Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Terrorism a threat to Xinjiang

By Fu Xiaoqiang (China Daily) Updated: 2013-07-08 07:15

The recent terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have resulted in heavy casualties and social instability. In response, the Chinese government has cracked down on terrorist groups and extremist organizations.Terrorists excel in targeting innocent people, and they have obvious political motives. Their anti-people nature doesn't change irrespective of what they believe in and which place or who they target .

On April 23, terrorist attacks claimed the lives of at least 15 police officers and community officials in a town in Bachu county of Xinjiang's Kashgar prefecture. On June 26, terrorists killed 24 people in Lukqun township of Shanshan county in Xinjiang's Turpan prefecture. Knife-wielding extremists attacked the township's police stations, a local government building and a construction site. The two attacks were the handiwork of terrorists rather than ethnic clashes, as some Western media love to call them.

Terrorism a threat to Xinjiang

Stabbing innocent people in full view of others has marked the recent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. Among the victims in Shanshan were Uygur and Han neighbors and acquaintances of the attackers. The terrorist attacks in Xinjiang are no different from the one in Boston, and it is absurd for some Western countries to label them part of an ethnic conflict.

Also, the attacks should not be seen as some people's resistance against government "oppression" just because the terrorists targeted some government agencies and police stations. In fact, government facilities have been easy targets of terrorists even in Western countries.

Terrorism has been a scourge for long, more so in Xinjiang where terrorists have launched violent attacks in the recent past with the aim of splitting the region from China. These terrorists pose a serious challenge to Xinjiang's prosperity and stability and are the common enemy of all ethnic groups in China.

For long, the "three evil forces" separatism, extremism and terrorism have carried out violent attacks both in and outside China to establish a separate "East Turkistan". Using Islam as a ruse, the terrorists have been trying to divide Xinjiang's population on religious and ethnic lines, fan religious passions and incite ethnic conflicts in order to create a separate "East Turkistan".

These terrorists, in fact, do not represent any ethnic group or religion. That's why China's fight against terrorism is neither an ethnic nor a religious problem. It is, instead, a long-term effort to safeguard national unity and defeat separatism.

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