China Launches “Strike Hard” Crackdown in Restive West

Following the unrest over the summer, the government has launched a “strike hard” campaign in Xinjiang, Reuters reports:

Now the regional government is demanding tough action to bring stability back to the region, Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily reported on Tuesday.

“From the start of November, public security bodies in Xinjiang will … start a thorough ‘strike hard and punish’ campaign to further consolidate the fruits of maintaining stability and eliminate security dangers,” it said.

Security forces would “root out places where criminals breed, and change the face of the public security situation in these areas”, the report said.

The term “strike hard” harkens back to the 1980s, when Chinese police forces launched campaign-like sweeps intended to catch law-breakers. Pro-reform legal experts in China later criticised those campaigns for ignoring suspects’ rights and setting targets for arrests that encouraged abuses.

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