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Terrorism In China

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  1. Terrorism In China Liu Tingkai 4S309 Ng Chow Hui 4S313 Zhou Ming Yang 4S330 1

  2. Background • Terrorism in China mainly occurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region • largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million sq. km. • has abundant oil reserves • China's largest natural gas-producing region • home to a number of different ethnic groups and major ethnic groups include Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongol 2

  3. Background – Geographical Info • Xinjiang borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India 3

  4. Terrorist Groups • The Chinese Ministry of Public Security announced a list of banned terrorist organisations on 15 December 2003 • The listed organizations include: • Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement • Eastern Turkestan Liberation Organization • World Uygur Youth Congress • Eastern Turkestan Information 4

  5. Terrorist Groups • Around Xinjiang Province • Comprise of mainly Islamic and Uygur • Mainly under the name of Turkestan 5

  6. Historical Causes of Terrorism • After KMT was defeated, the former ruler of Xinjiang who was a KMT official, gathered radical militants and trained them in Urumqi. • They tried to create a “white terror” but was eventually crashed. • However, some of the militants hid among civilians. These militants later become the founders of the terrorist groups in China. • The terrorist groups were most active in 1950s and 1980s and 1990s. However, there are signs of them planning for greater assaults. 6

  7. East Turkestan Islamic Movement • Uyghur militant organization • advocates the creation of an independent, Islamic state of East Turkestan, in what is currently the Xinjiang region • ETIM is described as a terrorist organization by the governments of the PRC, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the United States, as well as the United Nations • The Chinese government blamed ETIM members for several car bomb attacks in Xinjiang in the 1990s, as well as the death of a Chinese diplomat in Kyrgyzstan in 2002, but the group has neither admitted nor denied such accusations. • ETIM is alleged to have had links with Al-Qaeda. In its 2005 report on terrorism, the US State Department said that the group was "linked to al-Qaida and the international jihadist movement" and that Al-Qaeda provided the group with "training and financial assistance" 7

  8. East Turkestan Liberation Organization • a secessionist Uyghur organization that advocates an independent Turkestan • established in Turkey in the late 1990s to fight against Chinese administration in East Turkestan which is primarily inhabited by Uyghur, Han Chinese, Kazakh and other Turkic communities • Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members; China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, designated ETLO as a terrorist organization. • The American government refused China's request to recognize the East Turkestan Liberation Organization (ETLO) as a terrorist organization in December 2003. • The Global Defence Review says it is "widely acknowledged" that Al-Qaeda gives funding and training to the ETLO 8

  9. World Uyghur Congress • an international organization that represents the collective interest of the Uyghur people both in East Turkestan and abroad. WUC was established on April 16, 2004 in Munich Germany after the East Turkestan National Congress and the World Uyghur Youth Congress merged into one united organization. • “...development programs planned for East Turkestan...” • WUC was alleged to be responsible for the 2009 Urumuqi Riot. 9

  10. Turkestan • the regions of Central Asia lying between Siberia on the north; Tibet, India, Afghanistan, and Iran on the south; the Gobi Desert on the east; and the Caspian Sea on the west • The region became part of the Russian Empire in the 1860s, and is thus sometimes called Russian Turkestan or the Туркестанский Край (Turkestanskii Krai). After the Russian Revolution, a Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union was created, which was eventually split into the Kazakh SSR (Kazakhstan), Kyrgyz SSR (Kyrgyzstan), Tajik SSR (Tajikistan), Turkmen SSR (Turkmenistan) and Uzbek SSR (Uzbekistan). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these republics gained their independence. • Similar as Jerusalem, Turkestan is deemed as the origin of Turks’ Culture and Turks have be constantly fighting to regain independence. • Similar as the muslim movements, such movement has resulted in violence. 10

  11. Turkestan 11

  12. Terrorists’ Attacks • Februrary 5,1992, among the four bombs set i public buildings in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China,the two on the buses of line 2 and line 30 exploded, causing at least 3 killed and 23 injured. • On 25 February 1997 three bombs exploded in Urumqi. The bombs were set on the three buses (line 10, line 44, and line 2), and made the death of 9, (including the death of 3 children at least), and injury of 74. • 2009 Urumqi Riot. • Though Tibet Unrest is also an bloody incident, it was not recognized as a terrorist attack. 12

  13. Urumqi Riot • Video 13

  14. Urumqi Riot • July 5th, 2009 • Deadly incident that caused a casualty of almost 200 people • A terrorist attack • Claimed to be organized by WUC and Rebiya Cadeer • Began as peace protest, latter used violence 14

  15. Urumqi Riot - Events • Demonstration > Police Intervention > Confrontation resulted in violence > Riots > Armed demonstration of the Han> Dispersed by Police 15

  16. Media • "The unrest was a preempted, organized violent crime. It was instigated and directed from abroad, and carried out by outlaws in the country."-China • "Xinjiang's government accused Uighur exiles led by a former businesswoman now living in America, Rebiya Kadeer, of fomenting the violence via the Internet."-MSNBC 16

  17. Urumqi Riot - Causes • The direct cause of the riot: two Uyghur workers killed in a factory in Guangdong. The tension between Han and Uyghur in the factory was due to an allegation of two Han girls being raped by six Uyghur men which occurred just before the killing incident. • However, it is believed that, the attack was due to accumulated dissatisfaction of Uyghur people of being marginalized. • Another hypothesis suggests that it is because of Uyghur’s demand of independence. 17

  18. Conflicting Interpretations • The Xinjiang riots are regarded as terrorist attacks by the Chinese government • The organizations are labeled as terrorist groups and banned • China cooperates with neighboring countries (i.e. India, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan etc) to counter these terrorist activities 18

  19. Conflicting Interpretations • However, the international human rights community regard these activities as expression of political dissent • Amnesty International criticized the Chinese government for using "'anti-terrorism' as a pretext to suppress all forms of political or religious dissent in the region" 19

  20. Conflicting Interpretations • The prominent political activists in Xinjiang, such as Rebiya Kadeer won the Rafto Prize for human rights in 2004 for defending the rights of the largely Muslim Uyghur minority • Kadeer was however forced into exile by the China government, for being the cause of the political uprising 20

  21. Conflicting Interpretations • Counter-terrorism or political suppression? 21

  22. Underlying Cause • Terrorism in China is mainly about the riots in Xinjiang • It has arisen due to tensions between the Uyghurs and Hans • Xinjiang comprises numerous minority groups: 45% of its population are Uyghurs, and 40% are Han 22

  23. Underlying Causes • Uyghurs believe their ancestors were indigenous to the area, whereas government policy considers present-day Xinjiang to have belonged to China since around 200 BC • The nationalistic feelings and the separatist motivations of Uyghurs have fuelled the uprisings and riots, that is somewhat akin to terrorism 23

  24. Evaluating China’s Reaction • Communication Black-out and press censorship were often china’s direct response to terrorists attacks. • Though condemned on the issue of freedom of speech, China’s response was reasonable. • China has 56 ethnic groups. • Ethnic issue is very sensitive in China, especially in autonomous states. • Due to differences in religions and historical issues, tension is very easily instigated in China. • The vast population would result in devastating riots if a tension was instigated. 24

  25. References • http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/jco/lowres/jcon1795l.jpg • http://www.eastwestcenter.org/fileadmin/stored/pdfs/PS006.pdf • http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/58030/chien-peng-chung/chinas-war-on-terror-september-11-and-uighur-separatism • http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/018/1999 25

  26. Thank you 26