Attack at Kunming Station

Published on Author Mitchell Brister

On March 1st eight men and women with knives attacked over one hundred people at the Kunming Railway station, murdering 29 and wounding 140 others. Four of the attackers were killed, and the rest were later caught. There are many reports from within the station stating that the attack was scary, hectic, and tragic.The attackers identities have not been confirmed but evidence suggests that the attackers were part of Xinjiang separatists forces. These separatists are part of the Muslim Uighur population who have been under an extreme crackdown by the government.

Some people are understanding of the attackers, although they don’t condone the actions. Restaurant worker Xie Yulong is such a person who says, “Beijing has put too much pressure on them since Xi Jinping took over. They are under so much pressure they do not want to live.” The tensions in Xinjiang have been high for a long time and things eventually blew.

The attacks were timed to make a show right before the government meets to deliver the one-year work report in Beijing. The government is being extremely careful about this attack as the country is in shock, and terrorism in China has taken a step forward. As this attack was low technology, low cost, and high impact, the government will not be taking anything lightly and unfortunately this probably means more crack downs for Xinjian.

Further Reading BBC, CBC and Wikipedia

4 Responses to Attack at Kunming Station

  1. If this attack was the result of excessive government pressure on the Muslim Uighur population, it will be interesting to see if reactionary steps taken by the government will simply increase tensions and lead to further attacks. I think the government should be careful here, because as Mitchell said this marks a step forward for terrorism and China. They need to respond accordingly.

  2. I agree with Jed. I am curious to see whether the government will see these actions as an opportunity to properly address their relationship with the Muslim Uighur population, or will see this simply as an act of terrorism and further increase tensions. And as Mitchell said, this attack was low-tech yet effective. If the Chinese government does not improve its relationship with this population, China could have a legitimate threat on its hands if the Muslim group upgrades to bombs or other, more powerful weaponry.

  3. I heard about this news from the Korean news press. One of the terrorists was a teenage girl.
    As you said, the center government is putting a lot of pressures on the minorities. China, itself, is not really a united country. The one that is in power is mostly “han” race and the rest (mostly poor) are other races. China must be smart in dealing with these minorities because it can lead to the collapse of the country. Force is not always the answer. (it is not an answer at all)

  4. To my knowledge, this is the first such incident away from either the area in which minorities live (eg, Xinjiang) or Beijing. There were no concrete demands, no discrimination as to target, and then there’s the teenage girl. This all is … odd. So I’m not sure whether this is as significant as media coverage suggests, or whether it is a one-off incident by a “cult” (an overused term) of followers of a charismatic individual.