China / Society

Terrorism, violent crime posed challenge in 2013

By CAO YIN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-25 01:47

Terrorism, violent crime posed challenge in 2013

Police officers patrol a public square near the Zhengzhou Railway Station in Henan province in January. XIANG MINGCHAO / CHINA DAILY  

Terrorism and violent crime have become frequent, and they seriously affected social stability last year, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a report on Monday.

In 2013, terrorism-related crime was still the key factor that threatened people's safety and disturbed the country's public order, according to an annual report by the academy on China's rule of law.

As international terrorism unfolded last year, terror attacks in western areas of China, especially in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, also became frequent and serious, said Ji Xiangde, a researcher at the academy's Institute of Law.

On April 23, a terrorist attack in the region's Kashgar prefecture killed 15 police officers and community workers.

Two months later, a similar incident left 24 people dead in Lukqun, a township in Turpan prefecture.

Terror attacks even spread to Beijing. On Oct 28, five people, including three terrorists, were killed and 40 others were injured after Usmen Hasan drove a jeep carrying his wife and mother into a crowd at Tian'anmen Square.

Meanwhile, fake terror incidents and the circulation of false information increased last year, especially ones that affected civil aviation safety, the report said.

From May 15 to 18, cases in which people disrupted civil aviation with such information occurred six times, causing 22 flights in big cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, to return or be delayed and inconveniencing many passengers.

Violent offenses, especially killings of family members, were also frequent last year.

Zhu Jingsi, a farmer from Huainan, Anhui province, was arrested on March 14 and accused of killing four family members, including his two grandsons, aged 1 and 3.

Zhu, 52, had property disputes with his younger son since 2010, and they once fought each other, the local police said.

At 2:30 am on March 11, the suspect came to his son's house and killed the family of four with a knife, police said. The case is still under investigation.

About four months later, Ji Zhongxing set off a homemade explosive device at Beijing Capital International Airport, injuring himself and a police officer.

Ji, 34, was sentenced to six years in prison in October.

Ji said during trial that he caused the blast in an attempt to bring attention to his allegations of unjust treatment in Guangdong province in 2005, which he said resulted in his paralysis and being confined to a wheelchair.

Jin Gaofeng, an associate professor specializing in criminology at the People's Public Security University of China, said many offenders did not control their moods after their petitions were ignored repeatedly.

"They wanted to protect their rights and arouse others' attention, but they may have broken the law and disturbed the public order," Jin said.

In addition, the legal protection system in China needs to be improved. Normal ways to cope with conflicts, including lawsuits, have not worked well, according to Jin.

"All the elements made offenders think their problems could be solved only by going to the extreme," Jin said. "That's why violent incidents frequently occurred last year."

Ji Xiangde, the researcher, agreed and said terrorism and extreme crimes might not decrease this year.

"It demands great effort to reduce such violent offenses. And social moral decline shown in some may not be restored in the short term," he said.

"Dealing with such crimes not only requires judicial bodies but also requires support from the public and educational institutes," the researcher added.

Hot Topics