Beijing, China. In a situation that underscores the global reach of terrorism, China is coming to terms with the loss of teachers executed in Pakistan by ISIS terrorists. China said on Friday it was “gravely concerned” at Islamic State claims that the group killed two Chinese teachers it kidnapped in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province last month.
The kidnappings were a rare security incident involving Chinese nationals in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged $57 billion under its massive “Belt and Road” initiative to build rail, road and power infrastructure. Armed men pretending to be policemen kidnapped the two language teachers in Quetta, the capital of the southwestern province, on May 24.
China says Pakistan is a major part of its plans to build a modern day “Silk Road” network of land and maritime routes to connect Asia with Africa and Europe. Key parts of the infrastructure will be in Baluchistan, including the new port of Gwadar, which will be linked to western China under current plans.
Islamic State fighters killed two Chinese people they had been holding in Baluchistan province, southwest Pakistan an ISIS announcement claimed. A Pakistani government spokesman said officials were in the process of confirming whether the report was correct.
“We have been trying to rescue the two kidnapped hostages over the past days. The Chinese side is working to learn about and verify relevant information through various channels, including working with Pakistani authorities,” the ministry said in a short statement.
Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times, published by the official People’s Daily, said in an editorial on Friday China would never bow in the face of terror, but also said Chinese people should also exercise greater caution abroad, especially in more remote areas.They also need to raise their ability to protect themselves, and as much as possible put distance between themselves and real danger, they advised.
Pakistan has not formally identified the two teachers. Chinese media has cited foreign media reports as identifying the two as a man and a woman who worked for a private language school.The claim of the killings sparked anger on Chinese social media, with some strongly anti-Muslim comments.