News / Asia

    China Heightens Security in Wake of Train Station Attacks

    China's top leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, bottom center and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, bottom right, have a moment of silence to commemorate the victims of a slashing spree during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, China, March 3, 2014.
    China's top leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, bottom center and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, bottom right, have a moment of silence to commemorate the victims of a slashing spree during the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, China, March 3, 2014.
    China is strengthening security in the capital, Beijing, as it holds key political meetings just days after a violent attack at a train station in southwestern part of the country left more than 30 dead. Chinese authorities say separatists from the country's remote Xinjiang region were responsible for carrying out what officials described as a highly organized terrorist attack.
     
    In the wake of the brutal Kunming attack, state media report officials in Beijing held an emergency meeting to boost safety and security in the capital.
     
    The measures, among others, include heightening anti-terrorism and anti-explosives awareness in the city. Officials also called for strengthening security on public transportation such as buses and the city's massive and sprawling subway system.
     
    Of the more than 10 attackers accused of involvement in Saturday's attack, four were shot dead and one taken into police custody. Others remain at large.
     
    Some in Kunming say they felt uneasy that some assailants had not yet been apprehended.
     
    Mrs. Shu, a shop owner in Kunming, said that while she feels safe during the day she worries at night. She said it is easier at night for the assailants to commit a crime and escape. She is worried they may come back.
     
    Domestic security will be a key issue when Chinese officials meet this week in Beijing. Although China's military spending is growing rapidly, the tightly controlled country still spends more on domestic security than it does on defense.
     
    Since 2009, China's security budget in Xinjiang alone has grown from $250,000 to $1 billion.
     
    Twin sessions

    In Beijing, China's top leaders met at the Great Hall of the People Monday for the opening ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory body of 2,200 deputies.
     
    Du Qingling a top official with the conference said the government extends its sincere condolences to those killed in the violent terrorist attack at Kunming station. He then asked deputies to hold a moment of silence.
     
    Every year when China's top leadership gathers for its political meetings in the capital, there is always a striking increase in police presence on the streets. Security is particularly strengthened around Tiananmen Square where the meetings are held at the Great Hall of the People.
     
    The meetings are called the twin sessions in Chinese because while advisors meet, lawmakers gather for what is called the National People's Congress at about the same time.
     
    Off guard

    In the attack's aftermath, many are demanding that a crackdown be launched. Some are also asking that anti-terror laws be strengthened to help the government have a better ability to respond.
     
    James Leibold, a visiting professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said the attacks caught the government off guard and heightened concerns that the incident could play into ethnic tensions.  "I think they are particularly worried about the Han backlash. There are a lot of people talking about how this is reminiscent of 2009. When you had the Han riots in Shaoguang in Guangdong and how that spilled over into Urumqi and that terrible street violence. The government is worried to not let that get out to loose control of it," he said.
     
    In 2009, Xinjiang was rocked by ethnic riots that left about 200 people dead, both Han Chinese and members of Xinjiang's Uighur Muslim minority group.
     
    In late December, Leibold noted, Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined his vision for a new grand strategy for Xinjiang. And while details of that strategy are still coming together, it is clear that Xi intends to intensify controls in the region.

    "I think we've got some indicators of what that might be and in short it's going to be a further penetration of the party state into the lives of ordinary people in Xinjiang," stated Leibold.
     
    He added that will come in the form of more cameras on the streets and boots on the ground in Xinjiang.  Party cadres will also be sent down to areas all over Xinjiang.
     
    Xinjiang officials recently announced that some 200,000 cadres would be sent down to the grassroots over the next three years the region. The government aim in doing this, it said, is to improve people's livelihood and ensure lasting stability.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora