried out attacks in the region in recent years received training abroad and then returned. Some also crossed the border illegally to flee, said Aniwar Turson, a top party official in southern Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture.

“We need to make sure not a single terrorist can get in or out of Xinjiang illegally, especially when our neighbouring countries are facing rising terrorist threats,” Aniwar added.

Xinjiang, which borders eight countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been China’s main battleground in the fight against terrorism.

On Sunday night, three terrorists were killed in a police raid in southern Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture, according to reports.

Azez Musar, a senior official in southern Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture, said that terrorist cells are particularly active in border areas in Xinjiang.

“We must improve our ability to detect suspicious activities in those areas and conduct strict inspections near the borders in accordance with the law,” he said.