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China improves law to eradicate terrorism

By WANG JIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-03 11:57

Border police officers conduct an anti-terror drill in Bortala, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Terrorism is one of the most serious challenges facing the international community. Acts of violence not only violate basic human rights but also have a direct impact on the socioeconomic development of all countries, with broad and far-reaching consequences for global stability and growth.

China has been a victim of terrorism, with outfits such as the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement", which has been banned by the United Nations Security Council, posing a threat to the country's national security and territorial integrity. The separatist "East Turkestan Islamic Movement" has incited, planned and carried out a number of violent terrorist attacks in China, causing the loss of lives and property. And its victims have been members of many ethnic groups.

China opposes all forms of terrorism, extremism and separatism, and has cracked down on such activities in accordance with the law and in line with international anti-terrorism norms.

First, China has been taking measures to combat terrorism, extremism and separatism to not only safeguard the country's national security, but also protect the existing international order with the UN at its core. China has signed and/or ratified a series of international conventions on counterterrorism, and implemented all UN resolutions against terrorism. It believes that counterterrorism operations and global cooperation in the fight against terrorism should abide by the principles of the UN Charter, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, and adhere to international law.

More importantly, China calls on all countries to join the UN counterterrorism conventions, support the formulation of a "Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism", and help improve the international legal framework to combat terrorism.

Second, China upholds multilateralism and defends the existing world order. It advocates that global cooperation in the fight against terrorism be led by the UN, because supporting the UN's coordinating role in global counterterrorism operations will foster unity in the international community, and strengthen the global fight against terrorism.

Third, China has been promoting regional and bilateral cooperation on counterterrorism. Under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization framework, China has joined regional counterterrorism conventions, including the "Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism", helped establish regional institutions to combat terrorism, and conducted joint anti-terrorism exercises with SCO member states. It has also signed bilateral treaties and cooperation agreements on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and other countries.

Such efforts have enabled participating countries to share information on counterterrorism among themselves, block terrorists' financing channels, and tackle organized crimes and cyber terrorism. This regional cooperation model can help other countries to devise their own, unique way of fighting terrorism.

And fourth, China has vowed to cooperate with other countries and international organizations in the fight against terrorism. It has improved its legal system, so as to better deal with terrorist activities. China has also enhanced its strategic capability to combat terrorism and strengthened its ties with the international community to fight global terrorism, in order to maintain global peace and stability.

In fact, China's counterterrorism law has detailed provisions on international intelligence and information exchange, law enforcement cooperation, joint global fund supervision, and criminal judicial assistance. Further, China's national security law emphasizes the need to deepen mutual trust, increase mutual benefit, and promote international cooperation.

Even though the global fight against terrorism has yielded remarkable results, many challenges remain. For instance, terrorist organizations are still causing chaos and mayhem, and committing cross-border crimes. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the international community to fight against terrorism.

What's more, some countries think that only outfits that pose a threat to them are terrorist organizations, and turn a blind eye to the sufferings and fear of others. Some countries even resort to double standard, politicizing the global fight against terrorism and smearing other countries' legitimate counterterrorism measures.

In the face of such challenges, countries have to boost their capability to counter both traditional and nontraditional forms of terrorism. They should help bolster their respective national security and join hands to peacefully resolve regional and global disputes, and help build a new security mechanism featuring dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership rather than alliance, and win-win cooperation rather than zero-sum games. Only in this way can global terrorism be eradicated.

As for China, it should deepen its engagement with the international community to gain in experience and apply that knowledge to improve the counterterrorism laws, better safeguard national security and contribute to the global war on terrorism.

The author is the deputy director and professor of the Institute of China's Borderland Studies at Zhejiang Normal University. The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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