China's top anti-terrorism official has called for closer international cooperation to "destroy the breeding ground of terrorism."

State media quoted State Councilor Zhao Kezhi telling officials at a national teleconference on Friday that tougher measures are needed to counter the spread of terrorism and religious extremism.

China has imposed stifling security in its northwestern region of Xinjiang, including confining huge numbers of Muslim residents in re-education camps. Islamic militants in the region have killed hundreds in recent years.

State media reports Saturday say Zhao identified the need for stronger intelligence gathering and anti-infiltration measures.

China's sweeping anti-terrorism law took effect in 2016 under President Xi Jinping, who has led the country's broadest crackdown on dissent of all kinds in decades.

China's international counterterrorism efforts have focused on Central Asia.