Beijing's renewed crackdown against homegrown acts of violence has not only cast a fresh spotlight on terrorism in the mainland, but also sparked complaints over the world's perceived double standards when it comes to China's efforts at stifling extremists.
In the past week, Chinese state-owned media released a string of aggressive editorials blasting Western nations for a lack of support towards attacks on mainland soil as officials crack down heavily on radicals in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Last Friday, police there killed 28 suspected terrorists responsible for a September attack on a coal mine, according to Xinhua.
"Due to their deep-rooted bias and double standard, some Western countries and their media refuse to recognize the violence and attacks masterminded by extremists in China's Xinjiang Uighur region as acts of terrorism. In their eyes, only terrorist attacks that happen on Western soil can be called acts of terrorism," said an op-ed in the China Daily last Tuesday.
The world's second-largest economy has long faced frequent attacks by Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group that is predominantly Muslim, in Xinjiang. Uighurs say they face constant religious, language and economic discrimination by the government, such as bans on fasting during Ramadan, women wearing veils and young men growing beards. Their sense of inequality, coupled with sentiments of separatism, have sparked violent outbreaks, such as a series of riots in 2009 and a number of stabbings last year.