BEIJING — China has set the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as the major target when seeking international cooperation against terrorism last year, a spokesman for the country’s top political advisory body said on March 2.
Lyu Xinhua, spokesman with the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks one day after the anniversary of a deadly terrorist attack in Southwest China’s Yunnan province.
A total of 31 people were killed and another 141 injured by knife-wielding assailants at a train station in the province’s capital city of Kunming on March 1 last year.
Violence and terrorism have been on the rise in China over recent years, with the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region suffering the most, especially from the ETIM that is a UN-listed terror group.
An assault on a market in Xinjiang’s regional capital of Urumqi on May 22 last year killed more than 30 people and injured 94 others, prompting a yearlong campaign against terrorism.
Terrorist attacks have also spread to other parts of the country. Three people were killed and 39 others injured when a sport utility vehicle plowed into crowds near Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing on Oct 28, 2013. The suspects died at the scene.
The ETIM claimed responsibility for all three attacks.
Speaking at the press conference of March 2, Lyu said China regards its neighboring countries in South Asia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia as its key partners in the global fight against terrorism.
He added that the country has set up counter-terrorism cooperation mechanisms with more than 10 countries and has engaged in substantive cooperation in information sharing, intelligence verification, case cooperation and capacity building.
It also took part in multilateral counter-terrorism mechanisms and have made important contributions to the international fight against terrorism, Lyu said.