Pao Pao, an internet news platform supported by Greatfire.org, RNW, Hong Kong Independent Media and the China Digital Times among others, has sought insights from Nicholas Dynon about the use of the term “terrorism” in reportage on violent incidents in China. For readers of Chinese, the report is available on the Pao Pao website.
The latest article by Nicholas Dynon for the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief…
In late October, central Beijing tasted terror when a flaming SUV rammed a crowd of tourists at the city’s iconic Tiananmen gate, killing the three alleged perpetrators and two bystanders. Authorities were quick to label the attack an act of jihadist terror.
The ensuing media commentary and controversy prompted questions around how terrorism is defined—and how terror incidents are framed—by Chinese authorities. Were the perpetrators of the attack radicalized Uighur Islamist insurgents or were they just normal folk marginalized and driven to extreme measures by an arbitrary and belligerent state?
Ultimately, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), an extremist group with purported links to al-Qaeda, praised the attack in a speech given by its leader posted online—a move that seemingly vindicated official finger pointing. While this perpetuates Beijing’s narrative of China as victim of international terrorism, it takes the focus away from a more inconvenient truth. Self-immolation, bombings and other indiscriminate attacks have abounded in China in recent years, and most have been carried out by citizens with no known terrorist, separatist or ethnic minority links. Yet as frequent as these attacks are, the use of “terrorism” to describe them in official media reportage has been noticeably absent. Read more…
[Propaganda feature in Beijing Airport’s Terminal 3, where frustrated petitioner, Ji Zhongxing, detonated a homemade bomb last July]
Agence France-Presse (AFP) has sought insights from Line 21 Project coordinator Nicholas Dynon following the most recent incident of reported violence in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Read a copy of the article published in the West Australian newspaper / Yahoo7 here.
- China authorities say 8 police station “attackers” shot dead in Xinjiang (channelnewsasia.com)
- 8 terrorists killed in Xinjiang attack – Xinhua (news.xinhuanet.com)
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.
Line 21 Coordinator Nicholas Dynon recently fielded questions from Agence France-Presse (AFP) in relation to this week’s Tiananmen jeep incident in Beijing. This article appears today in The Australian newspaper online:
FESTERING discontent with China’s governance of Xinjiang is on the rise and Beijing is intent on clamping down, analysts say, in a vicious cycle that will only spin faster after this week’s fatal attack in Tiananmen Square.
Authorities say attacker Usmen Hasan and his wife and mother were carrying jihadist banners and machetes in the vehicle that they crashed into crowds outside the Forbidden City on Monday, before setting it alight and dying in the blaze… read more
Line 21 Project coordinator Nicholas Dynon was interviewed this afternoon for an article published by CNN this evening on the recent Chinese crackdown on ‘online jihad’ in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Read the article at http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/09/world/asia/china-xinjiang-arrests/
Separatist activity has long been a feature at the ethno-geographic margins of mainland China. In the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, uprisings, riots and civil violence have met with successive waves of crackdowns for decades. The labeling of such violence as acts of international terrorism, however, is a relatively recent feature of Beijing’s stance on ethnic strife… read more at The Diplomat Magazine