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Beijing turns into virtual fortress ahead of CPC Congress amid terror fears

Though the government has denied any security crackdown in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

CPC Congress
Xi Jinping

Beijing has been turned into a virtual fortress ahead of the key Congress of the ruling amid fears of terror attacks by militants from the troubled

Though the government has denied any security crackdown in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, heavy deployment of security forces were seen at various key locations in the national capital including Tiananmen square where the once- in-a-five-year Congress will be held at the Great Hall of the People.

"I have never heard about the situation you mentioned," spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Lu Kang said, refuting reports that security forces have increased restrictions in Xinjiang.

He was asked about reports regarding measures like placement of high resolutions cameras, deployment of facial recognition technology, telephone tracking and allegations by Uygur rights groups that the Uygur Muslims who constitute the majority of the population were unable to get passports and penalised for receiving overseas messages.

"I want to stress that in Xinjiang people enjoy happy and peaceful work and living. We have never heard about such measures taken by the local authorities," Lu said.

The province was restive for years over protests by Uygur Muslims about the increasing settlements of Chinese people from Han community.

China is battling the militants of East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) which reportedly has links with Islamic State terror groups.

The Chinese government apprehends terrorist attacks ahead of the CPC's 19th Congress.

The Congress of the (CPC), which will begin here from October 18, was expected to confirm a second five-year term of President Xi Jinping in line with the convention of two terms for the top leaders.

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 16:46 IST