Opinion / Editorials

ETIM's attack calls for close security cooperation

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-08 07:08

ETIM's attack calls for close security cooperation

Police officers gather near the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, after a car bomb attack on Tuesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Kyrgyzstan's national security committee has established that the Aug 30 suicide bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek was ordered by "Uygur terrorist groups active in Syria" and affiliated to the Nusra Front, and that the suicide bomber, also Uygur, was a member of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in Syria.

Those who have stubbornly refused to even acknowledge the existence of the ETIM now have to face the truth.

The Syria-based Nusra Front, which recently renamed itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, is deemed a terrorist organization by both the United States and Russia. The ETIM, dedicated mainly to the separation of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was listed by the United Nations as a terrorist organization in 2002, and certified by China's Ministry of Public Security as one of the four East Turkestan terrorist groups in 2003.

The attack was the first of its kind against a Chinese diplomatic mission overseas, and the identity of the perpetrators makes the matter even more worrisome, as it may indicate a change in the ETIM's threat to Chinese national interests.

With stronger vigilance and tougher security precautions against it at home, the ETIM terrorists might be turning their attention to Chinese targets overseas.

If it can happen in Kyrgyzstan, there is no guarantee there will be no attack elsewhere.

Which is why there is an imperative need to enhance the security guarantees for our key overseas outposts, whether diplomatic or not. Particularly in turbulent locations such as Afghanistan and Syria. This is urgent, as a number of suspects allegedly involved remain at large, reportedly in Turkey.

That the attack took place in a foreign country again highlights the necessity for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

China's anti-terrorism endeavors, particularly when it comes to Islamic radicals in and from Xinjiang, have frequently been frustrated by the West's double standard.

But for our campaign against the internationalizing terrorist threat to be effective, an international united front is indispensable. For that reason, we must work harder to enlist broader international understanding, support and collaboration.

To remove the ETIM tumor, priority should go to cooperation with countries where it finds its most fertile ground.

Meanwhile, the nation should never underestimate the need to explain to the rest of the world, especially incredulous Western and Muslim audiences, what the fight against the ETIM is about.

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