Kunming attack shows terrorists now hitting softer targets

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-3 18:13:04

An appalling slaughter struck Kunming, the capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province, on Saturday, turning it overnight from a tranquil spring city to a site of horror gripping the world's attention.

This inhumane attack has been identified to be orchestrated by separatist forces from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The terrorists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement previously carried out violent attacks in Xinjiang and then Beijing. It was actually unanticipated that terror would strike serene Kunming.

The terrorists targeted this peaceful city mainly because Urumqi and Beijing have made full preparation for terrorist attacks, particularly before the "two sessions" this year. It is difficult for terrorist groups to launch attacks in areas with stern security measures.

Kunming has certain advantages to terrorists. Located close to Southeast Asia and boasting dozens of ethnic groups and a diversified cultural background, Kunming offers mobility throughout the vast and complex cross-border terrain, making it convenient for terrorists to hide and flee.

Armed gangs from Xinjiang have been trafficking drugs in the cross-border region for many years, and they probably collude with and offer assistance to separatist forces.

Western media downplayed the deadly attack while hyping ethnic hatred in China.

The New York Times stated in an article: "Many Uyghurs resent the government's controls on their religious life and say the growing presence of Han people in Xinjiang has deprived them of jobs, land and opportunities…The Chinese government's own repressive policies have seeded the violence." Other major outlets including Forbes and CNN published similar comments.

Such an attitude demonstrates that the West still applies a double standard to combating the simmering challenge of terrorism. They strongly condemn terrorist attacks that happen at their door, but show sympathy to terrorists killing people brutally in China.

 Attempting to contain a rising China that they deem is gradually threatening their international status, the West continues providing financing to separatists.

China is confronted with a daunting challenge in eliminating terrorism and guaranteeing public security. The Kunming attack serves as a sober reminder that anti-terror efforts should be exerted across the whole country by increasing public awareness and education, exploring and sharing terror-related intelligence, and promoting collaboration with the international community.

The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Wang Xiaonan based on an interview with Fan Shouzheng, associate professor of the People's Public Security University of China. wangxiaonan@globaltimes.com.cn

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