China's Xinjiang residents told to fight terror with a frown
Officials say menacing stares are almost as useful as wooden clubs
Picture: The Telegraph/Reuters
- Tom Phillips for The Telegraph
- August 22, 2014
Communist Party officials have told residents of China’s violence-stricken west to add a new weapon to their armoury for fighting the country’s war on terror: the frown.
Inhabitants of Xinjiang, a predominantly Muslim region that is currently the setting for a major security crackdown, should use the “angry stare” as a way of intimidating terror suspects, according to official advice circulated this week on Wechat, the popular social networking service.
Xinjiang has witnessed growing inter-ethnic bloodshed over the past two years, something experts blame on both increasing religious radicalisation and frustration at Beijing’s heavy-handed policies among the region’s Uighur ethnic minority.
A recent wave of deadly attacks on civilians in other parts of China, including Beijing, has also been blamed on Islamic extremists from Xinjiang.
The escalating violence has led Beijing to declare a 'people's war on terror" and government-run newspapers are now filled with almost daily reports about anti-terror drills taking place in the region.
One such drill, in Hailiwafu village near the city of Kashgar, on the ancient Silk Road, saw officials advise locals on six “super weapons” that could be used to repel attackers.
The mostly conventional list, which was later shared on Wechat, included pitchforks, wooden clubs and spades, all of which officials said could be used to bludgeon assailants into submission.
However, the officials also urged villagers to launch “mental attacks” on their foes, foiling potential assailants by staring at them menacingly. An accompanying photograph showed villagers eyeing the camera more out of bemusement than malice.
The “stern look” technique was given four out of six stars for effectiveness, compared to the wooden club which received six out of six and was described as “a must-have for rural homes all over Xinjiang”.
Activists have warned that Beijing’s security clampdown risks further alienating the country’s Uighur population.
Source: The Telegraph