China’s police chief orders tighter counterterrorism net across nation in wake of Paris attacks
Meeting of security agencies includes head of previously little-known counterterrorism leading group under the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps
China’s police chief on Sunday ordered the country’s counterterrorism agencies to beef up intelligence gathering and analysis, as well as reinforce patrols at key venues, after Friday’s terror attacks in Paris.
Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun, who also heads the national leading group on counterterrorism, told a video conference held jointly by the group and the ministry that all departments should boost their preparedness and early-warning systems against terrorism to safeguard public security and social stability, Xinhua reported, citing a ministry statement.
Among those taking part in the video conference were Wang Ning, commander of the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, as well as the heads of the previously little-known counterterrorism leading group under the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, according to the ministry’s statement.
Xinhua said the participants were briefed of the attacks in Paris.
Guo urged officials to “intensively strengthen analysis and research on anti-terrorism intelligence” to ensure “precise strikes and enhanced capacity in early-warning, precautionary and prevention measures, and to make efforts to smash violent terrorism before it occurs”. He also pledged “high pressure and deterrence against violent terrorism” and to push ahead with the counterterrorism campaign.
Controls on guns, dangerous and explosive materials, as well as on goods delivery would be firmly implemented, Guo said, adding that efforts be taken to prevent other kinds of major violence and extreme acts by individuals.
He ordered agencies to come up with more detailed security measures and to step up security inspections, especially at important sites, to eliminate potential threats.
Beijing has blamed separatists in Xinjiang, home to the Uygur ethnic minority, as well as militants of the overseas group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, for terror attacks and violence across the mainland in recent years that has killed hundreds of people.
Exiles and many rights groups have said that the real cause of the unrest in the region is the government’s heavy-handed approach, including curbs on the Uygur culture, and a dearth of economic opportunities.