China’s Reaction to Bin Laden’s Death Muted

May 5, 2011 Updated: March 1, 2012

While countries around the world are celebrating and congratulating the United States on the death of Osama Bin Laden, there was only a brief, low-key response from China’s Foreign Ministry, a cautious ten hours after news of bin Laden’s death broke, calling it “positive progress.”

Jiang Yu, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said at the news conference that terrorism is a threat to international society. In order to completely solve the problem, she said, efforts need to be made to eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism.

Chinese official media covered the event, but highlighted the reports claiming that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the successor of Bin Laden, will launch a retaliation against the West.

Xinhua said in its report: “Al-Qaeda will not be weakened but become more radical because the successor of Bin Laden is very likely to be the No.2 figure, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is actively involved in organizing the international violence."

"Al-Zawahiri has strong organizational skills with a shrewd mind[…] Even if the United States killed al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda wouldn’t be brought down easily. Al-Qaeda is spreading out and its branches can operate independently.”

Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV commented that the death of Bin Laden might demoralize Al-Qaeda to some extent, but may not cause real damage.

Shi Zangshan, a commentator on Chinese affairs based in Washington, said: “China’s reaction was just a diplomatic stand. The response time and the language used all showed that Chinese communist regime is not really happy about it. At least, the authorities don’t want Chinese people to feel happy about America’s victory. ”

Chinese dissidents think that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) actually is quietly displeased with America’s victory.

Tang Baiqiao, President of the China Peace Forum, told The Epoch Times: “When Western countries, many Middle Eastern countries, and even Russia all support this action of the United States, under this circumstance the Chinese Communist Party has no choice but to express a positive attitude.”

Wei Jingsheng, a longtime democracy activist, said, “The communist regime is very cunning. Although they secretly support the terrorists against the West, they want to hide this relationship.”

Wei compared the tactics used by the terrorists to those used by the CCP itself in ruling China, citing the recent example of artist Ai Weiwei, who was abducted by authorities on April 3.

Read the original Chinese article.