Ningxia government to learn from Xinjiang 'anti-terrorism' approach

The two administrations signed a cooperation agreement. Activists fear a repeat of Beijing’s scorched earth" policy against Uyghurs. Last August, Hui Muslims opposed the demolition of the Weizhou Grand Mosque.


Beijing (AsiaNews/RFA) – Authorities in the northwestern Chinese region of Ningxia plan to import "anti-terrorism" measures currently used in Xinjiang.

Activists now fear Beijing will apply the "scorched earth" policy it uses in Xinjiang, where it is accused of incarcerating about a million Muslim Uyghurs and members of other minorities .

The Ningxia government signed an anti-terrorism cooperation agreement with Xinjiang "to learn from the latter's experiences in promoting social stability," wrote the Global Times, the ruling Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, on 27 November.

It said local leader Zhang Yunsheng recently went to Xinjiang "to study and investigate how Xinjiang fights terrorism and legally manages religious affairs”, adding that "Zhang ... noted that the progress Xinjiang achieved is worth learning".

Ningxia's historic links to the ancient Silk Road trading route meant that the two regions have similarities. "That's why Ningxia went to learn from Xinjiang," Zhang said.

Observers say that Beijing fears a reaction from the local Islamic community, who are ethnic Hui, after it ordered last August, then postponed demolitions near the Weizhou Grand Mosque.

"The government forcibly demolished a local mosque, which caused unrest, which in turn has made Beijing terrified," said Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress.

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