News / Asia

Chinese Media Call for 'United Front Against Terror' Following Arrests

Police officers set up barriers in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as they clean up after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
Police officers set up barriers in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as they clean up after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
Chinese state media on Thursday blamed Muslim minority Uighurs for a "terrorist attack" in which a car was driven through a crowd of people at Tiananmen Square.

Beijing says the deadly Monday crash was a suicide mission planned by religious extremists from the troubled northwest region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs have long complained of government persecution.

Police say they believe Usmen Hasan crashed a vehicle carrying his mother and wife into a crowd of people in the square, before lighting the car on fire. All three died at the scene, as did two tourists. Dozens were wounded.

Officials say they found gasoline, knives, steel sticks and a flag with extremist religious content inside the burnt-out vehicle. They also arrested five people from Xinjiang, who were said to be planning attacks with Hasan.

While police did not specify the ethnicity of the attackers, the Communist Party-controlled Global Times said Thursday all those involved were Uighurs. The paper called for a "unified front against terrorism," and warned Uighurs will be the "biggest victims" of the attack.

Some fear the incident could be used to justify further restrictions on the Uighur community, and question key aspects of the government's investigation.

Dolkun Isa, the executive chairman of the World Uyghur Congress, tells VOA he finds it inconceivable a family would work together on such a barbaric attack.

"If this is really a suicide and terrorist activity, how is it possible that someone could do this together with their mother and wife? It's impossible," he said.

The Germany-based activist also wants to know how investigators were able to find such specific evidence of religious propaganda in a car that pictures showed was fully engulfed in flames.

"If the all the car is burning, how could they recognize in the car some material that belongs to religious extremists?" he asks.

The World Uyghur Congress does not deny Uighur individuals sometimes engage in violence, out of what it calls desperation. But, contrary to Beijing's claims, it says there is no organized resistance against Chinese rule.

The group also says Beijing intentionally exaggerates this threat in order to further its repression of Uighurs. Dolkun Isa says this has already begun to happen in the wake of the Monday incident, with an increased security presence reported there.

China has defended its policies in Xinjiang, saying it is waging a campaign against separatists who are trying to form a separate nation called East Turkestan. It denies mistreating Uighurs, who it says are are guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms and are benefiting from urban development.

Clashes in Xinjiang are not uncommon between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority or members of the government security forces. Beijing says over 200 people have been killed in such attacks in recent years. But this is the first time Chinese authorities have blamed Uighurs for a major incident in Beijing.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehmet from: Usa
October 31, 2013 10:12 AM
This is ultimate cry of one nation by sacrificing their life for very basic rights as communist Chinese government did not leave them any space to live with their own identity

In Response

by: Anonymous
November 03, 2013 6:06 PM
Nonsense! you are singing songs for the terrorists. you don't see them killing innocent passengers on the street? What are the terrorists?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid