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China moves to choke funding of terror outfits in Xinjiang

Ananth Krishnan
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Move underlines Beijing concern over Pakistan-based outfits

Paramilitary policemen train in Kashgar, Xinjiang.— Photo: AP
Paramilitary policemen train in Kashgar, Xinjiang.— Photo: AP

China’s central bank on Friday announced new measures aimed at enabling authorities to freeze assets of domestic terrorist groups and their “overseas affiliates,” in a move seen as underlining China’s continued concern over outfits believed to be operating out of Pakistan.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said the rules, issued along with the Ministry of State Security, “will prevent terrorism and is in accordance with a United Nations requirement that all nations freeze, without delay, funds or other assets of terrorists,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

This followed a directive from the National People’s Congress (NPC) in 2011 requiring “financial and certain non-financial organisations” to take steps to freeze funds seen as being directed toward terrorist activities.

The PBOC said the regulation “mainly applies at home, but also has effects on overseas branches and affiliates of relevant organisations.”

That the move is aimed at curbing funding towards activities in the far-western Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, which has seen a spate of violent attacks, appears likely in the wake of measures taken by the Ministry of Public Security, or police authority, to restrict funds moving into Xinjiang following attacks in 2012.

In April of that year, the Ministry asked Pakistan to hand over six members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), and said it had taken steps to freeze their assets.

Identified as “core members” of the outfit, they were named as Nurmemet Memetmin, Abdulkyum Kurban, Paruh Tursun, Tursunjan Ebibla, Nurmemet Raxit and Mamat Imin Nurmamat.

According to Chinese officials, Mr. Memetmin trained terrorists who carried out knife and bomb attacks in Kashgar in 2011 that left at least 20 people killed.

Officials also believe Mr. Nurmamat is hiding in Pakistan, or near the Afghanistan border, after he fled China in October 2009 when an explosion accidentally struck his bomb-making unit in Shache.

The Ministry of Public Security said in 2012 it hoped “foreign governments and their law enforcing departments would help to arrest the six and hand them over to Chinese authorities.”


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