Chinese President Xi Jinping suggests Central Asian states to launch offensive against religious extremism and cyber terrorism, state media reported, as Beijing reaches for help across its borders in addressing security concerns in its restive Xinjiang region.
Beijing refers separatist groups in the distant western province of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, are demanding to establish their own state called East Turkestan and have connections with militants in Central Asia and Pakistan.
The government claims these separatists are manipulated by the videos and audios of militant groups uploaded on internet across the border.
“(We) should make concerted efforts to crack down on the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, extremism, and separation,” the official Xinhua news agency said late on Friday, citing Xi’s speech in Tajikistan to the heads of state of other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members.
“Currently (we) should focus on combating religion involved extremism and internet terrorism,” Xi said, adding that the group’s Regional Counter Terrorism Structure (RCTS) should enhance efforts to combat drug trafficking.
SCO was formed in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as a regional security bloc to control the threats and drug trafficking spreading from Afghanistan.