Global anti-terror agenda should not miss out Xinjiang

By Wen Dao Source:Global Times Published: 2014-10-24 0:43:01

With the rise of the Islamic State (IS), terrorism continues to wreak havoc on global peace and stability. By sweeping across almost half of Iraq, causing atrocities, and revealing its ambition to establish its own state, the extremist IS has apparently opened up a new vision for its fellow terrorist groups, including its "frenemy" Al Qaeda.

In the first issue of Resurgence, an English-language magazine recently founded by Al Qaeda Central Command, there is a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region, with an article entitled "10 Facts about East Turkistan." Besides distortions of the history and status quo of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and instigating hatred between the region's ethnic groups, the point of the article is directly articulated, implying that Al Qaeda is looking at the bigger picture.

Al Qaeda's trajectory reveals some new characteristics of global terrorism, among which the convergence of different terrorist groups and the pursuit of a caliphate are prominent.

The old and fragmented pattern is being changed. Terrorist groups are no longer limited to their own independent activities but are trying to find consensus amid competition. More offshoots of Al Qaeda have pledged allegiance to the IS, whom they believe will lead them to this strong caliphate.

Despite internal conflicts, the convergence of these terrorist groups is posing the greatest threat to world stability.

The victory of the IS in Iraq has clearly boosted the terror group's confidence.

In late June, it released a map of its visionary caliphate, whose vast land stretches from Spain to Xinjiang.

This sudden focus on China means Al Qaeda, by taking advantage of the rise of global terrorism and the withdrawal of NATO in Afghanistan, is attempting to expand its influence. It will pose an unprecedented challenge to Xinjiang's security as the Chinese government and security forces will not only face domestic separatists and terrorists, but also must fight against the encroachment of global terrorism.

Under general circumstances, Xinjiang's prominence in the anti-terrorist undertaking will be highlighted and the area will be irreversibly included in this global war on terror.

Xinjiang's security and stability will not only rely on the effectiveness of domestic government policies or the strength of regional anti-terrorist efforts, but be deeply influenced by the global scenarios in this regard.

Beijing's iron fist to fight terrorism should be extended beyond its borders, which will help it secure the stability of its westernmost land. International cooperation is playing a bigger role in anti-terrorism, and China must enhance its efforts as a part of it.

Posted in: Observer

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