Diplomats risk own lives for China’s future

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-27 23:43:01

A suicide bomb rocked the Jazeera Palace Hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday, causing great damage to the Chinese Embassy in Somalia. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed today that the attack killed an embassy security officer and injured three other staff. This is the most severe attack on a Chinese diplomatic institution since the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the former Yugoslavia in 1999.

We strongly condemn this outrageous terrorist attack. The Jazeera Hotel is one of the most secure hotels in Mogadishu, accommodating diplomatic missions from China and many other countries.

Engulfed in war since the 1990s, Somalia is one of the most combustible parts of the world. The US attempted an armed intervention, but suffered from publicly devastating losses in the end. The remains of American soldiers were dragged onto the street by Somali rebels. The US army was forced to withdraw from the area.

In recent years, there has been an epidemic of coastal piracy along the African coast of the Indian Ocean. Most of these pirates are Somali rebels.

Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. It is a radical Al Qaeda-linked group which has challenged the government for more than 10 years. Al Shabaab seeks to promote Islamic law in the region. The Somali government has stepped up efforts to crack down on Al Shabaab in these years, following increased support from the African Union (AU) and the international community.

The terrorist attack this time is considered to be retaliation from Al Shabaab against the AU mission in Somalia.

Due to the unrest in the region, the Chinese Embassy to Somalia had long been closed before it re-opened in October last year. This disaster, which took place within one year of the re-opening, has alerted people to the tough security situation Chinese people are facing in Somalia

Brave Chinese diplomats can be found in many other trouble spots. Different from many expectations, they do not always go to luxury facilities and mingle with people from all walks of life in posh gatherings.

In many turbulent regions, diplomats are often pathfinders, risking all the dangers in the first place, and also making sure every compatriot leaves safely before they evacuate. They are sentinels defending China's national interest in dangerous places.

With its rise, China can no longer be immune from turbulence and violence in faraway countries. Chinese diplomats and other representatives of Chinese national interests must head into many other unsafe regions. They will have to endure incredibly high risks, a price China has to pay for being strong.

In order to make sure its giant society functions well, China has to maintain a stable and sufficient supply of energy and resources. It needs to explore new markets and befriend as many countries as possible.

Therefore, some people have to take the risk of entering those regions which are unfamiliar to Chinese and may be full of peril. These people are not tourists, overseas students or business people. They are on a mission to extend the perimeter of China's national interest. These people need to be treated with respect. They should be remembered by every Chinese who lives in peace.

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