A terrorist bomb in Bali killed 188, including many western foreign tourists. The Indonesian government said Al Qaeda was responsible. Was there significance in the fact that Bali is a major centre of Indonesian Hindus, and that Indonesian Islamic fundamentalists opposed the ascension of the part-Hindu Sukarnoputri as the nation's president?
An official US Congress research paper has unambiguously stated that Islamic terrorists in Southeast Asia were set up by China through its proxies, Pakistan and Iran. China organised Islamic terrorism to destabilise and intimidate countries neighbouring the Straits of Malacca. China wants to control the straits which run through Sumatra and Malaysia. These provide the water link connecting Europe, West Asia and India to the Far East. All commerce, including vital fuel supplies from the Persian Gulf to the Far East, passes through these straits. Also, a Chinese naval thrust into the Indian Ocean would require free access through the Malacca Straits. As early as 1993, Zhao Nanqi, a director in the Chinese navy, had stated: "We can no longer accept the Indian Ocean as only an ocean of the Indians." The Bali blast will strengthen China's stranglehold on Indonesia and help counter America's war against terrorism.