ETIM is a big threat as it keeps sending members to China to plot terrorist attacks: Ministry of Public Security
Over 1,900 terrorist gangs smashed by China since 2014
Published: Jul 16, 2021 03:40 AM
Armed police officers in Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region conduct an anti-terrorism exercise on April 6, 2021. Photo: CFP

Armed police officers in Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region conduct an anti-terrorism exercise on April 6, 2021. Photo: CFP

China has smashed more than 1,900 violent and terrorist gangs and arrested over 14,000 suspects since 2014, making the country free from terrorist attacks for four consecutive years, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security announced. 

However, China should remain on high alert as frequent terrorist attacks around the world have a strong positive effect on terrorist extremists. Many countries, including China, are still facing the real threat of terrorism especially from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) terrorist organization, the ministry said. 

During a recent press conference, officials from the ministry's counterterrorism bureau announced that, since China has launched the special campaign against violence and terror in 2014, it has made significant achievements greatly safeguarding social stability. 

Deputy director of the bureau, Wu Xin, said China has dismantled over 1,900 terrorist organizations and confiscated more than 2,000 explosive devices. 

However, "the risk of individuals committing sabotage under the instigation of overseas terrorist forces cannot be completely ruled out," director of the bureau, Liu Yunfeng, said at the press conference. 

In particular, the ETIM terrorist organization releases violent and terrorist audios and videos online abroad, propagates terrorist ideology, teaches the use of weapons and explosives, and constantly sends its trainees to sneak into China to plan and carry out terrorist activities. Influenced by the security situation in some countries and regions, the terrorist threat that Chinese overseas institutions and personnel are facing has increased, Liu said. 

Former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced on October 20, 2020 the revocation of a previous decision that designated ETIM as a terrorist organization. 

However, Wu pointed out that the ETIM is a terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council. In 2002, the UN Security Council's 1267 Committee imposed sanctions against it and in 2003, China recognized and declared it as a terrorist organization. The group has been responsible for hundreds of terrorist attacks since it was founded.

"The ETIM plotted a bomb and knife attack at Urumqi railway station on April 30 in 2014, attacks in Kashi on July 30, 31 in 2011 and terrorist assassinations in Moyu county, Hotan Prefecture in 1999, causing heavy casualties and property losses," said Wu. 

As China's anti-terrorism efforts intensified, the ETIM suffered greatly and turned its hub overseas to collaborate with terrorist forces abroad and establish training camps to send terrorists back to China and other countries, Wu noted. 

The organization has also frequently released violent and terrorist audios and videos, encouraging locals to carry out terrorist activities. In addition, it has continued to send personnel to China in an attempt to wreak havoc. China's public security organs have cracked down these activities every year, according to the official.

Wu stressed that the ETIM is an international terrorist organization with the capability of conducting transnational terrorist activities, which seriously threatens the security and stability of China and relevant countries and regions. 

While ETIM's terrorist activities are still rampant, the decision by US politicians to remove them from the terrorist list reflects how the US politicized the anti-terrorism issue. In essence, the US is attempting to attack China with the Xinjiang issue or fostering the containment of China using terrorist tools, said Wu.

Recently, some Western politicians and media have been throwing mud at China with accusations of "genocide" in Xinjiang under the "excuse of anti-terrorism." The so-called "Uygur Tribunal" held a "hearing" in London, accusing China of "violating human rights" in Xinjiang. The US slapped sanctions on Chinese officials and organizations, using the same excuses. 

Liu revealed that the so-called "Uyghur Tribunal" hearing is a premediated farce whose largest sponsor is the World Uyghur Congress, which has been inciting secessionism and terrorism. Participants of the hearing include fugitives and con artists who pretend to be policemen. They have false identities and gave fabricated statements on the hearing. They were the puppets of the World Uyghur Congress, said Liu.

Liu pointed out that "East Turkistan" terrorists, led by the World Uyghur Congress, have gathered a group of alleged witnesses, experts and victims, who churned out lies, smears, distorted history and incited separation. 

The world has seen through those people's tricks and proved their words meaningless and worthless. The "Uyghur Tribunal" is nothing but a stage for those liars and China haters, Liu said.