This white paper is China's significant contribution to global counter-terrorism efforts: Global Times editorial
Published: Jan 24, 2024 12:22 AM
Border police officers conduct an anti-terrorism exercise in Hulun Buir, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on October 20, 2023. Photo: VCG

Border police officers conduct an anti-terrorism exercise in Hulun Buir, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on October 20, 2023. Photo: VCG

China's State Council Information Office on Tuesday released a white paper titled "China's Legal Framework and Measures for Counter-terrorism." This is China's first comprehensive white paper on the subject. In the face of terrorism, the common enemy of human society, the scientific and effective construction of China's counter-terrorism legal system is fully reflected and demonstrated in this 13,000-word document, providing valuable reference for the world's fight against terrorism. Those who have criticized China's counter-terrorism actions should read it carefully, as it will surely lead to a different understanding as long as one does not have a preconceived stance.

Terrorism is the common enemy of humanity, and how to counter terrorism effectively and in accordance with the law is a global challenge. The white paper, through its seven chapters, presents a panoramic view of how China has gradually explored a path of counter-terrorism rule of law that suits its own national conditions.

The white paper provides detailed answers to several major issues in counter-terrorism, including the definition of terrorism, the criteria for identifying terrorist crimes, and the relationship between counter-terrorism and safeguarding human rights. This is a significant contribution to the global fight against terrorism.

China is a populous multi-ethnic country with a vast territory, and it faces a significant threat of terrorism within its borders. The complexity and severity of the counter-terrorism situation in China are considered high worldwide. However, it cannot be denied that China's counter-terrorism efforts have been highly effective and even remarkable. Since 2017, there have been no major terrorist attacks in China, which is particularly outstanding amid the turbulent international situation. Not many countries have achieved this. The white paper emphasizes that all of this has been achieved under strict adherence to the law.

The social security and stable environment have become a crucial welfare for both Chinese people and foreigners living, working, or traveling in China. It is like air, often imperceptible in ordinary times, but its importance is only realized once lost. However, unlike air, a secure and stable environment is not naturally present; it requires continuous efforts in the fight against terrorism. The practices and effectiveness of China's counter-terrorism efforts introduced in the white paper were made possible through profound sacrifices, including the blood of innocent victims and brave counterterrorism warriors. This is a weighty white paper and, more importantly, a valuable one.

China has made tremendous achievements in counter-terrorism, but at the same time, the field of counter-terrorism is one of the most concentrated areas where the US and Western countries spread rumors about China. The US and the West engage in "double standards" in counter-terrorism, politicizing and weaponizing human rights to attack other countries' counter-terrorism actions. This kind of behavior is most evident when they face China. Creating an opposition between human rights and counter-terrorism, and between the rule of law and counter-terrorism, is the most egregious logical confusion concocted by Western public opinion in the narrative of China's counter-terrorism efforts. It is a secondary harm to innocent victims of terrorism. The release of the white paper helps people see through the malicious distortions and exposes the ugly faces of those with ill intentions, revealing their sinister motives.

Why do countries invest so much effort and resources in counter-terrorism, yet terrorism remains uneradicated worldwide, leading to even worse results despite increasing counter-terrorism efforts? Addressing this issue requires mentioning the "double standards" of the US and Western countries in international counter-terrorism. They only label forces that pose a terrorist threat to themselves as terrorists. Some forces and countries, even if they do not pose a terrorist threat but are simply disliked or not aligned with their interests, also get branded as terrorists. Astonishingly, some individuals identified as terrorists by many developing countries become guests of honor in the US and Western countries, receiving shelter and support.

Counter-terrorism is crucial for global security and cannot be dealt with arbitrarily by a few countries. This white paper from China fundamentally addresses important concepts related to counter-terrorism from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Ensuring that counter-terrorism work operates within the framework of the rule of law is a universal consensus in today's international community, and China has consistently implemented this principle. China's practices are an integral part of the international legalization of counter-terrorism efforts. The release of the white paper clearly illustrates this point.