Armed police in Hami, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region attend an anti-terrorism drill in July this year. Photo: CFP
New terrorist attacks took place in Kashi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Sunday night. Chinese police shot and killed 14 members of a mob and arrested six during the riot, in which two policemen were also killed.
This latest terrorist attack seems to summarize the state of counter-terrorism in Xinjiang this year. Such violent and terrorist attacks have become normalized. The ability of extreme forces to befog the minds of the people has been strengthened, which indicates such incidents could reoccur. Anti-terrorism efforts face new and severe challenges.
Officials and the public from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang should show a calm mentality toward the reality that there has been an increased number of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and they should find solutions in an earnest and patient manner.
Any kind of terrorist attack should be curbed and extreme forces must be put under pressure. This is perhaps the most important consensus reached by Xinjiang and other places of China. Extremists are the enemy of the entire society and we must bring them to justice.
This is the basis and premise if Xinjiang is to promote a modern way of governance. Xinjiang not only has to have the determination to crack down on violent terrorists, but also needs to raise the capability of local police to deal with on-the-spot violent incidents. Besides better equipping local policemen, more resources should also be invested into the construction of an intelligence network.
Winning the hearts of the public in sensitive areas has decisive significance. Xinjiang needs to mobilize people from all of society to launch an anti-terrorism fight.
The July 5 riots in Xinjiang in 2009 left a deep scar between the Han and the Uyghur. The estrangement between the two will be constantly used by extreme forces who have been trying to turn it into the deep-rooted social causes for their violent and terrorism activities there.
The whole country should be dedicated to dissolving the estrangement, which is key to Xinjiang's long-term stability. We should also make Xinjiang people acknowledge the harm of such estrangement and that extreme forces are violators of the interests of the Uyghur people. Meanwhile, various places in Xinjiang should appoint a certain number of police from ethnic minorities. The Uyghurs should be made to believe that they are trusted members of the Chinese populace.
We should also encourage people from the rest of China to travel in Xinjiang and treat Xinjiang people and others with an equal mind.
Some Western forces always agitate tensions in Xinjiang and neighboring terrorism is trying to increase its influence in the region. But it is us that have the final say about Xinjiang's future.