Students and civil servants in China's far western region of Xinjiang have been ordered not to take part in fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Statements posted on July 2 on websites of schools and government agencies say the ban aims at protecting students' wellbeing and preventing the promotion of religion in schools and government offices.
Statements on the websites of local Communist Party organizations said members of the officially atheist party also should not fast.
China's ruling party has for years restricted fasting in Xinjiang, home to the Uyghur ethnic Muslim minority.
The move comes amid tightened security in the region which has recently been hit by a number of bomb blasts and other attacks.
Many ethnic Uyghurs are unhappy with Chinese rule and say they are being repressed by ethnic Chinese.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP