China Accuses Western Countries of anti-terror double standards

BEIJING -- China's state media on Friday accused Western countries of “double standards” in their fight against terrorism.
 The comment piece by the official Xinhua news agency blamed Washington in particular for turning a “blind eye” to the damage caused by extremists in Russia's Chechnya and in China's own far-western region of Xinjiang.

Nearly 10 years after 9/11, Xinhua said the fight against terror was “far from over,” with terrorists changing tactics and increasing “collaboration with separatists and religious extremists.”

“A bigger challenge to the world's anti-terror effort, though, is a lack of a common standard,” the comment said.

“In particular, the United States and its Western allies have repeatedly used double standards on anti-terror issues, which have obstructed the progress of the global effort.”

Xinhua pointed to the United States' refusal in 2009 to extradite back to China members of its mainly Muslim Uyghur minority held at U.S. military prison camp Guantanamo Bay — who were cleared of wrongdoing — as an example of double standards.

The United States refused to repatriate the Uyghurs on the basis they would face almost certain persecution.

Uyghurs populate the Xinjiang region, which has experienced several outbreaks of ethnic violence in recent years — much of which Beijing has blamed on extremism, separatism and terrorism. But some experts doubt that terrorist cells operate there, and say the violence stems more from long-standing resentment against the government among Uyghurs in the region. Xinhua also accused Western countries of using counter-terrorism as a “cheap excuse” to intervene in other nations' internal affairs.

“Obviously, such a double standard can only harm the global anti-terror effort,” it said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, meanwhile, told reporters Friday that terrorism “has not been eliminated and severe challenges still exist.”

“We believe it is imperative to make greater efforts on development issues such as improving people's livelihoods, eradicating poverty and injustice, facilitating dialogue between civilizations and religious tolerance so as to remove the root cause of terrorism,” he said.

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