Chinese internet users railed against the United States on Monday morning, after representatives called the Kunming knife-attack an act of ‘terrible and senseless’ violence, but shied away from using the word ‘terrorism.’ The weibo-hive-mind and Chinese state media have been calling the stabbings ‘China’s 9/11,’ and on Monday night, the US came through and used the T-word, which apparently makes everything all better.
“Based on the information reported by the Chinese media, this appears to be an act of terrorism targeting random members of the public, so we are calling this an act of terrorism,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during a press briefing, which was then picked up by Xinhua and CRI.
Psaki’s statement came after weibo’s cup overfloweth with sarcastic, often mean-spirited remarks about the American’s reluctance to drop the T-bomb, as SCMP collected:
“Merely ‘terrible and senseless’? Only ‘violence’? Would Americans say the same thing about similar attacks on their own territory?” Ma Xiaolin, a website administrator, asked on Sina Weibo.
“If you say that the Kunming attack is a ‘terrible and senseless act of violence’, then the 9/11 attack can be called a ‘regrettable traffic incident’,” posted Cao Fan.
In typical mocking response, another user wrote: “I express my condolences for the setting off of fireworks and burning incident at the Boston Marathon.”
Ma’s point is a fair one, but Cao and the unnamed third weibo user are likely taking their indignation a step or two too far; “terrorism” is a big word to use, and few would argue (but apparently some will) that the Kunming attack was an act of “terrible and senseless” violence.
The Kunming attack killed 29 people and injured 130 more, some of whom are still in serious condition.