When a blazing SUV rammed traffic cordons and ran over sightseers at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing two weeks ago, killing five and injuring 40, media outlets reached for their usual suspects. Both Chinese and international commentators were quick to frame the suicide attack on the symbolic epicenter of China within the context of long-running ethnic tensions in the country’s peripheral Xinjiang region.
Chinese state-controlled media reported the incident as an act of terrorism, claiming that the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) – a group Beijing lists as an international terrorist organization – was behind the attack. Despite blaming ETIM for the incident, China’s top security official, Meng Jianzhu offered no details of the allegations against the group.
Fast-forward one week, and the November 6 bombing of Communist Party headquarters in the Shanxi province capital of Taiyuan has further heightened sensitivities just days out from the Party’s third plenum in Beijing. With no hint of jihadist involvement for authorities to point the finger at, this attack appears to be the latest in a spate of terror attacks emanating from well within China’s heartlands and far from its restive borders…
Read more of this article by Nicholas Dynon at The Diplomat website.