President Xi Jinping has urged police officers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to devise "effective ways" to deal with terrorists.
"I care very much about your equipment and training. It is necessary that you have effective methods to handle violent and terrorist criminals," Xi was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as telling officers at a police station on Monday in the westernmost border region of Kashgar, home to more than 4.3 million people from 47 ethnic groups.
"The training must simulate real combat. Sweat more in peacetime to bleed less in wartime," he added. "The Kashgar region is the front line in anti-terrorist efforts and maintaining social stability, the situation is grim and complicated. Grassroots police stations are 'fists and daggers' so you must spare no efforts in serving the people and safeguarding public security."
Xi began an inspection tour of Xinjiang on Sunday, his first visit to the region since becoming the top leader in November 2012.
In his chats with police officers, Xi also encouraged them to learn from a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) who developed convenient weapons to fight Japanese pirates.
"We should also come up with good tactics as well as usable weapons," Xi said.
Arken Tulak, head of the police station, told China Daily that Xi asked officers to better protect themselves because they are working at the battlefront in the anti-terrorist war and face great danger.
"He asked me whether our officers can speak both Mandarin and the Uygur language, and we showed him some unique protective maneuvers invented by the Kashgar police," the 43-year-old Uygur said. "He was very nice to us - it was like he is one of our family members."
Before leaving the station, Xi shook hands with each officer, according to Arken Tulak.
This is the third time in a month that the president has raised the issue of anti-terrorism. In a meeting of senior leaders on Friday, Xi said the struggle against terrorism concerns every core interest of the country and terrorists must be countered with an iron fist.
Since knife-wielding attackers killed 29 people and injured more than 140 in Kunming, Yunnan province, in early March, Xi has frequently talked about anti-terrorist efforts.
In addition to security topics, Xi also paid considerable attention to residents' well-being.
During his visit to Ayagemangan, a village in Shufu county, Xi took part in a meeting with residents, who expressed their concerns to village heads about living conditions and farm produce sales.
He requested local leaders take good care of residents' concerns and wished the villagers better lives, Xinhua reported.
"I am very proud that I translated the villagers' words for the president," said Yisilapili Yimayili, deputy village head. "He paid special attention to the subsidy given to residents to improve their housing conditions."
When talking with teachers at a primary school in the county, Xi urged them to promote bilingual teaching.
"Learning Mandarin will not only make it easier for these children to find jobs in the future, but more important, it can contribute to promoting ethnic unity," he said, also encouraging teachers from the Han ethnic group to better learn the Uygur language.
Students said they feel privileged to meet "grandpa Xi" in person.
Rukya Memeturson, 13, a sixth-grader at the school, said: "I had only watched grandpa Xi on TV and never imagined that he could walk out of the TV and come to my classroom. He asked me what I want to do when I grow up, and I told him I want to be a doctor in a hospital."
In a meeting with government officials from southern Xinjiang, the president requested they boost employment and people's incomes.
On Tuesday, Xi praised soldiers after he watched them training in Urumqi, the regional capital.