The epicenter was monitored at 41.73 degrees north latitude and 81.65 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 15 km, the CENC said.
Strong tremors were felt in the city of Aksu, the seat of Aksu Prefecture. No casualties or economic loss have been reported so far.
The epicenter was 540 km from Urumqi, the regional capital.
An emergency response has been activated. Rescue workers have been sent to the quake-hit areas.
A total of 74 quakes greater than magnitude 3 have been recorded within 200 km of the epicenter over the past five years.
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