China media: Xinjiang attack

President Xi Jinping (centre) met community leaders in Xinjiang President Xi Jinping (centre) met community leaders in Xinjiang

Papers prominently cover President Xi Jinping's Labour Day speech amid cautious coverage of an attack at a railway station in Xinjiang.

The explosion took place on Wednesday as Mr Xi completed his visit to the region. Three people were killed and 79 injured after the attackers used knives and detonated explosives at Urumqi's south railway station, state media said.

Xinjiang, home to the ethnic Muslim Uighur minority, has seen a series of violent attacks in the past year. Beijing blames such violence on separatists from the Uighur community.

Papers have reprinted a brief report by the state-run Xinhua News agency stressing that order "had been restored" after the blast.

However, Mr Xi's Labour Day congratulatory message and his statement on the blast that authorities should take "decisive actions" against "terrorist attacks" in Xinjiang have received prominent coverage in most newspapers and websites.

Mr Xi "saluted all the workers in the country" in his Labour Day message. Meanwhile The Beijing News continues to report on Mr Xi's visit to Xinjiang.

The report highlights his comments that "pre-emptive actions are needed in anti-terrorism efforts", without mentioning the Urumqi attack.

Supporting Mr Xi's statement, a Xinhua commentary urges officials to take "decisive actions" and show "strong determination to put out the arrogant fire of the terrorists".

"Under the strong leadership of the central government, Xinjiang will continue to achieve unity, harmony and prosperity," it adds.

Echoing similar sentiments, an article in the state-run People's Daily lashes out at the "ruthless and despicable terrorists" for "endangering the public".

"We should clearly see the complexity and the intensity of this long-term fight against Xinjiang separatism… We should assert high pressure on the fight against terror, using heavy-handed methods and be determined to win the war on uniting our motherland," it says.

However, the Xinjiang Daily adopts a softer tone, saying Mr Xi's visit to the region shows his "care and concern for all ethnic groups in Xinjiang".

China-Africa ties

Meanwhile, China and Russia have agreed to conduct a joint naval drill at the end of May in the East China Sea.

The two countries will hold a joint military drill in the waters surrounding a set of disputed islands known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

Ties between Tokyo and Beijing have been severely strained over historical tensions and the territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

Li Jie, a researcher from the Naval Military Studies Research Institute, tells the Beijing Times that China is "very unhappy" with US President Barack Obama over his support for Japan.

"The joint military exercise was announced a day after Mr Obama wrapped up his Asia tour. The drill will take place in the East China Sea. To an extent, this is targeted at the Diaoyu islands issue… to serve as a warning to the US," he says.

"The timing of the drill is critical for Russia because it is facing more sanctions from the EU and the US amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis. In such a scenario, Moscow is trying to strengthen its strategic partnership with Beijing through the joint naval drill," he adds.

And finally, Premier Li Keqiang will begin his trip to Africa on Sunday to further boost Beijing's relations with the continent, reports say.

He will visit Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya from 4 to 11 May.

"China sees Africa as an equal partner… There are more rational views on the co-operation between the two partners as both are hoping to improve the livelihood of their people," says the Xinhua News Agency.

The report subtly criticises "some Western countries" for commenting that China is only interested in the continent's natural resources.

Liu Jingui, China's former special envoy on African affairs, rebukes the accusation that Beijing's ambitions in Africa are a form of "neo-colonialism".

"The inventors of this term should label themselves as such… The main characteristic of China-Africa co-operation is of mutual benefit and equality. China has never called itself a donor country; we are the partner of Africa," he says.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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