Over 300 Chinese officials have been sent to a part of China’s northwestern Xinjiang province to monitor mosques, reports RFA.
State-run TV for Hotan (Hetian, in Chinese) prefecture announced that 352 Chinese cadres have been assigned to monitor mosques and people’s religious activities, said the report.
An anonymous source told RFA in his village Chinese officials had already arrived.
“We have six of them in our village,” said the villager. “This morning they called a meeting, and we met four of them. They are all Chinese.”
The villager said they were told the officials would be in the area as part of a three-year mission.
“From what they said in the meeting, they will manage the Imams of the mosques and they will conduct house-to-house visits to gain a grasp of the situation,” said the villager who explained “situation” referred to discontent with government policies, especially those towards religion.
Hotan prefecture is in the south of Xinjiang, an autonomous region where tensions have long simmered between the Chinese authorities and indigenous ethnic Uyghur population.