Coordinated bombings rock southern China, highlight security concerns

Coordinated bombings rock southern China, highlight security concerns

A series of delivery bombings killed ten and injured more than fifty last Wednesday and Thursday in Guangxi Province, China [1].

Civilians first heard explosions in Liuzhou (about 270 miles north of Guangzhou) at around 3:50 PM. The bombs were triggered by the opening of courier-delivered packages and totalled 17 blasts in all. At least five people died on site at targeted locations that included the township-government headquarters, a hospital, several supermarkets, and other frequented areas [2]. An entire section of residential buildings was destroyed. Overturned cars and debris lined the streets.

The attack came right at the start of a week-long national government holiday. While the case is being addressed as a criminal issue rather than a terrorist attack, civilians have been instructed not to open packages and delivery has been temporarily suspended [3].

The perpetrator, a 33-year-old quarry worker named Wei Yingyong, was identified, and later died in a blast. According to local police, his motive involved personal conflicts with neighbors and authorities. This attack is now one of several recent acts of violence started by young men in response to grievances against the government and other locals [4].

While Liuzhou has had no past history of terrorist or criminal activity on this scale, the bombings underscore the tenuousness of China’s national security, both within and outside of the country. The attacks demonstrate how easy it is to acquire explosives in a country where most civilians have no access to firearms. As governments worldwide continue to tackle the issue of supervising weapons-ownership, citizens are reminded of the precarious balance between right to personal arms and regulation of these potentially devastating utilities [5].

 

by Katherine Xiong ’19