China has legalised overseas counter-terror operations by its military, details of a controversial new law showed, as it tries to tie violence linked to mainly Muslim Xinjiang into global concerns about extremism.

Under the counter-terrorism legislation passed at the weekend Beijing “may send personnel outside the border to carry out anti-terror activities” when the “relevant country” agrees, according to the text published by the official Xinhua news agency.

The measure applies to the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police and employees of the country’s public security organs, Xinhua said.

In recent years the People’s Republic has increasingly moved away from Deng Xiaoping’s dictum of “keeping a low profile” in foreign and military affairs.

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