Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said that the country must build an “impregnable fortress” to maintain peace and stability in Tibet and encourage the people to fight against separatism, South China Morning Post reported. He also called for an “ironclad shield” to ensure stability in the region.

Xi made the remarks at the Communist Party’s Central Symposium on Tibet Work. The symposium is China’s most significant forum to discuss Tibet. The Chinese president directed leaders at the meeting to “solidify border defences and ensure frontier security” in Tibet, which shares a border with India.

The Chinese president called on his party’s leaders to ensure national security and enduring peace and stability in Tibet to “improve people’s lives, maintain a good environment, solidify border defense and ensure frontier security”, according to Xinhua. He added that efforts must be made to build a “united, prosperous, culturally advanced and modern socialist” Tibet.

The Chinese president also called for “planting the seeds of loving China in the depths of the hearts of every youth” through ideological and political education. Xi also emphasised that schools should incorporate patriotism in their curriculum.

Xi said that the Communist Party must play a stronger role in Tibet. He added that Tibetan Buddhism should adapt to socialism and to the Chinese way of life.

China maintains that its troops “peacefully liberated” Tibet in 1951, but many Tibetans have accused the government of religious repression and eroding their culture.

Beijing’s policies in Tibet have also been criticised by the United States. In July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the Donald Trump-led administration would restrict visas for some officials as Beijing obstructed US diplomats, journalists and tourists from travelling to the region. Pompeo had added that the US remained committed to supporting “meaningful autonomy” for Tibetans. China, meanwhile, said that it will impose visa restrictions on certain Americans in relation to Tibet.