China

China media: Peshawar terror attack

An injured girl is carried to hospital in Peshawar, 16 December Image copyright AFP
Image caption Seven gunmen opened fire on children inside the school

Papers in China say Tuesday's terror attack on a Pakistan school is an indirect result of the West's "interventionist "policies in Middle East.

More than 140 people, mostly children, have been killed in the Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar.

The Taliban say the assault is in response to army operations in North Waziristan and the Khyber area.

China has strongly condemned the attack, saying it "stands firmly with the Pakistani government and people" in the fight against terrorism.

A Beijing Youth Daily commentary notes that Pakistan's fight against terrorism will face "serious challenges", especially after the US withdraws its troops from Afghanistan.

Claiming that the US anti-terror strategy in Afghanistan is facing a "bottleneck", the paper warns that the "Taliban may make a comeback in Pakistan and Afghanistan".

"Both countries need to endure a long-term fight against terrorism," it adds.

Echoing similar views, Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, says that "the continued emergence of Islamic extremists is a result of turmoil in the Middle East, exacerbated by the intervention by world powers".

The pundit tells the Global Times that "the power vacuums in some Middle Eastern countries are conducive to spread terrorism".

Du Youkang, an expert on Pakistan affairs at the Fudan University, adds that the Taliban in Pakistan are probably sending a warning to the US with this attack.

"US drones have been air raiding some of the regions [in Pakistan], killing leaders of the militant group. At the same time, Washington is helping the Pakistani government to fight the terrorists. As a result, militants harbour hatred and retaliate when an opportunity arises," he tells the Qianjiang Evening News.

Kim Jong-un's leadership

Moving on to other news, state media praise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for leading the country as Pyongyang marks the third death anniversary of his father Kim Jong-il.

According to reports, huge crowds gathered in Pyongyang to pay respect to the late leader on Wednesday.

"In the past three years, North Korea is developing at a steady pace… It has tried to approach diplomacy with a new way of thinking and to forge ties with many other countries," says the China News Service.

The People's Daily adds that the "pace of economic development could be felt in many parts of the country".

Describing the anniversary as "a special moment", a Xinhua commentary encourages North Korea to "convert grief into grit and muster up greater wisdom and pragmatism" to become "a strong and prosperous country".

Putin's leadership

And finally, the Global Times states that China "does not want Russia to collapse" but cautions against acting pro-actively in helping the giant neighbour.

Russia has been hit hard by the fall in oil prices and the crumble in the value of the ruble, triggering panic that the country may face an economic collapse.

Defending Russia, the Global Times points out that President Vladimir Putin's leadership has "united the Russian society much more than before".

The editorial adds that "the threat of a collapse is far away", but foresees that the country "will go through a long-running winter".

"Seeking China's support is one of Russia's most realistic options," says the daily.

However, it reminds that "China-Russia cooperation is no longer ideology-based but driven by common interests" and Beijing "does not have to act in a proactive manner" while offering to help.

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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