Gaofen-1 spots hemp plantation, cross-border tunnels

Gaofen-1 spots hemp plantation, cross-border tunnels

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Chinese satellite reveals vast opium plantations

China: Gaofen-1, the first Chinese high-definition EO satellite has revealed vast stretches of supposedly illegal hemp plantations and many cross-border tunnels.

The satellite also picked up images of an oil smuggling depot off the shores of southeastern China's Fujian province, as well as dozens of illegal cross-border passages in northwestern China's Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, which borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The government is concerned as Xinjiang has seen disturbances over past few years with native Uygur Muslims objecting to the increasing settlements of Hans.

Jiang Zhaoyong, a Beijing-based expert on ethnic affairs suspected that some people may have used such routes to leave China and receive terrorism training abroad.

The government, however, did not reveal the precise locations of the illegal border crossings.

Source: WCT