Date
21 October 2017
Cameras sit on a beam in one of China's most watched intersections. By 2020, all key public areas will be covered by surveillance cameras. Photo: Internet
Cameras sit on a beam in one of China's most watched intersections. By 2020, all key public areas will be covered by surveillance cameras. Photo: Internet

China plans video surveillance in all key public areas

China will have all key public areas covered by video surveillance cameras by 2020 to fight crime and ensure social stability.

The move is part of a broader push to step up security in response to violent unrest, Reuters reported Thursday.

China has already taken measures to prevent attacks by extremists including an anti-terrorism law that would give the government broader surveillance powers.

Also, it is offering to pay for tips about violent plots.

Roads will be fully covered by cameras and information will be shared with the authorities, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, said in a statement.

“Building a public security surveillance net is an important measure under the new situation to maintain national security and social stability as well as prevent and combat violent terrorist crimes,” it said.

The plan aims to enhance public security monitoring, optimize traffic conditions and “improve social management”.

Last month, the government said it would establish a national population database linked to ID information and credit records.

Local governments will be required to make sure the cameras work around the clock and can function effectively, the statement said.

China was rocked last year by a string of knife and bomb attacks blamed on separatists from the western region of Xinjiang, which has been plagued by unrest.

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uyghur people, who have chafed under growing restrictions from China, including on their religion, language and culture.

Rights activists have criticised the government, saying the crackdown only serves to exacerbate tensions and breed extremism.

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FL/RA

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