Terrorism On The Rise In China
Max Abrahms argues the recent rise in violence in China could signal a coming wave of terrorist attacks. In the month there have been several terror attacks, including a bombing outside of Communist Party headquarters in Shanxi and another bombing in Tiananmen Square, and have their roots in growing ethnic tensions.
“Moving forward, China will contend with not only international terrorism, but also the domestic variety. This is because China is likely to follow (albeit belatedly) the post-Cold War Zeitgeist towards democratization. China will neither become a Jeffersonian democracy nor continue to disenfranchise political dissidents. Instead, it will inch closer to a “mixed” regime, a weak democratic state. This regime type is precisely the kind that sparks domestic political unrest. Such governments are too undemocratic to satisfy citizens, but too democratic to snuff them out,” reports Abrahms
“They have often taken place in and around the Muslim-dominated western region of Xinjiang, which is tightly controlled by Chinese security forces, but also in major cities on China’s eastern seaboard. Some incidents, like the suicidal man who blew up a bus this June, killing 47, have had nothing to do with ethnic tension. Still, as Quartz and others have reported, increased repression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang makes other parts of China a more attractive target for terrorist attacks,” Adam Pisick of Quartz adds.
The Wall Street Journal argues, however, that China’s human rights policies are partly responsible for the increase in violence.
“It is true that Beijing’s repressive policies have become a self-fulfilling prophecy, driving some Uighurs to acts of terrorism. However, there is little evidence of effective organization behind the attacks. This summer saw several outbreaks of rioting and violence against Han Chinese across Xinjiang, but the perpetrators used improvised weapons and the execution was amateurish.
“The Uighurs’ anger stems not from radical Islam or any other ideology but from practical and cultural considerations. Economic development in Xinjiang hasn’t helped, with the best jobs typically reserved for Han Chinese. Uighur identity has also been endangered, as state-run schools forbid the speaking of Uighur. Children are not allowed in mosques, and outward displays of Islamic practice, such as fasting during Ramadan, are prohibited,” the paper contends.
Advancement In Diagnostic Testing Could Improve Global Health
Elain Fu and Barry Lutz examine ways in which point-of-care diagnostics can be improved in the developing world. As a result of progress in the field of microfluidics, alternative diagnostic tests would greatly improve the survivability of underserved populations.
“For example, a new class of device, about the size of a postage stamp, that splits a sample into multiple zones with different detection chemistries has been used to test multiple conditions associated with liver failure in HIV and tuberculosis patients. …. Another mechanism for expanding the capabilities of diagnostic testing would take advantage of the penetration of mobile-phone networks in developing countries. (rapid diagnostic tests) RDTs are largely limited to applications that require visual interpretation. A non-dedicated mobile phone could be used to capture and send image data from an RDT to a remote site, where a health-care provider would provide feedback on the results,” they write.