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Preventive actions & legislation against terror needed

03-09-2014 21:04 BJT Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

Over one week has passed since the Kunming terrorist attack last Saturday. The scale of the attack and the brutality drew expressions of sympathy and condemnation from governments around the world and the United Nations. China has vowed to crack down on terrorist crimes and safeguard people's lives. But only punishing the perpetrators is not enough to solve the larger problem.

An outpouring of grief. Crowds gathered at southwest China Yunnan's Kunming railway station on Friday night to mourn the victims killed in the terrorist attack Saturday a week ago. Chinese people traditionally mourn loved ones on the seventh day after a death.

"These terrorists cannot take us down. We will work together and prove to them that we will not back down," said Xia Yonghui, a volunteer.

The violence resulted in 29 deaths and 143 people injured. China soon beefed up security in Kunming and other major cities across China following the attack.

Security authorities arrested all the attackers 44 hours after the incident. The violence in Kunming came at a sensitive time, with political leaders in Beijing preparing for Wednesday's opening of the annual legislature. Deputies all rose and stood for a silent tribute to those killed.

"We are to crack down on all the terrorist crimes that profane the sanctity of the state’s laws and challenge human civilization. And, meanwhile, we will safeguard the security of people’s lives and their property, and make China a safe country to live," said Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier.

There were a series of deadly terror attacks last year in China. These included a car crash in Tiananmen Square in Beijing last October, and the attacks on a local police station in Bachu County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region in November.

"The general security situation in China is fine. But given the attacks in Beijing and Kunming, we have to realize that terrorist crimes have developed from a regional problem to a national one," said Li Wei, professor, China Inst. of Contemporary Int'l Relations.

Li says the central government has been doing well on beefing up security, acting on the aftermath of an incident and hunting criminals.

But China is facing much bigger challenges than before as the problem seems to be spreading.

"We need to change the way we think. We can’t treat these like ordinary crimes. Punishment won’t curb the problem since most of the terrorist attackers are desperate, and they do not fear death. What counts are preventive actions against terrorism and relevant legislation that can give anti-terrorism authorities more legal power and support," said Li Wei.

Frequent outbreaks of violence have brought little optimism to the current security situation in China. Investing all-out efforts to crush terrorists is not easy, while legislating against terrorism is far more challenging. As the annual parliamentary meetings are taking place now, people are expecting more effective anti-terrorism policies and measures in the future.

Editor:James |Source:

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