He made the comments in Beijing as Chinese lawmakers gathered for an annual session of parliament. Other regional representatives said authorities are preparing to strengthen a crackdown on terrorism and extremism in Xinjiang, according to The Associated Press.
Uighurs have bristled under what they say is repressive Chinese government rule. Attacks have been blamed on members of the ethnic minority in the province and in other parts of China, including an incident in which a car plowed into a crowd at Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate in 2013, killing five people.
Mr. Zhang’s claim follows a December report by The Global Times, a newspaper tied to China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintained that some 300 Chinese have traveled to fight with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
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