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VOA慢速英语:在中国经历了云南暴力袭击事件后,人们对安全的讨论与日俱增

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In China, Talk of Security Increases After Kunming Attack

Welcome to As It Is from VOA Learning English! I’mMario Ritter in Washington.

Today we hear what Chinese officials are doing after ashocking attack at a train station in Yunnan Province. The government has blamed separatists for theviolence. Officials have increased security in China’scapital as two major meetings take place.

Then we turn to South Asia and the issue of publichealth. Vaccination efforts have almost ended the riskof polio infection in most countries. But the WorldHealth Organization says the virus is still a problem in amajor Pakistani city.

警务人员
Policemen and paramilitary policemen patrol a street near the Kunming Railway Station, where the knife attack too place.

China’s answer to a deadly attack and the fight againstpolio are next on As It Is.

Chinese Officials Blame Separatists for Terror Attack in Kunming

China is increasing security in the capital, Beijing, at the same time its leadersgather for talks. The political meetings come just days after an attack at atrain station in southwestern China. The violence left more than 30 dead. June Simms has more in this report from VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing.

Chinese officials say separatists from the Xinjiang area were to blame forcarrying out what officials described as a highly organized terrorist attack. The incident took place Saturday in the southwestern city of Kunming. Chinese media say attackers used knives to kill 29 people. More than 140others were injured. Officials say police killed four of the attackers.

State media have since reported that Chinese officials held an emergencymeeting to increase safety and security in the capital. Some of the measuresinclude increasing anti-terrorism and anti-explosives awareness. Officialsalso called for strengthening security on public transportation, such as busesand trains.

李克强
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives at the opening session of the Chinese People's Political ConsultativeConference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Security within China will be a subject for discussion for the Chinese officialsmeeting in Beijing. China's military spending continues to rise. But the countrystill spends more on security at home than it does on defense. Since 2009, the security budget in Xinjiang alone has grown from $250,000 to $1 billion.

On Monday, top officials met in the Great Hall of thePeople in Beijing for the opening ceremony of theChinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The conference is a government advisory body of 2,200officials. Another meeting, called the National People’sCongress, takes place at about the same time. Chinese call the gatherings the twin sessions. The twoare marked by a huge increase in police on the streets.

After the attack last weekend, many people aredemanding better security. Others are also saying thegovernment should strengthen anti-terror laws.

James Leibold is a visiting professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Hesays the attacks surprised the government and raised the danger of ethnictensions.

"I think they are particularly worried about the Han backlash. There are a lot ofpeople talking about how this is reminiscent of 2009. When you had the Hanriots in Shaoguang in Guangdong and how that spilled over into Urumqi and that terrible street violence. The government is worried to not let that get out tolose control of it."

In 2009, ethnic riots shook western China. The violence left about 200 peopledead. They included both Han Chinese and members of Xinjiang's UighurMuslim minority group.

Professor Liebold notes that in late December Chinese President Xi Jinpingdescribed his ideas for a new plan of action in Xinjiang. However, officialshave yet to present the details of that program.

I’m June Simms.

You are listening to As It Is. I’m Mario Ritter in Washington.

Disease Polio Still a Problem in Peshawar, Pakistan

The World Health Organization has declared the Pakistani city of Peshawar, the world’s “largest reservoir” of endemic poliovirus. And WHO officials fearPakistanis could face travel restrictions unless steps are taken immediately tostop the disease from spreading.

Christopher Cruise has more.

Researchers studied all the cases of poliomyelitis in Pakistan last year. Theresearchers found that almost every case could be linked genetically to thepoliovirus often reported in Peshawar. They added that all test samplescollected from different parts of the city have shown the presence of the highlyinfectious virus.

巴基斯坦儿童

A Pakistani health worker gives a polio vaccine to a child in a poor area of Lahore.

Polio mainly affects children under five years of age. The virus is passed through food or water. The virusreproduces in the body, and later invades the nervoussystem. The disease can sometimes lead to paralysis,with loss of muscle control in part of the body.

The WHO study found that 90 percent of Pakistan’spolio cases could be linked to the virus in Peshawar. Inaddition, 12 of the 13 polio cases in Afghanistan werealso linked to the city.

Elias Durry serves as the WHO’s emergency coordinator for polio inPakistan. He says local officials need to take urgent action to strengthenvaccination campaigns. He says the situation in Peshawar not only threatensthe gains Pakistan has made against polio, but could also harm internationalefforts to stop the disease.

“Unless the polio eradication program in Pakistan is able to curtail thetransmission in Peshawar, the expansion of, of the viruses to other places will not stop, so it is critical that Peshawar, the way it is behaving now, really beable to find ways of interrupting these transmissions that have beenconsistent throughout the years.”

He also noted an increase in deadly attacks on vaccination campaign workersin and around Peshawar, and in other areas.

Taliban militants often attack polio workers in Pakistan. The militants accusethem of being American spies or part of a plot to keep Muslims from havingbabies. Most of the attacks have taken place in Peshawar because the city isclose to the country’s tribal districts. Extremist groups have bases in thoseareas.

Elias Durry did not reject the possibility of other countries ordering travel andvisa restrictions on Pakistan if there is no quick improvement in the situation. In neighboring India, no polio cases have been reported for the past threeyears. Starting this month, all visitors to India from Pakistan are required toshow a record of their polio vaccination.

I’m Christopher Cruise.

And that is our program for today. Thank you for joining us.

Let us know what you want to hear on a future As Is Is. Go to our website,LearningEnglish.VOANews.com, and click on “Contact Us.”

Join us again tomorrow for another As It Is from VOA Learning English.


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