Government vows more anti-terror cooperation

By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-10 07:21

China opposes all terrorist activities and will work closely with the international community to combat terrorism, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said yesterday.

Ministry spokesman Wu Heping said this at a news briefing after police in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region reported on Monday that they had killed 18 terrorists and arrested 17 others during a Friday raid on a training camp of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The United Nations labelled the group a terrorist organization in 2002.

One policeman was killed and another injured during the raid.

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Wu said China opposes "all forms of terrorism" and that its anti-terrorism effort includes prevention, offensive action and more international cooperation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday also confirmed that the ETIM had links with international terror forces.

Clinching evidence

"A large amount of evidence, including material that we got from this raid, shows that the ETIM is connected with international terrorist forces and was planning violent terrorist activities in China," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.

He said China's crackdown on terrorism protects local people and safeguards the stability and security of Xinjiang and its neighbouring countries and regions.

Police said the camp was located on the Pamir Plateau in Xinjiang, near the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

It is believed that more than 1,000 ETIM members have received training from Al-Qaida, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Official data also shows that the group plotted more than 200 violent incidents, including explosions, assassinations, arson, poisonings and assaults in Xinjiang and in other countries between 1990 and 2001, killing 162 people and injuring 440.

Terrorist tag

The United Nations (UN) and the United States listed the ETIM, which is pursuing an independent "Eastern Turkistan", as a terrorist group in 2002, and the Ministry of Public Security placed it on a list of "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations in 2003.

Other identified "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations are the East Turkistan Liberation Organization (ETLO), the World Uygur Youth Congress (WUYC) and the East Turkistan Information Centre (ETIC), according to the ministry.

Wu said the Criminal Law; the State Security Law; the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism; 11 international conventions adopted by the UN and ratified by China; and a series of anti-terrorism agreements adopted by the UN Security Council provided the legal guidelines that the government used to identify terrorists and terrorist organizations.

By late last night, netizens had posted about 4,000 comments on, China's biggest news portal, almost all of which praised the raid.

Many people paid their respects to the dead police officer and said the State should offer his family a reward for his bravery.

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