China to crack down on Islamic militants in Xinjiang

Bracing for a long battle against Islamist militants in Xinjiang, China on Monday said it will harshly crack down on terror attacks and maintain lasting stability in the troubled province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Beijing: Bracing for a long battle against Islamist militants in Xinjiang, China on Monday said it will harshly crack down on terror attacks and maintain lasting stability in the troubled province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The stability of Xinjiang is strategically vital to China`s reform and development as well as its national security, said a statement released after a meeting of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, chaired by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the committee.
China will harshly crack down on terror attacks and maintain lasting stability in Xinjiang, the central leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said.

Xi, regarded as the most powerful ruler of China, holds all the three key posts of president, leader of the CPC and head of the military besides heading the recently formed National Security Council.

Earlier, the local Xinjiang Party has called for a "people`s war" against the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the al-Qaeda-affiliated outfit that has been blamed for a number of terror attacks in China including last week`s bombings in a busy street in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.
All party members should perceive the timeliness and complexity of the acute anti-separatist struggle in Xinjiang and better understand the importance and urgency of maintaining local stability, the CPC statement said.

Top priority should be given to the fight against violent terror attacks and religious extremist forces, it said, adding confidence is needed to win the long-term struggle.

"The Party`s policies on Xinjiang have been proved completely right," the central leadership said, urging more efforts to implement the existing ethnic policies to promote bilingual education and interaction between ethnic groups.

Meanwhile, Beijing police have deployed helicopters for daily air patrols of the city as a new measure to tighten security, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said.

Since Saturday, five police helicopters have patrolled eight routes covering transport hubs, shopping centres and scenic spots two or three times every day.

They will also patrol major highways and crowded areas, Yang Dongfeng, head of the bureau`s air patrol corps was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

The choppers will hover and observe any suspicious situations. The pictures they take will be sent back to ground command centre in real time, Yang explained.

Subway security checks were also tightened on Saturday.

Beijing Subway now requires passengers to go through airport-style full-body scanners at some stations.

The new security measures come with Beijing and China at large on high alert in the wake of a spate of terror attacks.

A bombing at an open air market in Urumqi left 39 people dead and 94 others injured on Thursday.

Authorities in Beijing have launched several anti-terror drills over the past month, in a bid to tighten the capital`s security.

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