China media: Sydney siege

People have been paying tributes to the victims of the siege in Sydney Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People have been paying tributes to the victims of the siege in Sydney

Chinese state media urge countries to go beyond "double standards" and call for "mutual trust" to fight terrorism in the aftermath of the Sydney siege.

Central Sydney was put in lockdown as the gunman, an Iranian refugee who had lived in Australia for many years and was a known extremist facing criminal charges, seized hostages on Monday morning.

The 16-hour siege ended after police stormed the cafe in Martin Place in the heart of Sydney, leaving two people dead, along with the gunman.

"For the first time, terrorism has reached the heart of faraway Australia, showing that no place on earth is absolutely safe," the official Xinhua News Agency comments.

The article says the incident highlights "the need for closer co-operation and mutual trust between all countries in a global fight against terror".

"Nations from all corners of the world need to work together.... They need to trust one another and go beyond the Cold War mentality and double standards to take the fight against terrorism," it says.

Chinese papers often criticise the US and Western media outlets for being "sympathetic" towards "terrorists" in Xinjiang and holding "double standards on terrorism".

China's Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia, has seen a spate of attacks in recent months, amid tension between its minority Muslim Uighur population and Han Chinese residents.

Meanwhile, a commentary in the Global Times' Chinese edition urges Australia to not "foot the bills for America's fault".

The article says that Canberra "invited troubles, including terror attacks, by being too close with Washington" and sending troops to fight in the Middle East alongside the US military.

Li Wei, an anti-terror expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, says that the international joint-effort against the jihadist group, Islamic State (IS), "has not been very effective".

"The fight against terror is not simply a military action. It is a problem of uneven development between regions as well as competition between big nations. The international community needs to work harder to deal with the issue," the pundit tells the China Youth Daily.

Media praise

Some papers also shine a spotlight on how Australian media outlets reported the news of the siege.

Praising Australian mainstream media outlets for co-operating with the police, the Beijing Times says the press exhibited professionalism by "concealing sensitive information" during the crisis.

"The press blocked important information and refused to be the messenger of the hostage-taker after police appealed for full co-operation… In contrast, the social media was spreading rumours," the article says.

Turning to domestic news, the acquittal of an executed convict has prompted soul-searching in various media outlets.

A court in China has cleared a teenager of the rape and murder of a woman in a public toilet, 18 years after he was executed, according to state media.

The teenager, Huugjilt, was 18 when a court in Inner Mongolia convicted him.

His conviction was called into question after a serial rapist confessed to the crime in 2005, Xinhua news agency said.

Welcoming the news, the People's Daily praises the "courage and determination" of the court and reminds judicial workers to "learn the lesson" from the unfortunate case.

Echoing similar views, the China Daily adds that the acquittal of Huugjilt and an ongoing review of a similar case by a court in another province "is a sign of progress in the country's judicial reform".

"For the building of real rule of law, redressing any misjudged cases, the ones involving wrongly executed innocent people such as Huugjilt in particular, is of milestone importance," says the paper.

Google in China

And finally, some papers remind US internet giants to abide by the Chinese laws after search engine Google was temporary accessible on Monday.

China has a quarter of the world's internet users - more than 600 million. It also conducts a sophisticated censorship programme. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all barred from China. Google left in 2010.

According to the Global Times, Google was accessible to Chinese users "around midday" on Monday, and the news went "viral on social media immediately".

However, the ban lift was short-lived as the website was blocked again in the evening. There has been no comment from the Chinese authorities so far, the paper notes.

"It might not be worth figuring out what really happened, but we can be sure that US internet giants such as Google will not stay away from the Chinese market forever," notes the daily.

The paper states that China's expanding market will "sway the hidebound mind-sets of US internet giants" and reminds that the country "will not allow the internet to be a lawless territory".

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

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