Authorities in the northwestern Chinese region of Ningxia look set to import “anti-terrorism” measures currently used in the mass incarceration of an estimated one million Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, official media reported.
The Ningxia government signed an anti-terrorism cooperation agreement with Xinjiang “to learn from the latter’s experiences in promoting social stability,” the Global Times newspaper, sister publication to ruling Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, reported on Nov. 27.
It said local leader Zhang Yunsheng recently went to Xinjiang “to study and investigate how Xinjiang fights terrorism and legally manages religious affairs,” it cited the Ningxia Daily as saying.
“Zhang visited Xinjiang’s stability maintenance and counter-terrorism center and local public security bureaus where new technologies like big data have been deployed in the fight against terrorism,” the paper said.
“Zhang … noted that the progress Xinjiang achieved is worth learning,” it said, adding that 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.
Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for exile group the World Uyghur Congress, said Beijing likely fears a backlash by the region’s Hui Muslims in the wake of the demolition of a mosque.