1. UPDATED: March 4, 2014, 12:33PM
2. On March 1st, more than 10 men and women wielding knives launched an attack at Kunming Railway Station in southwestern China, killing 29 people and injuring more than 100.
Chinese authorities issued a statement blaming the attack on Xinjiang separatists, a militant group largely led by Turkic ethnic minorities who believe that parts of Xinjiang should seek separation from the People’s Republic of China.
3. Chinese TV stations are avoiding coverage of the incident, so social media became China’s main news portal.
4. There’s tremendous Chinese interest in how the West covers the attacks.
Many have taken umbrage at the use of the phrase “alleged terrorists,” calling it a sign of Western skepticism toward the tragedy. For more on the history of Han-Uighur ethnic tensions (and the heavy hand that sometimes goes into creating “harmony”), read an excellent piece by ChinaFile’s James Palmer.
6. Items like these become viral on Weibo:
9. Many also cautioned against racial and religious profiling:
11. Muslim-Chinese celebrity Medina Memet urged her fans on Weibo not to equate Uighur with terror.
“I have never been ashamed to say I’m from Xinjiang, or that I’m a Muslim, though my brethrens and religion keeps getting misunderstood and misused by others. I am afraid that after this attack, we will be looked at with cold eyes again. I hope the government will find out what happened, to let our people understand, to give justice to the victims, and to clear the good name of Xinjiang’s peaceful citizens.”
14. Some of Weibo lashed out at public figures who urged caution in the hunt for perpetrators.
15. The American Embassy issued a Weibo statement in somewhat broken Chinese, translating the English phrase “senseless act of violence” into something tonally similar to “totally meaningless incident.”
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