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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
China plans anti-terrorism centre
A squad of special police force show off their skills in rescuing a hostage during an exercise in Xian, central China's Shaanxi province 18 August 2005.
China already routinely holds anti-terror exercises
China is planning to set up a regional centre aimed at training policemen in anti-terror operations, according to a state-run website.

The centre, which would be based in the restive province of Xinjiang, would cost $86m, Xinjiang Tianshan said.

It is aimed at training police from the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation - China, Russia, Kazahkstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Armed police staged anti-terror exercises in Xinjiang on Tuesday.

The centre is expected to operational in five years, the Xinjiang Tianshan website said. It will "undertake the task of research and education courses on ┐terrorism, separatism and religious extremism'", the site said.

China is anxious to curb what it sees as a terrorist threat from Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang in western China.

Some Uighurs are eager to re-establish an independent Islamic nation, called East Turkestan.

"We have suffered terrorist threat in the recent 10 years by the activities of 'East Turkestan' separatists both at home and abroad, as well as other international terrorists and terrorist organisations," Zhao Yongchen, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security's counter-terrorism bureau, told an international law conference in Beijing this week.

Last month, China announced it was setting up elite police squads in 36 cities to counter the threat of terrorism.

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