News / Asia

China Says Tiananmen 'Terror Attack' Planned in Advance

A man works on a security camera which is installed at the Tiananmen square in Beijing October 31, 2013.
A man works on a security camera which is installed at the Tiananmen square in Beijing October 31, 2013.
VOA News
Chinese state media are releasing more details about what they say was a terrorist attack in Tiananmen Square carried out by militant Uighurs - a mainly Muslim ethnic group in western China. And reports coming in from Xinjiang Province tell of a crackdown on the minority Uighur community there.

China Central Television says eight Islamist separatists from Xinjiang province had been planning the attack in Beijing for more than a month, and had accumulated more than $6,500 in funds to support their plot.

The state-run broadcaster says three of the suspects drove a Mercedes SUV loaded with 400 liters of gasoline into Tiananmen Square on Monday. The vehicle crashed and exploded in flames, killing the three men and two tourists and wounding dozens of other people. Authorities say the five other suspects lerft Beijing before the attack and were arrested later in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital.

The World Uyghur Congress said Friday that Chinese police have arrested at least 53 people in Xinjiang since the blast in Beijing. The exile group said "a period of unprecedented repression" appears imminent, and it appealed for support from the international community.

The World Uyghur Congress, which is based abroad in Munich, says exiles fear that Beijing will use the Tiananmen incident to justify further restrictions on the Uighur community, which they already is considered a target of religious and cultural persecution. It expressed skepticism about Chinese authorities' version of what happened in Beijing, and urged the world to withhold judgment until full details are known.

China's domestic security chief, Meng Jianzhu, said the attack in Beijing on Monday was carried out activists from a Muslim Uighur separatist group based in Xinjiang, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.N., U.S. and others.

The CCTV report, however, said the Tiananmen plotters decided to form a terrorist group only last month.

China says it dopes not mistreat Uighurs, but is waging a campaign against separatists trying to form a separate nation in what they call East Turkestan. Chinese authorities say Uighurs are guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms.

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

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
November 02, 2013 9:06 AM
To review the history,there were numerous small countries before Qing Dynasty(400 years) in Xinjiang.After Qing Dynasty was established,this small countries has been united in Chinese centre regime.and meanwhile,clashes in Xinjiang have been not uncommon between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority or members of the government security forces. The estimative figure were killed would be more than 10 thoudrens people since
Qing Dynasty.
In Response

by: Double standards
November 03, 2013 4:43 AM
The Manchus joined forces with the Mongols,conquered China and founded the Qing Dynasty in China in 1644.They later on conquered by force Tibet,East Turekestan (Xinjang) and Formosa (Taiwan) and annexed them into Qing Dynasty,not united as stated by OldLamb.Ming China as well as East Turkestan were all subjected to Manchu rule against their will,that was why there were several rebellions during this period to overthrow them.The Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and all these countries regained their independence.After Mao defeated the Nationalist in 1949,he went on to invade East Turkestan and Tibet and annexed them into the PRC by force,It is only normal for the East Turkestanis and Tibetans to fight against the Chinese colonialists, as the Ming Chinese had done the same against the Manchurians.The Chinese never wanted to be subjected to Manchu and Japanese rule, likewise neither do these East Turkestanis to Han Chinese.We all must have our rights of Self determination and China should respect them !

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs