Drills put Chinese border police and soldiers to counterterrorism test

Asia World

In Xinjiang, officers armed with guns practised fending off attackers wielding petrol bombs, according to a video posted on the social media platform Weibo.

Other footage reportedly showed officers in Yunnan responding to a hostage crisis, Jilin police subduing an attacker in a home, and Shanghai officers dealing with a violent dispute in what appeared to be a border checkpoint.

The drills took part in four parts of the country. Photo: Weibo

The drills took part in four parts of the country. Photo: Weibo

Wang Chuan, a researcher from the Chinese think tank the Knowfar Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies, said the locations of the exercises were “consistent with the non-traditional security threats China had faced” in recent years.

The drills in Xinjiang were likely aimed at tackling separatist forces, while those in Jilin and Yunnan could be related to instability near China’s borders.

“Such non-traditional security threats may include a possible outbreak or escalation of regional conflicts along China’s border, large-scale border crossings of illegal immigrants and refugee crises,” Wang said.

“Natural disasters could also lead to the collapse of social order and rioting.”

The drills come a year after the Ministry of Public Security issued guidelines requiring the police force hold exercises to improve their ability to maintain safety and stability.

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