Delink the Square from country’s security concern

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-30 0:23:01

A jeep plowed into crowds in Beijing's Tiananmen Square at noon on Monday, killing five people and injuring 38. The crash set the vehicle aflame and killed its three occupants. The other two were tourists. 

In a swift response, the Beijing police issued a notice to all hotels and entertainment hubs in the capital, asking the management to share information on suspicious guests who might have visited their locations since October 1.

It also sought information on vehicles that looked suspicious. In the notice, the police named two residents from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as likely suspects.

The incident was tragic because of the casualties but it attracted world headlines because the scene was Tiananmen Square.

Some have assumed that it was a terrorist strike but the possibility did not ignite tension in society.

Public opinion now awaits the authoritative conclusion of the official enquiry.

Although Tiananmen Square can be described as China's highest political symbol, it is no longer the country's most sensitive location. Most Chinese people are aware that China's overall situation cannot be jeopardized by accidents or local incidents.

Tiananmen Square has witnessed several incidents in the past, such as self-immolations and protests by members of the Falun Gong cult. Given the special status of the Square in Chinese politics, the police has strengthened security there .

But we should realize that it is impossible to keep Tiananmen Square free from such incidents in the future as well.

Although we still don't know if terrorism was involved in the latest incident, what we do know however is that there will always be extremists who wish to become "world famous" by creating trouble at the Square.

China should keep calm while dealing with such incidents. The Square is of high political significance, but it is also a top tourist draw for millions.

It is impossible to depoliticize the Square but politics and society can coexist in a balanced manner. The earlier the Chinese people realize this, the more our society is likely to evolve.

China has its own problems. But these problems cannot be underestimated nor can they be exaggerated.

Tiananmen Square is still a beautiful and peaceful place, the credit for which cannot be entirely reserved for the country's security establishment. The Square is a symbol of people's faith in China's stability and development.

Posted in: Observer

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