Halt­ing ter­ror a ‘com­mon duty’

China calls on world to make com­bat­ing vi­o­lence a pri­or­ity

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI XIAOKUN lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The bloody at­tacks in Turkey, Ger­many and Switzer­land on Mon­day might be re­lated to the sit­u­a­tion in Iraq and Syria, Chi­nese ex­perts said, adding that global terrorism risks will in­crease next year.

Bei­jing called on Tues­day for the world to make com­bat­ing terrorism a pri­or­ity and to prop­erly set­tle re­gional hot spot is­sues to con­tain the spread of terrorism.

“Com­bat­ing all kinds of vi­o­lence and ter­ror­ist acts should be­come the com­mon duty and pri­or­ity of re­gional coun­tries and the global com­mu­nity,” For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing told a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence.

In Ankara, the Turk­ish cap­i­tal, Rus­sian Am­bas­sador to Turkey An­drei Karlov was shot dead on Mon­day by an off-duty Turk­ish po­lice of­fi­cer who shouted slo­gans about Aleppo, a Syr­ian city where Rus­sian bom­bard­ments have tar­geted rebel fac­tions. The gun­man was later killed by po­lice.

In Ber­lin, a truck plowed into a Christ­mas mar­ket and killed 12 peo­ple. Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said on Tues­day that the in­ci­dent was a “ter­ror­ist” at­tack likely com­mit­ted by an asy­lum seeker.

In Zurich, three peo­ple were wounded when a gun­man opened fire in the prayer hall of a mosque fre­quented by So­mali im­mi­grants.

Hua ex­tended deep con­do­lences for the deaths of the Rus­sian am­bas­sador and other vic­tims. As of press time, the Chi­nese Em­bassy to Ger­many had found no re­ports of Chi­nese ca­su­al­ties in the Ber­lin at­tack.

She said China res­o­lutely ob­jects to all ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties. She called for the global com­mu­nity to strengthen anti-ter­ror co­op­er­a­tion, aban­don “dou­ble stan­dards” on the is­sue and let the United Na­tions play a lead­ing role.

Li Wei, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity and Arms Con­trol Stud­ies of the China In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said that although there ap­par­ent- ly was no di­rect con­nec­tion be­tween the at­tacks, the one in Turkey was re­lated to the sit­u­a­tion in Syria, while the one in Ber­lin likely tar­geted Chris­tians, which is in line with the think­ing of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism.

“And the at­tack in Zurich pos­si­bly was tar­geted at Mus­lims, a move that might be re­lated to the ris­ing ul­tra­right forces in Europe. And the forces have been spurred by the refugee cri­sis and ter­ror at­tacks.”

He said that in 2017, ef­forts to fight the Is­lamic State group will con­tinue, and as a re­sult, ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Western coun­tries might in­crease.

Li Shaox­ian, di­rec­tor of the China-Arab Re­search In­sti­tute at Ningxia Univer­sity, said that “the three at­tacks com­ing at the end of the year also sent a sig­nal”.

“I’m afraid that there might be very se­ri­ous terrorism risks in 2017.”

Sun Zhuangzhi, sec­re­tary­gen­eral of the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion Re­search Cen­ter at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said that Rus­sia will thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate the case and harshly pun­ish any- one in­volved.

How­ever, the re­cently re­paired Rus­sia-Turkey re­la­tions are un­likely to be ham­pered, he added, since im­proved re­la­tions ben­e­fit both sides.

Ruan Zongze, vice-pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said that de­spite the ter­ror at­tack, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin won’t re­treat on the Syria is­sue.

“He will seek fur­ther con­sen­sus with Turkey and pos­si­bly send more forces to Syria to sta­bi­lize the sit­u­a­tion,” Ruan said.

A gun­man (top) shouts slo­gans about the bom­barded Syr­ian city of Aleppo af­ter fa­tally shoot­ing Rus­sian Am­bas­sador to Turkey An­drei Karlov at a photo gallery in Ankara on Mon­day. In Ber­lin (right), a sur­vivor is taken from a Christ­mas mar­ket where a truck ran into pedes­tri­ans, killing 12 peo­ple on Mon­day. Swiss po­lice re­spond to the scene af­ter a gun­man opened fire at an Is­lamic cen­ter in Zurich, in­jur­ing three peo­ple on Mon­day.

PHO­TOS BY DEPO PHO­TOS / SOZCU NEWS­PA­PER VIA REUTERS, FABRIZIO BENSCH AND ARND WIEGMANN / REUTERS

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