11 March 2014
Beijing – Amidst all the rumor and speculation surrounding the baffling disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 bound for Beijing, politically charged suggestions that terrorists were to blame carry the gravest implications for China.
Chinese and Malaysian officials are playing down the idea, in the absence of any evidence to support it. But that has not stemmed online allegations pointing the finger at Uighur separatists from the predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang. Last week, the Chinese authorities blamed Uighur Islamic extremists for a knife attack in the southwestern city of Kunming that left 33 people dead and more than 100 wounded, though they have not produced any of the eight suspects whom police say they have detained.
“I am afraid the incident was launched by Xinjiang people,” read one such conjecture posted by @Chen Lei on the Tencent social media platform. “It is time to investigate Xinjiang and kill those who should be killed.” Of the 239 passengers aboard the plane, 154 were Chinese.
… The investigation into the disappearance of flight MH370 “must include counterterrorism investigators,” says Rohan Guneratna, a terrorism expert at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, since two of the passengers on the plane were using forged passports.
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Print
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