This year marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Exactly 10 years ago, terrorists attacked the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., leading to the Bush administration's War on Terror, and a global expansion in antiterrorism efforts.
Despite the combined and continuing antiterrorism efforts and progress made since then, the situation of global terrorism has become even worse than at the beginning of the decade, which has given rise to the increasing alarm and concern of the world community. We have witnessed the bombings of the London subways in 2005, the attacks and explosions in Mumbai in November 2008 and July 2011, and the most recent serial killings of citizens in Norway… to name just a few. These criminal offenses have inflicted heavy loss of human lives as well as economic losses, left psychological wounds on perhaps millions of innocent people, and sabotaged social stability and security.
Experts around the world have summed up some of the characteristics of the latest trends in international terrorism. These include the spread of terrorism across the globe, the ever wider range of terrorist targets comprising military and government facilities and civilians and public places, and a shift of relatively simple means of terrorist acts, such as kidnapping and assassination, to more diversified approaches like suicide bombings, deployment of chemical weapons and cyber terrorism. Most of the terrorist activities are believed to stem from the widening disparity between the world's wealthy and poor countries, escalating racial and ethnical discrimination, the conflicts between different ideological and cultural values, and the hatred and hostilities deriving from the unilateral politics adopted by some world powers.
China has also fallen prey to terrorism, the latest attacks being the organized terrorist assaults in Hotan and Kashgar in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in July and August, where small groups of terrorists holding the banner of "Holy War" committedn looting and arson and killed about a dozen civilians. Naturally, those criminal offenders were immediately brought to justice, to the delight and support of the broad public.
The Chinese Government has placed a high priority on combating terrorism. Over the years, not only has the country set up antiterrorism coordination mechanisms or standing bodies with countries including the United States, Russia and Pakistan, but it also has conducted joint military exercises on a regular basis with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states and some other countries with an eye to creating a stable and peaceful environment for all countries across the region.
Given the complexities of the evolution and rise of global terrorism, fighting this evil trend will be a long and arduous mission for the world community. Apart from the traditional approaches, endeavors must also be made to wipe out global poverty and establish a politically and culturally more tolerant and harmonious world. That seems to be an essential policy to eradicate international terrorism.