|In the deadly terrorist attack in China's Southwestern city of Kunming, 29 people have been killed and more than 130 injured. Four attackers were shot dead at the scene on Saturday night.|
Kunming, a tranquil city in southwest China... Overnight, the place was thrown into a panic by a frantic knife-wielding attack on Saturday. The nation united in outrage and shock, and the incident attracted the attention of the whole world.
The terror slaughter orchestrated by Xinjiang separatist forces took place at Kunming Railway Station on the night of March 1, and has left 29 innocent civilians dead and another 130 people wounded. President Xi Jinping urged China's law enforcement authorities to spare nothing in investigating and solving the case, and ensure that the terrorists be punished in accordance with the law. At the same time, the international community also strongly condemned the vicious attack.
On March 2, several experts told the daily newspaper Global Times that separatist forces intend to cause a conflagration inland, with the objective of creating hatred and panic. In response China must strengthen security, and at the same time stand unyielding in the fight against terrorism.
Why did the terrorists target peaceful Kunming?
A senior anti-terrorism official told Global Time that this violent terrorist attack was obviously premeditated and carefully planned. Kunming offers certain advantages to terrorists: firstly, they are always looking for the opportunity to attack unprepared and defenseless civilians, and a railway station crowded with travelers is an ideal choice to instigate fear. Secondly, they were clearly determined to launch the attack prior to the two sessions as a means of defying national security; they chose Kunming because the city does not have the same strict security measures that are to be found in areas like Beijing, Shanghai, and Xinjiang itself.
An anti-terrorist official from Xinjiang told Global Times that they always maintain a watchful eye on the actions of East Turkistan terrorists and separatists in Yunnan and its bordering countries. The official explained that some East Turkistan terrorists consider Yunnan to be a convenient channel to cross the border into Chinese territory. In contrast with Xinjiang and its cold, high mountains and strict border control, Yunnan offers mobility through its spacious and complex border terrain, while neighboring countries lack the strength to maintain full surveillance over some of their ethnic areas.
The Tiananmen attack on Oct 28, 2013, and this new Kunming attack, both indicate that Xinjiang separatist forces are determined to cause havoc in China's inland areas, and every inland city could be a target of terrorism. Pan Zhiping, head of the Central China Institution, Xinjiang Academy of Social Science stressed to Global Times that there must be an immediate crackdown on Xinjiang separatist forces, and state policy needs to mobilize against terrorism and ensure that the fight against terrorism is in the forefront of the public mind.
Wang Hongwei, a professor with the School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China, said that after the terrorist attack on Tiananmen’s Jinshui Bridge, China can no longer consider itself to be safe from terrorism. In China’s regions and cities, including Xinjiang, it is necessary to raise awareness of the need for a concerted anti-terrorism effort, and China should build anti-terror emergency systems in major cities outside of Xinjiang. The public needs to be educated and involved.
The article is edited and translated from 《反恐人士：中国分裂势力试图将“火”引向内地》, source: Global Times