China’s security beef-up in response to ‘terrorist’ acts has seen both measured and overkill policies. Confiscating and barbecuing almost 100,000 matchboxes in Xinjiang might be one of the latter. It also begs the question: how are people supposed to light their stoves? The Guardian reports:
Kashgar police said via an official social media account on Sunday that local police in Yarkant county, also known as Shache, had destroyed nearly 100,000 matchboxes recalled from shops, markets and hotels.
The same WeChat account said police in Kargilik or Yecheng county, also in Kashgar, had given residents disposable lighters in exchange for more than 6,000 confiscated matchboxes.
“The confiscation has enabled us to strengthen controls over important elements of public security and thus eliminate potential security threats,” said a caption accompanying the photo of a large pile of boxes.
In Changji city, the police website said officers had destroyed 20,000 boxes “to ensure matches would not be used by terrorist groups and extremist individuals to conduct criminal activities”.
It described the drive as part of attempts to manage dangerous goods that could be used to make explosive products.
In that case, we can probably expect a mass seizure of soap bars, granulated sugar – basically 90% of the inventory at any grocery store. Fight the good fight, gentlemen.