East Turkestan: China Army drills to curb separatism in Xinjiang
Many of the Turkic-speaking ethnic Uighurs who make up the majority of Xinjiang's 19 million people dream of establishing an independent state which they would call East Turkestan.
The exercises, which took place in mid-August in the Tianshan mountains, were dubbed "Controlling East Turkestan", the People's Liberation Army Daily said.
"They practised surround-and-annihilate tactics and field operations, 10 strategies for controlling East Turkestan and increasing the army's strength," it said.
Beijing has backed the U.S.-led war on terror and called for international support for its campaign against Uighur separatists, whom it has branded terrorists.
In August, China held joint anti-terrorism exercises with Pakistan in Xinjiang which borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Beijing has blamed pro-independence activists for a string of bombings and riots in Xinjiang since the 1990s, although officials say none has occurred in the last few years.
The London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in a report last month China had detained thousands of Muslims, closed mosques and banned some religious schools in the past three years in the name of the war on terror.
The United States has put the East Turkestan Islamic Movement on its list of terrorist organisations.