A Chinese satellite has discovered the country’s biggest marijuana plantation, as well as dozens of illegal cross-border paths leading into neighboring countries, local media reported Monday.
"In Jilin and Inner Mongolia, a marijuana field that is the largest on record since the establishment of the country was discovered,” Reuters reported, citing China News Service, which referred to the Communist Party’s takeover of the Chinese government in 1949.
The state news agency said that the satellite also found several fields of poppy, used to produce opium, in parts of Heilongjiang and Hebei provinces, and Inner Mongolia, but did not provide details about the size of the fields or what authorities did after their discovery.
The nationwide satellite survey also revealed the existence of a number of illegal cross-border tracks along China’s border with North Korea as well as along China’s borders in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
"These results provided important information support for enforcement by the Ministry of Public Security," state news agency reportedly said.
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China's Xinjiang province shares a border with Pakistan, Afghanistan and several Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union. The Xinjiang autonomous region is also home to the Uighur ethnic minority that is mostly Muslim and has seen a series of violent clashes with Chinese authorities. China has blamed Muslim separatists in Xinjiang for the clashes and says the separatists receive training and inspiration from Islamist militants in the bordering countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.