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19-08-07, 09:20
August 07, 2007
An Arrow in the Buttocks of Terrorism

Check out the photo above of Chinese special forces soldiers assembled for the coyly named "Peace Mission 2007", which begins on Thursday in Urumqi and will quickly move west to the Ural Mountains in Russia. SCO member states have been very clear about the focus of this 6-nation military exercise:

"The joint drill will not indulge in empty talk but practice coordination and command in anti-terror combat. It will also serve to maintain regional peace and stability," Zhen said, noting that it is hard for one country or its military forces to crack down on all terrorist organizations and activities that continue to grow worldwide....

"We can only cope with security challenges, and secure peace and development by enhancing cooperation when terrorism, separatism and extremism are active in the region," Qian said.

As you can see clearly, China's show of force includes not only tanks, fighter jets, and helicopters but also bad-ass ski mask-wearing commandos equipped with carbon fiber composite crossbows. They can't wait for the moment when a deer ― splittist Rebiya Kadeer, that is ― wanders unsuspectingly into a clearing in the woods. Thwack! One down, nine million to go.

It's not exactly clear what group of "special forces" is shown in the photo above, but there was a possible clue in Saturday's South China Morning Post:

A rather secretive branch of the People's Liberation Army has been expanding, despite a general trend of downsizing in the army, to cope with growing social unrest on the mainland. The People's Armed Police was set up in 1983 to maintain internal security....

Official figures on the size of the paramilitary force, like a lot of other military data, are top secret, but there are varying estimates, with some saying up to 1 million....

"Unlike police officers who are taught to comply with the law, the armed police are trained to combat problems with violence and speed," he said.

On top of the expansion in personnel, the force's weapons have also been upgraded. Mr Wong said armed police officers were now equipped with more specialised weapons. "There are some weapons that will keep someone under control without harming them. This has become an issue, especially since the crackdown on students in... 1989," he said.

In 2003, Mei Xingrun , the armed police's commander in Xinjiang , where a Muslim separatist movement has been a thorn in the government's side, told Xinhua that military spending had been increased to crush the "terrorists" in the region.

So I guess that explains the crossbow. An arrow in the buttocks is certainly more pleasant, and less lethal, say, than a bullet in the head. Who says the Chinese government doesn't look out for the welfare of the downtrodden and disenfranchised?

The articles are available below.

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