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Chinese official: Destroy terrorism ‘breeding ground’

May 26, 2018

BEIJING (AP) — China’s top anti-terrorism official has called for closer international cooperation to “destroy the breeding ground of terrorism,” along with a ramping-up of already overwhelming counterterrorism measures at home.

State media quoted State Councilor Zhao Kezhi telling officials at a national teleconference on Friday that more needs to be done to improve intelligence gathering and anti-infiltration measures.

“It’s necessary to comprehensively implement measures to address the root cause and improve anti-terrorism work system,” the Xinhua News Agency quoted Zhao as saying. He called for “deepening anti-terror international cooperation and making efforts to destroy the breeding ground of terrorism.”

China’s international counterterrorism efforts have focused on Central Asia, which borders on its restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, where Islamic militants have killed hundreds in recent years.

China has imposed stifling security in Xinjiang, employing armed force as well as high-technology measures such as facial recognition and big data to identify potential threats.

Since last spring, tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been placed in mass internment camps where they face enormous physical and psychological stress to renounce their religion, native Uighur culture and any pro-separatist sentiments.

China’s sweeping anti-terrorism law took effect in 2016 under President Xi Jinping, who has led the country’s broadest crackdown on dissent of all kinds in decades.

However, concerns over human rights abuses and China’s own secretive political system have limited cooperation with most other countries.

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