Officials from China’s predominately Muslim region of Xinjiang defended mass detention camps as necessary to fight terrorism and vowed to maintain the crackdown for a “long time.”
Local security policies had prevented a major terrorist attack in the region for more than two years, Xinjiang government chief Shohrat Zakir told a regional delegation meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. Even so, he said it was still too early to relax the campaign because separatism persisted in the region, which borders Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.
“The fight against instability, extremism and secessionism is long, complex and intense,” Zakir told the public question session, held on the sidelines of the annual National People’s Congress. “We can’t relax for a moment at any time.”