On the Kunming Terrorist Attack, and the Internet in China

The limited knowledge in the West about Chinese society is at times striking. This limited knowledge was made embarrassingly evident when many major news networks picked up the story of Beijingers gathering around large television screens to digitally watch the sunrise in the midst of thick smog (if you missed it, you can catch up here).

The West also has very limited understanding of internet use in China, and how it affects peoples’ everyday lives. You can read about what the aftermath of the Kunming terror attack did teach us about the dualities of internet use in China, and about how easy it is for Western politicians to lose authority through their lack of understanding of the Chinese society.

The Kunming attack’s aftermath has, however, showed other attributes of the internet which challenge majority China on its understanding of Xinjiang people, while also challenging international spectators on the way the internet works within Chinese society. Once Xinjiang separatists were blamed for the Kunming attack, the topic “I am a Xinjiang Person” started trending on the social media platform Weibo…

Read the rest of my text at St Andrews Foreign Affairs Review, here!

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