A God's-eye view of Kashgar, an ancient city in western China, flashed onto a wall size screen, with colourful icons marking police stations, checkpoints and the locations of recent security incidents. At the click of a mouse, a technician explained, the police can pull up live video from any surveillance camera or take a closer look at anyone passing through one of the thousands of checkpoints in the city.

To demonstrate, she showed how the system could retrieve the photo, home address and official identification number of a woman who had been stopped at a checkpoint on a major highway.

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Virtual fences

"The goal here is instilling fear"

Expanding beyond the region