As terrorism became the main focus at the G20 summit, following the preceding attacks on Paris the day before, China used that opportunity to focus on their own terrorism problem: the ETIM (East Turkistan Islamic Movement). The ETIM is primarily comprised of the Uyghur minority in the Xianjiang Province, and seeks to recreate the province as a separate country. Following the attacks on Paris, the Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for the ETIM to be included within the global war on terror. Within that same period, the state-owned People’s Daily posted an article describing current efforts by the military against the ETIM.
There has been some debate as to the validity of Chinese attacks against the terrorists in Xinjiang and whether or not they use their efforts instead to justify further violence and oppression against the Uyghur minority population in the region. Although China cites the recent levels of violence in the area as a result of the terrorist group within the region, it often discounts how much of it is a response to the tight control by the government. However, it is difficult to ascertain the exact situation in the province as there is strict control of foreign journalist access to the region.
It will be interesting to see how China acts in the future in response to how other nations deal with terrorist organizations, especially ISIS. Other nations appear to be suspicious of China’s motives in the region, but the Chinese government is likely to continue its actions and the push to be included in the united global front against terrorism. The increased amount of control and policing by the government will probably result in further push back from the Uyghur community in the form of increased violence, only perpetuating the cycle.