Updated March 08, 2014 02:49:47
Chinese officials have moved to shut down discussion about the gruesome mass stabbing at the Kunming train station just days after the attack.
Last Saturday a group of assailants arrived at the train station, took out long knives and began stabbing passengers at random, killing 33 and wounding 143.
Four attackers were shot by police and officials now say four others have been caught.
Those responsible were described by Chinese officials as "terrorists" from the far-western province of Xinjiang.
But when delegates from the restless province gathered at the annual National People's Congress it was as if the bloody rampage never happened and everyone is content in the vast, predominantly Muslim province.
Over the past year there has been an increasing number of these violent clashes reported inside Xinjiang, where many local ethnic Uighurs seek independence from China.
- April 2013: Gunfights leave 15 police and community workers dead. Six attackers killed.
- June 2013: 35 killed when "knife-wielding mobs" attack police stations.
- August 2013: A security raid leaves one police officer dead along with 22 so-called terrorists.
- October 2013: Car suicide attack at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing leaves three attackers and two tourists dead.
However, word has clearly come through at the main session of parliament that Xinjiang is not a crucible of terrorist hatred, but a place of vast potential prosperity.
Analysis at the session of parliament on how Xinjiang is faring has largely ignored the bloodshed.
"After listening the premier's report, I, like other fellow delegates, feel very excited and [encouraged]. The report drew a blue print of our country's future. It's accurate and clear," one delegate said.
Another said: "It also clearly stated the detailed measures in the key reform areas. It draws a map for speeding up overall deepening reform and achieving China's dream."
Meanwhile, another delegate said: "I also listened to everyone's wonderful speeches here. They were great. I was educated and encouraged."
After almost two hours of glowing endorsements for the congress's decisions came a 30-minute press conference that comprised only four questions, three of which were planted by the Chinese media.
There was finally a question about so-called "terrorist activity" in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang regional chairman Nur Bekri declared that this was the fault of foreign forces, that these attackers did not represent the interests of anyone and that they just wanted to destroy society.
The meeting was declared over and then a huge, mad scrum of journalists gathered around the local party secretary to try to get something out of him.
Reporters fell over and chairs were knocked down in a tangle of cables, cameras and microphones, but amid the chaos there was no more information about the recent explosion of violence in Xinjiang.
Topics: world-politics, government-and-politics, terrorism, unrest-conflict-and-war, death, china
First posted March 07, 2014 23:03:59