China's top security official calls for crackdown on "hostile forces"


AFP

Beijing. China has called for a crackdown on "hostile forces" that threaten national security ahead of an annual high-profile parliamentary meeting.

The demand was made by Luo Gan, China's top security official and one of nine members of the communist party's most elite decision making body, the Politburo, in the latest issue of the party's Qiushi magazine.

The National People's Congress session, which begins on Saturday, is typically a time when people with grievances head to Beijing to express their complaints. As a result, authorities are on high alert.

In the magazine, Luo highlighted the importance of safeguarding stability in the Tibet and Xinjiang regions.

He also said it was crucial to fight against the Falungong spiritual sect, outlawed as an "evil cult" by authorities in 1999.

"The disturbance and destruction from hostile forces in China and abroad constitutes a serious threat to social stability in a strategically important period in our country," Luo wrote.

He said intelligence work must be stepped up to smash their activities.

"We must insist on actively attacking them, as soon as they emerge, to take early action to keep the enemies under control," he said.

China views Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur separatists in its northwestern Xinjiang region as terrorists, and Beijing is also fearful of possible a pro-independence uprising in Tibet, which it brought under its control in 1951.

Luo said officials and cadres must take effective measures against "overseas hostile forces" infiltrating China under the pretext of economic, cultural exchanges and religious activities.

He did not spell out who he was referring to.

The Internet must also be strictly supervised to prevent it from being used by those "hostile forces" to spread their messages, he said.

The article said the "hostile forces" were colluding with each other to plot terrorist activities and to deepen conflicts among Chinese people.

Luo's remarks came after President Hu Jintao called for "a harmonious society" in a recent meeting at the Central Communist Party School attended by high-level officials and cadres.

Hu said it was important to balance the interests of different social groups to avoid conflicts and to ensure citizens live in a politically stable country.

"A harmonious society will feature democracy, the rule of law, equity, justice, sincerity, amity and vitality," Hu said.