Anti-ter­ror­ism mea­sures work in Xin­jiang, re­gion’s top of­fi­cial says

Ris­ing re­li­gious ex­trem­ism ‘an in­ter­na­tional phe­nom­e­non’

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By CUI JIA cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The num­ber of ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion has been kept to a min­i­mum by the im­po­si­tion of a range of coun­tert­er­ror­ism mea­sures, the re­gion’s Party chief said on Thurs­day.

“Ter­ror­ist at­tacks are not caused by the pol­icy of strik­ing hard, but re­sult from the in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment and Xin­jiang’s spe­cial sit­u­a­tion,” said Zhang Chunx­ian, Party chief of Xin­jiang, dur­ing a group dis­cus­sion among the re­gion’s del­e­ga­tion at the 12th Na­tional People’s Congress.

“It is an in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal phe­nom­e­non. In a world in which re­li­gious ex­trem­ism is start­ing to re­vive, such at­tacks are bound to hap­pen,” he said.

“We will show no mercy to ter­ror­ists, and the re­gion will res­o­lutely crack down on them

other­wise, they will be­come ar­ro­gant,” Zhang said dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, which was open to the me­dia.

He added that as China’s glob­al­iza­tion pro­gresses, about 90 per­cent of the ter­ror­ists who car­ried out re­cent at­tacks made use of in­for­ma­tion from on­line sources banned in China.

Al­though ter­ror­ist at­tacks have be­gun to oc­cur in some un­ex­pected ar­eas, such at­tacks can still be pre­vented, Zhang added.

“They al­ways at­tack and fail and then strike again, but they will be elim­i­nated in the end,” Nur Bekri, chair­man of the re­gion, said dur­ing the dis­cus­sion.

Zhang said the crack­down pol­icy only ap­plies to ter­ror­ists and doesn’t tar­get the ma­jor­ity of the pub­lic or a cer­tain group of people. One of the most im­por­tant goals is to im­prove people’s liveli­hoods and win their hearts, he said, adding that the eth­nic ten­sion cre­ated af­ter the July 5, 2009, riot in the re­gional cap­i­tal, Urumqi, which left 197 dead, has been eased.

A se­ries of ter­ror­ist at­tacks oc­curred in Xin­jiang in 2013, and two in­ci­dents have al­ready hap­pened so far this year.

Au­thor­i­ties said sep­a­ratists from Xin­jiang are be­hind the most re­cent ter­ror­ist at­tack in Kun­ming, the cap­i­tal of Yun­nan prov­ince, on March 1.

Twenty-nine people were killed and more than 140 oth­ers in­jured in the at­tack at a rail­way sta­tion. Lo­cal po­lice shot dead four as­sailants and ar­rested one at the scene. The re­main­ing three sus­pects of the eight­mem­ber ter­ror­ist group were ar­rested on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Xin­jiang au­thor­i­ties said the spread of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism has led to a re­cent in­crease in at­tacks.

Mu­talif Wubuli, com­mis­sioner of Kash­gar pre­fec­ture and an NPC deputy, said: “We’ve seen more ter­ror­ist cells con­sist­ing of fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing women, be­cause try­ing to re­cruit un­re­lated people into such cells has be­come more and more dif­fi­cult and it’s eas­ier to brain­wash rel­a­tives with ex­treme re­li­gion.”

FENG YONG­BIN / CHINA DAILY

Zhang Chunx­ian, Party chief of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, is sur­rounded by re­porters af­ter a panel dis­cus­sion of the Govern­ment Work Re­port on Thurs­day. Zhang said the govern­ment will show no mercy in its crack­down on ter­ror­ism.

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