Due to terrorism-related violence, GPS tracking and RFID plates are now mandatory for all vehicles in Bayingol prefecture in China, an area of Xinjiang, which borders Afghanistan, Pakistan and other states in conflict, according to Reuters.
“Cars are the main transportation means for terrorists, and are also a frequently chosen tool to carry out terrorist attacks,” said Bayingol traffic police.
Approximately 1.5 million people reside in the area which is has twice the land mass of the UK.
“The prefecture has a large area and a small population so there are many blind spots that are difficult in terms of government surveillance,” Yang Shu, a terrorism expert at Lanzhou University, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Cheaper than installing surveillance cameras across the area, the measure is to be implemented immediately and will connect to China’s satellite system, Beidu, to avoid interference from other states and remain independent from US technology.
Hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including government-owned and heavy vehicles, must comply by June 30. Owners who don’t comply will be denied gasoline.
By implementing mandatory satellite tracking, Chinese authorities hope to keep permanent track of movement of all vehicles to instantly detect which are involved in attacks.
This measure aims to prevent terror attacks similar to those in Nice and Berlin and will “ensure social security and safety and promote social stability and harmony,” writes a government propaganda news source.