Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Terrorists are enemy to all

By Shi Lan (China Daily) Updated: 2013-11-02 07:20

Everyone in the region should rally to oppose the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and other extremist and separatist groups

On Monday, a jeep crashed into the sidewalk on Chang'an Avenue in front of Tian'anmen Square and plowed through tourists and policemen before finally crashing into a guardrail on Jinshui Bridge, which crosses the moat in front of the Tian'anmen Rostrum. According to latest information, five people, including all three people in the jeep who set the vehicle on fire, were killed, while another 40 were injured, many of them seriously. 

The police found gasoline, a gasoline container, and a flag with religious extremism content inside the jeep, and they have confirmed that the incident was a "well-planned, organized and premeditated terrorist attack". Five other people have already been arrested for their involvement in the attack.

The Monday attack was the first terrorist attack in China in which foreign citizens became victims, one of the two tourists who died was a woman from the Philippines, and it showed that the security departments of China must improve their training and emergency handling skills to suit the changing situation.

The attack sends a clear message that terrorist attacks can happen any time and anywhere, victimizing any one of us. Terrorism is anti-human and uncivilized; it intentionally sacrifices the lives and blood of randomly chosen innocent civilians, and often of those who perpetrate the atrocities as well, to create a sense of panic intended to serve the narrow interests of a small, limited group.

Terrorists are enemy to all

All people in the world with a basic sense of goodness condemn terrorism; all responsible nations should crack down on it.

By selecting Tian'anmen Square for their attack, those who organized it have exposed their intention of attracting international attention. But while they got the attention they craved, their bid to rally international support was doomed to failure - no responsible country or organization will support terrorism, as it is an enemy to all.

China's legal system protects the rights of its citizens, regardless of race, gender, color or ethnicity. That should include protection against terrorism, too, and a firm stance must be taken to oppose those who violate people's rights and safety.

The Chinese authorities have expressed their firm resolve to fight terrorism, and a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday that the military will fight various terrorist activities according to government instructions.

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