BEIJING, March 3 -- The counter-terrorism efforts in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have the strong backing from the People's Liberation Army (PLA), said a senior military commander here Monday.
"Counter-terrorism arrangements are in place to prevent serious incidents in Xinjiang," said Saimati Muhammat, major general and deputy commander of the Xinjiang Military Area Command, in an interview with Xinhua.
Bordering Mid-Asian countries including Afghanistan, Xinjiang is at the front line against the infiltration of the "three forces," namely terrorism, extremism and separatism.
The armed forces in Xinjiang will never ease border controls, said Saimati Muhammat, a Uygur ethnic and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, on the sidelines of the advisory body's annual session.
"We watch the border closely. Any oversight, which lets terrorists in or out, is unacceptable," he said.
The border troops in Xinjiang operate under extreme conditions. Some of them are stationed in mountains 5,000 meters above sea and have to endure temperatures of minus 30 to 40 degrees Celsius.
Xinjiang has been upgrading supplies for border troops and stepped up counter-terrorism training to armed forces, especially special forces, Saimati Muhammat said.
To protect the safety of local people, the armed forces also work with the police force in patrols and training, he added.
A group of knife-wielding attackers slashed frantically at crowds at a railway station in southwest China's Yunnan Province on Saturday, killing 29 people and injuring 143. Evidence at the crime scene showed that the terrorist attack was orchestrated by Xinjiang separatist forces.
Saimati Muhammat condemned the killings. He said the purpose of such an anti-human and anti-social attack was to destroy ethnic unity and social harmony.
"We will not let them have their way," said Saimati Muhammat.
"The fight against the three forces are not about ethnic issues, religion or cultural differences. They are enemies of people of all ethnic groups," he said. "The battle is complicated, harsh, fierce and cruel."