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Friday, September 02, 2005

1000 unreported bombings in China last year?

At least that's what the BBC says (initially seen here). Obviously driven by the Iraq invasion. Right?

Well it turns out the Beeb has quite a long series of articles covering China's Muslim terrorist problems. At least six years worth, in fact - before 9/11, President Bush, and the Iraq war.

[note: information supplied by Chinese officials should be taken with an appropriately-sized grain of salt]

China has issued its first "terrorist" wanted list, blaming four Muslim separatist groups and 11 individuals for a string of bombings and assassinations and calling for international assistance to track them down.

The groups are accused of trying to create an independent Islamic state called "East Turkestan" in the northwest Xinjiang region, which is populated by Turkic-speaking Uighur Muslims.

"East Turkestan forces inside and outside China have long plotted and executed a series of bombings, assassinations, arsons, poisoning attacks and other activities in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China," said Zhao Yongshen, an official with the Ministry of Public Security.
And another, from Nov 2003:
Pinned up on the wall were pictures of the mangled aftermath of bomb explosions and bloody corpses of murder victims. Chinese authorities say separatist groups have mounted more than 200 such attacks since 1990, causing 162 deaths. They say officials and religious personnel were targeted, including those accused of collaborating with the Chinese.

The Chinese authorities mainly blame a shadowy group called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). It accuses ETIM of having links to the Taleban in neighbouring Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, but has produced no supporting evidence.
And yet another, from Jan 2002:
The government has just published a list of bombings, shootings and riots in the province. According to this account, Uighur separatists have killed 40 people and injured 330 over the past 10 years.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry announcement recently warned of the danger of an Islamic terror network.

"These people have links with the Bin Laden clique and have been infected with the jihad mentality. We should regard cracking down on these terrorists as part of the international struggle against terrorism," it said in a statement.
And another from 2001, and two more from 2000. And another from 1999.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/02/2005 03:47:00 am


Blogger Chris said...

Why would someone argue that bombs in China are related to the Iraq war? If I remember correctly, China was against the invasion of Iraq, and has had nothing to do with it since.

9/02/2005 12:48:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

I understand that the Chinese have had problems with the Muslim Turkic peoples out west for decades. The divides are immense between the Han Chinese and the people of Sinkiang; language, race, religon, livelihood. Makes our racial issues here in New Zealand pretty small beer (but then I think they are anyway).

Acts of 'terrorism' have been ongoing there for at least 5-10 years from what I know. They may be accelerating in response to the situation in the Middle East, who knows?

9/02/2005 12:55:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

The point Roger is that many Muslim terrorist attacks have been occurring in China for a long period of time, just as in the West, but subsequent to the Iraq war it is not fashionable for anti-war types to blame every terror attack on Iraq.

Get with the programme guys.

9/02/2005 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

Well I've never been fashionable, in any sense of the word, so why should I 'get with the programme'? I never thought Iraq was the sole cause of terror attacks on the West, 9/11 was sufficent proof of that.

And why are they terrorist attacks, just because they've been perpetrated by Muslims? Deliberate targeting of innocents is terrorism regardless of who pulls the trigger, we probably agree on that. But who's to say that all attacks in Sinkiang were targeted deliberately at civilians? If the PLA is taking a few hits, then I'd describe them as insurgent attacks.

Interesting question. 9/11 was a terrorist attack, no doubt about it. How about the attack on the USS Cole, or the bombing of the US Marines in Beirut? Are they terror attacks, or would you describe them as insurgent attacks, given that they targeted military personnel only?

9/02/2005 02:45:00 pm  

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