Islamic State has released a song in Mandarin calling upon China’s Muslims to take up arms, media reports said on Tuesday.
The song, by Islamic State’s propaganda arm Al Hayat media centre, was an attempt to strengthen the terror group’s presence in the country, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported.
In the four-minute song titled “I am Mujahid”, a man chants: “To die fighting on the battlefield is my dream,” and “No force can stop our advance”.
It was featured on the website “Jihadology” which describes itself in its Twitter account as an “academic website that curates new primary source material from global jihadis”.
“This is the first time that the IS has released a Chinese song to recruit members or inspire its followers,” Zhu Yongbiao, an expert on the region from Lanzhou University was quoted as saying in the media report.
Chinese foreign ministry said the video showed the need for closer global cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she could not comment on whether the recording was issued by Islamic State, but said it showed that “terrorism is the common enemy of mankind” and the need to stop extremists using the Internet.
“In the face of terrorism, no country can stand on its own, and the international community should stand closer together and cooperate to jointly strike against all forms of terrorism,” Hua said at a news conference.
Chinese vice foreign minister Cheng Guoping told a separate briefing Beijing had already joined in anti-terrorism cooperation with Washington and Moscow, but gave no details.
“At present, relevant countries have proactively coordinated and consulted on their anti-Islamic State actions in Syria and they have had definite progress on fighting terrorism,” Cheng added.
China has increasingly been affected by the activities of militant groups, as its economic and business interests grew abroad over the recent years.
Three Chinese executives were killed in Mali when Islamist militants stormed a hotel, and Beijing vowed justice when IS killed a Chinese captive in November.
Chinese officials warn that some Muslim Uighurs, an ethnic group from the western region of Xinjiang, have travelled to battlegrounds in Syria and Iraq.
Beijing also claims it faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists in energy-rich Xinjiang, where hundreds have died in violence in recent years.
Rights groups, however, doubt that a cohesive militant Islamist group exists there, saying the violence stems from popular anger at Chinese controls on religion and culture.