Joint efforts needed to shield citizens abroad

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-11-20 0:48:01

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group announced on Wednesday that it had murdered one Norwegian and one Chinese captive and released their images as proof. The news shocked the whole of Chinese society, as we have become the latest victim of terrorist acts by the IS.

The news broke in September that the Chinese victim, Fan Jinghui, went to Syria alone and was captured by the IS. Chinese diplomatic departments soon launched rescue efforts. Chinese authorities have rescued hostages in turbulent regions several times, but had no luck with the IS.

Protecting the safety of Chinese nationals overseas has become a new challenge for the country.

East Asian countries are geographically distant from the Middle East and they do not get involved in the feuds in the region. But citizens of East Asian countries constantly fall victim to terrorist forces in the Middle East and their nearby regions. Two Japanese nationals were beheaded by the IS earlier this year.

No compromise is allowed with terrorism, this is a shared principle of mankind in fighting terror.

Therefore, it is the official attitude of all authorities to refuse to pay ransoms to terrorists or engage in negotiations with them. Even it happened in some cases it happened, it is never publicly admitted.

So far, Western countries are the main targets for terrorists in the Middle East. One of the reasons is that the US supports Israel and meanwhile European countries, more or less, are connected to Washington's Middle East policies. In addition, Western civilization is adjacent to that of Islam's. The two have resented and held grudges against each other both in history and in modern times.

Russia has also been targeted. The Kremlin's intervention in Syria means Moscow has to directly face the challenge from the IS.

China is far away from the Middle East both in geography and politics.  So far it hasn't been listed as a prime target of terrorist groups. Middle East terror groups have no motivation to strike China by holding its citizens captive. As long as Chinese citizens maintain sharp vigilance abroad, the chances of becoming a target of attack will be small. 

Chinese people must strengthen their awareness of self-protection and avoid entering the regions where terrorism is rampant. It is important not to take chances.

In other areas, Chinese citizens should also familiarize themselves with basic local circumstances, and be aware of information about China's local consular services, like knowing how to get in touch with their nearest Chinese representatives in emergencies.

Posted in: Editorial

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