Potter interviewed in New York Times on growing risk of terrorism in China
Following the explosion in Tiananmen Square on October 28th, which Beijing police have labeled a terrorist attack, Phil Potter was interviewed by Sinosphere, the China blog of The New York Times, on the history of separatist violence in the region, the divide between the "two Chinas" and the likelihood that further crackdowns would exacerbate resentment. Potter has a forthcoming paper for Strategic Studies Quarterly on the global implications of the growing threat of terrorism in China. He points out the danger of the dichotomy between China's tough security presence in Xinjiang, seen as necessary to combat instability, and the relative openness in the country's east, seen as crucial to economic prosperity, noting:
"First, it incentivizes militants in the west to conduct attacks in the eastern population centers, where the targets are less secure and the rewards are higher. It appears that this is what we witnessed in Beijing on Monday. Second, it introduces a trade-off between economic development in the west, which is a key government priority, and security."