BEIJING, Sep. 9 (Xinhuanet) --Chinese and international netizens responded to an email and online survey conducted by China.org.cn on public opinions, thoughts, and reflections on the fight against terrorism ten years since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The following are selected responses to questions asked on the survey.
How did the September 11, 2001 attacks affect you and people in your country?
9/11 resonated in a way that it reminded people terrorist attacks can happen at any time. The superpowers in the world should not play big brother. No country should try to dominate, or terrorist incidents might occur at any time. —Xu, retired official, Inner Mongolia
Previously, I had just heard of terrorism as something intangible. The 9/11 attacks made us feel like terrorism was right beside us. —Cao, Teacher, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
We can feel that 9/11/2001 has changed the relationship between China and the United States. The United States is now less assertive and more coercive to China compared to before [the attacks]. —Zhou, Research Fellow, Shanghai
It was very somber. We were quite removed from the actual first hand effects, but obviously we quickly became involved in the war against terror that soon followed. Many felt as if they'd been dragged into a conflict against their will. —Stuart, Copy Editor, Beijing
There was a sense of how vulnerable you were to some crazy person, or a mad scientist somewhere. Sure, most people are good, but what about that tiny percentage of others? —David, Banking Industry, San Diego, USA
What memories do you have of September 11, 2001?
The 9/11 attacks caused great damage to the U.S. A lot of people died. But perhaps it is fortunate that [the attacks] happened in the U.S. If the attacks occurred in China, people would not even be able to afford to buy a grave. —Yan, Student, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
It was a horrible incident in world affairs. It transformed the international system and changed the agenda for international affairs. —Zhou, Research Fellow, Shanghai
When my teacher told us [that the 9/11 attacks had happened], all the students were shocked. Everyone was silent at first, but then some people in the class started cheering, saying that the U.S. deserved what it got for putting pressure on other [countries]. However, the teacher then asked the students, "Do civilians deserve such a tragedy?" After that, everyone fell silent, and we observed 3 minutes of silence for the victims. —Sun, Journalist, Beijing
I remember being in class watching the day unfold. It was very difficult since many of my classmates and friends had parents who worked in the World Trade Buildings or near by. It was almost impossible to make cell phone calls due to over saturation of the lines making them more worried. It was an extremely frightening morning for everyone not knowing the details and it seemed that almost every minute the situation kept getting worse and worse. —Taryn, Freelance Writer, Beijing
It was as if the world has suddenly shrunk. The terrorist attack against America made nearly everyone on earth seem like neighbors. Good people were appearing as an enormous majority, and the hateful cowards rejoicing in the shadows did not seem at all like representatives of mankind. The tragedy brought about a poignant moment of solidarity, during which people around the world were acting as citizens not of many nations but of one planet, bearing simply their humanity as a passport. —Jonathan, Business Consultant, San Francisco, USA
Ten years after September 11, 2001, do you think the world is safer from terrorism?
No. As long as there is a gap between rich and poor, inequality will breed terrorism. —Chen, Student, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
Even after another 20 years, terrorism will still be here. Every organization and country tries its best to control others. As long as human beings are here, terrorism will be there. —Xu, Stock Broker, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
I do not think so. On the other hand, it is getting worse. In this society, people have more pressures and have become more selfish. —Wang, Program Manager, Beijing
Not at all. Let me quote Benjamin Franklin (one of the founding fathers of the United States): "Any society that gives up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." —Andreas, Landscape Designer, Germany
I think we are safer from the obvious. Something could happen again; however, I do feel that we are now better prepared to sort out the people involved and not afraid to take the necessary action to protect our country and its people. —Bonnie, Communications Manager, Tennessee, USA
How has September 11, 2001 changed your attitude towards U.S. policy in the last ten years?
The U.S. diverts its own people's attention away from its own social problems and internal crises by sending troops to various countries in the name of anti-terrorism. —Hu, Engineer, Beijing
The most pressing purpose of the U.S. is to maintain its hegemony. One of very important purposes why that they retaliate against terrorists is to suppress emerging countries. They continue deploy military forces in the neighboring countries of these emerging powers. —Cheng, Human Resource Manager, Beijing
I believe that the U.S. policy totally went in the wrong direction. Democratic systems are weaker than before. The U.S. and the EU took part in several wars that they are not able to win. One of the cradles of the world's culture and especially European and Arabian culture, the Mesopotamian plain (Iraq) was destroyed by civil war. The U.S. [returned] to using torture, hurting their own laws and the code of human rights. —Andreas, Landscape Designer, Germany
The decisions made by the US government post-9/11 have had a slight negative effect on my views on US policy. I understand that steps must be taken to ensure the safety of tourists and citizens but at times it seems that these decisions are alienating the country and contributing to the social and financial issues that are so seriously affecting the country now. It is upsetting to see the policymakers use 9/11 as a crutch or weapon in political conversations as well. —Taryn, Freelance Writer, Beijing
Honestly, it wasn't as much of an 'empire collapse' moment as the demise of Lehman Brothers. —David, Banking Industry, San Diego, USA
Do you think the U.S.'s post-9/11 strategy has been beneficial to China?
Since 9/11, both the crisis management mechanism and dialogue between the Chinese and U.S. military have been strengthened. China is no longer simply a regional power; it is playing an increasingly important role in global affairs. The U.S. has realized that in order to ensure its sphere of influence internationally, it has to cooperate with China. However, the U.S. has disagreed with China on defining 'terrorism.' The two countries have different attitudes towards certain organizations. For example, they haven't reached consensus on the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. The root for these [disagreements] lies in ideological differences. —Zhang, Accountant, Kunming, Yunnan Province
China also has taken more effective measures to combat terrorism in coordination and cooperation with the US. Also, the US is the largest single market of Chinese exports, which has assured the peaceful development of Chinese economy. —Zhou, Research Fellow, Shanghai
Fighting against terrorism is beneficial to all countries. Under the leadership of the U.S., countries are paying more attention to terrorism and have carried out close cooperation. From this perspective, [the War on Terror] is beneficial to China. From another perspective, the U.S.'s policies also perpetuate its global dominance, as the U.S. gains control of energy and other resources. This will have impact on China and other developing countries. —Huang, Teacher, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
[9/11] has allowed China to present itself as a benign power and enforce its own viewpoints on sovereignty. Since Iraq was a failure, China's standpoint on America's actions was grounded. Furthermore, US involvement in such conflicts has certainly sped up its economic decline. However, it has also increased the amount of pressure on China, maybe not at home but definitely abroad. The UN ruling to intervene in Libya could have been blocked by China. By abstaining they basically guaranteed Libya's fate. —Stuart, Copy Editor, Beijing
North Korea was the biggest winner. —David, Banking Industry, San Diego, USA
It's hard to say. Nothing can influence China except itself. —Wang, Program Manager, Beijing