Chinese Government Begins Construction of Counterterrorism School in Xinjiang

September 7, 2005

The Chinese government began construction of a $700 million Counterterrorism Training Center in the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on August 29. The government plans to complete the facility within five years. The center will be a training base for police from China and neighboring central Asian states belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Xinjiang authorities have increased efforts this summer to control the "three forces" of separatism, terrorism, and religious extremism, according to Xinjiang's General Secretary, Wang Lequan. Human rights groups warn that the Xinjiang government is using the Global War on Terror as justification to crack down on Uighurs peacefully advocating for greater ethnic autonomy.