A nationwide anti-terrorism operation has been in effect since May 25. This comes in the wake of a series of bloody attacks since the beginning of this year. As a response to a brutal terrorist attack which killed and injured a total of more than 100 people in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on May 22, the operation shows the Chinese Government's determination to maintain social stability and ensure the safety of the people.
Three brutal terrorist attacks targeting innocent people have taken place over the past three months. The victims have included senior citizens and children. This shows the evil nature of terrorism. A zero-tolerance policy must be adopted and those responsible have to be brought to justice. The public has shown widespread support for the anti-terrorism operation.
The anti-terror cause in China is complex and will undoubtedly be a long-term endeavor. The terrorist attacks in China have been caused by the "three forces" of domestic terrorism, separatism, extremism and external influence.
Some Western countries have adopted a double standard on China's anti-terror operations. They have supplied funds and refuge to ethnic separatist Rebiya Kadeer and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement—a UN recognized terrorist organization—which are both involved in terrorist activities in Xinjiang. The interference of some countries has further complicated and exasperated this already sensitive situation.
Meanwhile, a new trend in terrorist attacks in China is their connection to religious extremists, who have been utilizing the Internet to organize attacks and further spread their influence into areas where anti-terror efforts are weaker. As a result, terrorist activities are becoming more difficult to identify and intercept.
All these elements together indicate that China's battle against terrorism cannot possibly be won overnight. We must be diligent if we are to succeed in ensuring the safety and well-being of all citizens.
Some aspects of the situation will require China to seek and reinforce its international cooperation and support, especially with countries in Central Asia, by taking advantage of the anti-terror mechanisms of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China needs to observe the links between the global development of terrorist activities and their development in China more closely.
The recently concluded fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia has enhanced the consensus on the anti-terror fight among Asian countries. China needs to fully tap the results of the summit, implement common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia and carry out better targeted anti-terror cooperation to eradicate terrorism at its root.