Iron fist needed to fight against violent terror

By Lin Xu Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-3 0:08:03

A group of knife-wielding attackers stormed Kunming railway station on Saturday night, slashing at people indiscriminately, leaving at least 29 dead and 143 injured. Xinhua reported that "evidence at the crime scene showed the assault was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces," based on information provided by the Kunming municipal government.

The deadly attack triggered nationwide indignation against terrorist violence targeting innocent people, and many supported a unified crusade against terrorism in China. Xinjiang, in the last few years, has suffered several violent attacks launched by extremists and separatists. A premeditated suicide attack at Tiananmen Square orchestrated by members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in October 2013 killed five and wounded 40, signaling terrorism was spilling beyond Xinjiang and into the inland region.

The slaughter at the crowded railway station is a deadly incident of violence. The inhumane and brutal attack is not an issue of ethnic conflicts, but an act of terrorism in accordance with the modern international definition of terror: It involves the use of violence, targets civilians and is politically motivated. In light of the number of casualties, the whole of Chinese society has been resolute in standing against terrorism and deserves support from the international community.

The Internet is another battlefield to fight against terrorists. A few people, including some opinion leaders in the cyber world, have criticized the government and the system for being the reasons behind violent terror. Such voices, undermining the united opinion front against terror, have to be cleaned up.

We must also launch a more powerful countermove against international forces that support violent Xinjiang terrorism. Violent terrorists have become even more rampant due to material and spiritual support from the West. Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uyghur Congress, has still been welcomed as a guest for public events in countries such as Japan and Australia. In the past cases of terrorist violence in Xinjiang, the US criticized "China's discrimination and suppression" against Uyghurs rather than denouncing the killings.

There have been discussions over the governance policies implemented in Xinjiang. Eradicating separatism and terrorism in Xinjiang requires maintaining stability, improving livelihoods in the region, and resolving the issue of ethnic estrangement. At the same time, we are facing an arduous task in combating terrorist violence if the West continues its accusations over China's ethnic problems and its double-standard over anti-terrorism.

The Kunming attack comes as China is gearing up for the annual two sessions. The terrorists are aiming to create bigger threats and chaos. But the whole of society is unified to fight against these deadly assaults. This is the mainstream public opinion toward terrorism in China, which won't be undermined by any external support for Xinjiang terrorists.

Posted in: Observer

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