Updates on China’s Security and Non-State Actors
• The Global Organized Crime Index for 2021 has been released, and the findings on China are very interesting. China’s nation profile includes analysis on human smuggling, arms trafficking, as well as illicit wildlife, natural resource, and drug trade, “mafia-style group” activity, and more.
• Counterterrorism police in the southwest of Balochistan province alleges that the suicide bomber who targeted Chinese nationals in Gwadar earlier this month arrived in Pakistan via Iran. Officials added that the planner of the attack was a resident of Iran’s Chahbahar city. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an armed separatist group, claimed responsibility for the bombing — which killed two people and minorly injured a pair of Chinese nationals — then released a martyrdom video of the attacker.
• On September 26th, the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) bombed the statue of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Marine Drive in the port city of Gawadar. The BRA called Muhammad Ali Jinnah “an agent of British imperialism” and expressed their disdain for him in their statement: “This deceitful man ended the independent status of Balochistan by invading the Baloch homeland with the army of Pakistan, a country established by the British Empire … and forcefully incorporated Balochistan into the unnatural newborn Pakistan.” They link these historical events to contemporary Pakistan-China relations and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), claiming: “A historical game is being played against the Baloch identity in the name of so-called CPEC, against which the Baloch resistance will prove to be a leaden wall.”
• In a recent interview, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), Mufti Wali Noor Mehsud, said “there is no hostility between the TTP and China.” However, he went on to advise and warn China “not be influenced by Pakistan's conspiracy and deception, and to avoid initiating a war against the TTP.” The TTP’s spokesman issued a similar warning on August 13th denying involvement in the Dasu suicide bombing attack on Chinese workers. In this instance, he said, China “should not make the mistake of depositing its capital in the account of Pakistan in opposition to the TTP during this international economic war, but should try to spread the economic race by spending only economic money, this is their wisdom and there will be foresight!”
• On September 18th, pro-TTP and pro-Taliban accounts circulated an image and promoted a hashtag campaign to show solidarity with the Uyghurs and draw attention to their cause.
• According to an August 18th report by Radio Free Asia (RFA), the trial for the 2015 Bangkok Bombing has been delayed as the two Uyghur suspects facing charges await their designated interpreter who was proposed by the Chinese Embassy. The bombing killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others at a Hindu shrine in Thailand’s capital city. RFA noted that the legal proceedings for the “deadliest terrorist attack in modern Thai history” had been “delayed or disrupted over the years because of a lack of qualified interpreters.”
• Last week, AFP reported that the Chinese government sent vaccines to both Myanmar’s junta as well as opposition rebel groups. There have also been reports of fierce clashes between Myanmar government forces and ethnic rebels near the Chinese border. One confrontation left at least 23 government soldiers dead.
• The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), an outlawed organization affiliated with the New People’s Army (NPA) guerilla group, has grown quite hostile to China. In recent weeks, the organization’s chief information officer, Marco Valbuena, has criticized China as a corrupting, deleterious force in Philippine politics and society. On September 14th, the CPP released a statement accusing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte of corruption and involvement in a scam involving inflated government contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by Chinese businesses. The CPP views these dealings as a part of a much larger trend: “The corruption and criminal activities of Duterte and his ilk are tightly bound to China” and that “since Duterte assumed power in 2016, the Philippines has become a haven for money laundering of Chinese drug syndicates where money is being poured into casinos, offshore gaming operations and real estate (including the purchase and development of condominiums and entire islands as luxury getaways for Chinese billionaires and mega-millionaires).”
• On September 28th, the CPP released a statement on the ratification of the AUKUS trilateral security pact. The organization claims that “AUKUS is certain to turn the region into a playground of imperialist bullies” and that “the US is bent on raising the temperature of its conflict with China.” The CPP urges that “the Philippines must continue to assert its national sovereignty against both Chinese and US imperialist military intervention” and, additionally, “the Filipino people must firmly resist the build-up of Chinese military presence in the West Philippine Sea.”
Gulf of Aden
• The 39th fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy departed from the city of Qingdao to embark on an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia. Xinhua reported: “The fleet is composed of the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the missile frigate Yantai, and the supply ship Taihu, with dozens of special-operations soldiers and two helicopters on board. In preparation for the mission, the fleet conducted training on the use of weapons, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy, as well as replenishment at sea.”
Pro-Islamic State Media
• Last month’s issue of pro-Islamic State Voice of Hind magazine referred to China as an “imperialist power,” while this month’s issue stated that the “murtad Taliban … just like their masters the murtad ISI, lick the boots of the crusaders and now Russia and China as well,” contrasting them with “the soldiers of the khilafah” who “do not bow down to anyone except Allah.”