Enhancing border facilities and control in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region plays an important role in maintaining local social stability and long-term peace, China's defense chief said.
State Councilor and Defense Minster Chang Wanquan ordered local authorities to be stricter in border controls and step up exit and entry administration. In addition, they were told to adopt preventative measures and create a stronger deterrent to ensure border security, according to a news release from the ministry on Monday.
Chang made the remarks after a recent inspection of Xinjiang's front-line border posts, checkpoints and ports of entry.
He was briefed about border control procedures, infrastructure construction and how the People's Liberation Army, police and local people work together to make border areas safe, the release said.
He said people, infrastructure and technology need to be combined more effectively to improve the quality of border control and form an "iron wall of defense".
People should fully recognize the nation's complex and grim security situation so they can better realize the urgency, responsibility and the sense of mission in border defenses, Chang said.
The penetration of religious extremism has led to a number of terrorist attacks in the region in recent years. The region will further rely on technology to enhance front-line border control and improve infrastructure in border areas, such as improving road conditions, Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the autonomous region, said last week.
Religious extremism from abroad is believed to be a reason behind violent attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of the country in recent years.
Xinjiang has a 5,700-kilometer border with eight countries, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Russia and India. Many terrorists who carried out attacks in the region in recent years received training abroad and then entered illegally, the regional police authority said. Some fled back across the border afterward, the regional police said.