Anti-terrorism strategy needs fine balance

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-5-8 0:38:05

Three senior officials of the Ministry of Public Security visited railway stations in Changsha, Beijing and Shanghai Tuesday night, urging local authorities to beef up security and make quick response to emergencies.

On the same day, a violent attack took place at the Guangzhou Railway Station, a third high-profile incident at a railway station since March. The motive of the suspect is yet to be confirmed, but the fallout of the event is obvious. 

Following the violent terrorist attack at a railway station in Urumqi on April 30, security has been upgraded in many areas across China. Anti-terrorist training and drills have been organized.

In Xi'an, the first Police Tactical Unit of Northwest China has been established, equipped with unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.

In Shanghai, more than 1,000 police officers carrying revolvers are on street patrol, helping ensure security for the upcoming Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. Some China observers said that Chinese police forces are "carrying guns for the first time in over 60 years."

In recent months, Beijing's strategy of stamping out terrorist activities is becoming increasingly clear: Parallel with hard strikes against violent terrorist attacks, sufficient precautionary and preemptive measures in populous areas, especially early-warning mechanisms, must be consolidated. Besides policemen, the public should also be involved in this process to stay alert on terrorist and violent activities.

The establishment of the State Security Committee is expected to facilitate top-level design of China's anti-terrorist measures.

Amid the penetration of terrorism in China's inland region, an anti-terrorism strategy requires more reformist and innovative measures that can strike a balance between crushing terrorists and protecting cohesion among ethnic groups.

On Tuesday, China released its first blue book on national security, listing violent terrorism as one of China's top security threats. The report also sheds light on the influence of international elements in China's domestic terrorism.

Terrorist attacks in China receive less attention in the West, which sees the knife attacks or blasts as minor incidents with "low-tech" weaponry.

This is wrong. An unprecedentedly tough attitude against terrorism must be adopted, which calls for global collaboration. Otherwise far-reaching consequences might be felt at everyone's doorstep.

As Chinese society grows more and more open, anti-terrorism and anti-violence operations are bound to be expensive and sensitive. But this can also be an opportunity for China to bring its social stability and resilience to a new level.

Posted in: Editorial

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