Have China’s anti-terrorism approaches been successful in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)?
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qa’ida jihadists on the United States of America, the Bush administration declared a global ‘war on terror’. In response to that, a lot of countries made measures for fighting against terrorism and anti-terrorism operations have expanded internationally. Although in academic literature and media discourse the concept of anti-terrorism lacks a common consensus on definitions and approaches, China’s anti-terrorism approaches have enacted as an effective and comprehensive anti-terrorism framework and practice. This thesis focuses on China’s anti-terrorism laws, as well as unilateral and multilateral anti-terrorism strategies in countering terrorism. This thesis observes the case of China’s anti-terrorism approaches in Xinjiang province to indicate a useful and comprehensive anti-terrorism framework and practice for policymakers. The research methodology uses narrative descriptive research and critical theories to argue that China’s anti-terrorism approaches have been effective in combating terrorist activities in the short term, especially after the 2013 Tiananmen Square attack, but social integration of national identity, culture, stereotypes and religion remains a long-term concern. The case of China’s anti-terrorism approaches in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is significant for terrorism studies because China’s anti-terrorism approaches emerged as a ‘cure’ for such pathologies. The 2013 Tiananmen Square attack by East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was a catalyst for the creation of recent Chinese anti-terrorism laws, and the implementation of unilateral, bilateral and multilateral anti-terrorism approaches. These approaches include social mobilization and a regional cooperation strategy, both repressive and moderate monitoring strategies, a conciliatory strategy, and de-radicalization programs.