Economic growth can never be split from security

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/22 19:58:41

The news is saddening: coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka caused great casualties on Easter Sunday. The explosions not only shocked the world but reminded people to contain the spread of extremism to safeguard public security, which should be continuously strengthened with economic and social development in areas including China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

What lay behind Sunday's attacks in Sri Lanka? Coordinated explosions targeting churches and hotels seemed designed to stoke sectarian tension, upset social stability, disrupt tourism and the nation's economy. In many ways, Sri Lanka has written a successful economic story. The tiny island nation has seen continued economic development and is striving to develop its tourism and port-related industries. However, Sunday's terror attacks will deal a severe blow to Sri Lanka's nascent economy.

Historically speaking, a region seeing stable economic development has rarely been plagued by extremism and terrorism, but the situation has changed significantly in recent years. In increasingly connected world today, many terrorist organizations launch attacks in not only their home countries but also foreign lands, while different organizations strengthen the connection as technology makes global communication much easier. Some regions with stable economic development have become the targets of global terrorists and extremists.

A nation must pay special attention to public security and strengthen anti-terrorism efforts when it reaches a critical stage of economic development. It has become ever clearer that preventing terrorism is the premise and guarantee of economic development for every nation, including China.

Xinjiang has been cooked to be a hot topic in the West, which now should understand how important the security issue is to safeguarding people's safety and economic development. China has invested a huge amount of manpower and material resources into Xinjiang to combat terrorism and help people influenced by extremism. Those efforts are absolutely necessary. In terms of public security, Xinjiang is in the safest phase it has ever been. No deadly attack like the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka has been allowed to happen there in recent years.

The Xinjiang issue is complicated. Economic and security issues are always two sides of the same coin in the region. Regardless of how much pressure the West puts on China, Xinjiang will stick to its own path. The region needs to continuously invest in security-related efforts while pursuing economic development to improve local people's lives.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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