China has grown increasingly nervous about domestic unrest and Islamist militants since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.
Those seeking to buy gasoline must first register at their local police station and explain what they aim to do with their purchase, in a measure intended to "prevent law-breakers from using gasoline to create disturbances," the paper reported.
Exile groups and rights activists say China's heavy-handed policies in the restive western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, have sowed the seeds of unrest.
Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been plagued by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists.