Beijing, Nov 1: China Friday said the ethnic Uygur separatist organization East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is the most direct and real threat to the country’s security.
“The ETIM has incited, organised and committed terrorist attacks of various forms in China over the years and spread the ideas of violence and terrorism,” Xinhua quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying at a routine press briefing.
“It has been the most direct and real threat to our security, and has damaged the security of other countries and regions,” she added.
She was responding to a question regarding comments by China’s top security chief Meng Jianzhu on Monday’s terrorist attack in downtown Beijing.
Meng, chief of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Thursday briefed the Executive Committee of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorism Agency on the attack.
He said many countries, including China, were currently under threat amid rising global terrorist activities and China was determined to fight against violence and terrorist crimes.
“The ETIM, based in south, central and west Asia, is a terrorist group identified by the United Nations. It has connections with many other terrorist groups,” Hua told journalists.
She said the SCO has prioritised cooperation in fighting the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
“The terrorist attack in Tian’anmen Square shows that terrorist forces were plotting in all sorts of ways to undermine development of SCO member countries,” the spokeswoman pointed out.
She said China was ready to strengthen its efforts in combating terrorism, and safeguarding regional security and stability.
Police Wednesday identified the car crash in Tiananman Square as a terrorist attack, in which three people in the vehicle and two tourists were killed and 38 others were injured.
According to Beijing police, the attack was “carefully planned, organised and premeditated”. Five suspects in connection with the attack have been detained.
The East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is an Islamist extremist group based in China’s Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region. ETIM is an ethnic Uygur separatist organization that aims to create an Islamist state in the Xinjiang province.