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China makes Beidou navigation mandatory in cars in Xinjiang

BEIJING, Feb 21:  China today beefed up security measures in its volatile Xinjiang province by making it mandatory for all vehicles to install a satellite navigation system similar to the GPS as part of an anti-terror initiative.
All vehicles in Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region must install the Beidou Navigation Satellite System starting Monday to “safeguard stability” in the prefecture, local officials said.
The move is to ensure stability in the prefecture, state-run Global Times reported quoting a staffer with the vehicle management station under the traffic police detachment of Bayingol Public Security Bureau.
“Cars are the major means of transportation for terrorists, and also a frequently chosen tool to conduct terrorist attacks. So it’s necessary to use the Beidou system and electronic vehicle identification to enhance the management of vehicles,” a statement by Bayingol’s traffic police detachment said.
“All vehicles must install the system, so that they can be tracked wherever they go. It also helps car owners to find their cars quickly if it’s been stolen or taken [by terrorists],” added the staffer, surnamed Ma.
The Beidou network is a China-developed satellite navigation system similar to GPS, the third Global Navigation Satellite System applied in international navigation.
The new rule came as thousands of armed police, public security officers and militia held massive anti-terror rally in provincial capital Urumqi in the face of increasing attacks by alleged Uygur militants.
Xinjiang where the Turkik speaking Uygur Muslims constitute majority faced unrest for several years over Uygurs resentment about the settlements of Hans from outside.
The province faced numerous terrorist attack, which China blamed on the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement, (ETIM). (PTI)

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