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China Reform Monitor - No. 1237

Xinjiang outlines new anti-terrorism laws;
Latest stand-off at the China-India border

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
August 25, 2016


July 23:

Two North Korean military deserters who committed violent crimes have been captured and three escaped after a shootout with Chinese security forces in the Changbai Korean Autonomous County, Jilin. The five illegally crossed the border near the North Korean city of Hyesan and robbed households in two rural villages at gunpoint, 
Yonhap reports. They were holed up at a house when Chinese border guards and police tried to apprehend them, resulting in gun fight in which several Chinese security forces were injured. Two detectives were evacuated to a hospital in Changchun with serious wounds. Chinese security forces imposed a curfew while they searched for the remaining three deserters, whom they consider armed and dangerous.

[Editor's Note: Chronic food shortages in North Korea have pushed soldiers and civilians to cross the border to steal from Chinese nationals. In late 2014, a North Korean deserter broke into a home and murdered four people and wounded another, and a year earlier one North Korean man killed a Chinese couple while trying to rob them.]
.
July 31:

Earlier this month about two dozen People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops entered the demilitarized zone between China and India. The PLA also flew a Zhiba series attack helicopter into the contested air space for several minutes. A joint team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police, who were on patrol at the time, were "sent back by the Chinese troops camping there who claimed it was Chinese territory,"
 the Asian Age reports. Ahead of the "incursion" the PLA flew a TupolovTu 153M class reconnaissance aircraft into the region armed with Synthetic Aperture Radar, which provides broad-area imaging at high resolutions and conducts cyber and communication signatures. "According to official [Indian] sources, PLA aircraft carried out two to three sorties earlier this year in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand," the Times of Indiareports. To avoid radar detection, the aircraft flies at 40,000 feet above sea level and can take pictures at up to 60,000 feet.

August 2:

Xinjiang has become the first province to adopt an interpretation of China's national Anti-Terrorism Law implemented on January 1. Under the new rule, officials can suspend ongoing rallies, demonstrations, performances or other mass participation activities. They can also temporarily shut down schools, research facilities, enterprises and other organizations and stop the operation of plants or factories that involve explosive, radioactive or biochemical materials. Another clause is intended to prevent the spread of Islamic radicalism in prisons. It calls for "re-educating" ring leaders, keeping hardline radicals away from other prisoners, and re-assessing terror suspects six months before they can be released. Clause 51 of the regulation states that those who have twisted the concept of "halal," which usually only applies to food, and expand the concept to all aspects of social life may be subjected to fines of up to 10,000 yuan or detention of 5-15 days. The regulation establishes a three-tiered anti-terrorism mechanism at provincial, prefecture and city levels, 
the Press Trust of India reports.

August 3:

The General Office of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee has released a document entitled "Proposal on the Reform of Youth League's Central Committee." The directive, which is aimed at implementing instructions given by President Xi Jinping, calls for the league to "improve the personnel components of the central committee leadership, its established institutions and its operation mechanism." The league will have to restructure its personnel system in terms of the "selection, appointment and management of cadres in its central leadership." The directive follows Xi's calling the elite organization "aristocratic" and demanding it improve its role in politics. The league has come under fire in recent months over corruption scandals, bureaucracy and inefficiency. Another report, this one from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, accused it of losing sight of its core mission to guide young people's ideological development. The Xi administration appears to be checking the influence of the so-called league faction, whose members include former president Hu Jintao and Premier Li Keqiang, theSouth China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.

August 6:

Efforts to cut capacity in the steel and coal sectors have been far from satisfactory, with less than half of the goals met so far this year. "The overall progress is not satisfactory. The progress among regions is not balanced," the People's Daily reports. Some regions did not begin cutting excess capacity until November or December, while others have just begun. Some regions showed reluctance to reduce capacity, due to worries about the impact on the local economy, and because they lacked the tools and confidence, SCMPreports. China aimed to reduce capacity of crude steel by 45 million metric tons this year, and cut coal capacity by at least 250 million metric tons. But after seven months, only 47 percent of the target in steel and 38 percent of the coal target had been met.


Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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