MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - The active involvement of Chinese civilians against the domestic terrorist threat of Xinjiang Uyghur, in what the Chinese government calls a "people's war," has proved effective, according to Xinhua.
"Since China's far western Xinjiang region launched a "People's war" against terrorism last spring, people from all ethnic groups have joined forces with the government and police in the fight. With the increasing frequency of deadly terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, the regional government launched a year-long campaign, and Xinjiang Party chief Zhang Chunxian declared "a people's war" against terrorism in late May," the Chinese state-run media outlet reports.
Xinhua emphasizes that the official called on ordinary citizens to protect the national unity and territorial integrity of China from "ethnic separatism" and "religious extremism."
As well, police have offered cash rewards up to 1 million yuan ($163,000) for those civilians who would assist local authorities and provide them with information about terrorist and religious extremist suspects.
"Authorities would pay informants between 1,000 yuan and 1 million yuan for tipoffs regarding groups and individuals involved in planning, inciting and executing acts of terrorism; the provision of logistical support for such activities; the manufacture and transportation of arms, explosives and other weapons; as well as the propagation and sales of extremist religious material; among other subversive activities," the Wall Street Journal's columnist Chun Han Wong underscored.
Xinhua stresses that the joint efforts of police and ordinary Chinese have already borne fruit for the region. The media source describes the Hotan City case, which occurred in mid-June, when three perpetrators armed with axes attacked peaceful civilians in a games room. Shopkeepers immediately struck back at the assailants. As a result of the clash, the two members of the gang were killed, a third was captured by police.
"Anyone with a conscience should stand out and fight them. We cannot tolerate any terrorist acts," said a truck driver who assisted police to fight the perpetrators, as cited by Xinhua.
With the help of 30,000 residents, police officers identified and arrested terrorist suspects in Purgakqi Township in Karakax County in the end of July. In August, volunteers aided the police in the round up of terrorist suspects in Aksu Prefecture.
According to Xinhua, the "people's war" against armed gangs has dealt a heavy blow to religious extremism and terrorism in the region. However, the domestic terrorism threat remains one of the most pressing issues for Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region's inhabitants.The latest terrorist attack in Xinjiang Luntai County on September 26 resulted in at least 50 fatalities, including "40 rioters, six civilians, two police officers and two auxiliary policemen," the media outlet reports.