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China's Netizens React To Kunming Station Attacks With Anger, Grief

Panic, calls against racial profiling, and anger at Western coverage permeate Weibo in absence of ongoing TV coverage of terror attacks.

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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.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

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.

There's tremendous Chinese interest in how the West covers the attacks.

Trans. Kevin Tang

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.


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."


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."

Comics Editor + Chinese-English Translator.

Contact Kevin Tang at

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