China’s anti-terrorism law: important step in an ongoing dance

China’s anti-terrorism law: important step in an ongoing dance

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China's anti-terrorism law: important step in an ongoing dance

By Eugene Clark and Wu Xianshu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 6, 2016

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Anti-terrorism [By Zhai Haijun/China.org.cn]

China's Anti-terrorism Law came into effect on January 1, 2016.

As one looks at the terrorist attacks already implemented in France, the U.S., China and other countries, it is clear terrorism is now a global challenge.

When we see the recruiting campaigns of ISIS and other groups that have drawn in young men and women from many countries, including China, it is clear this is a phenomenon requiring global, as well as domestic solutions and cooperation.

Economically, China's greater involvement in the Middle East relates to vital interests given its dependency on oil for economic development, as it is with the rest of the world.

The United Nations and other organizations are working to combat terrorism on a number of fronts. China has played an increasingly active role in these discussions and has significantly upgraded its efforts to support UN measures, providing relief and developmental aid, and providing personnel for UN peace keeping efforts.

It has also indicated a desire to work with other countries, such as the U.S. in bilateral and regional cooperation to promote and protect world peace.

Unfortunately, many in the Western media have focused negatively on China's efforts and impugned its motives, such as arguing that the new anti-terrorism law is likely to be used primarily to thwart local dissents from ethnic minorities rather than a genuine fight against international terrorism. Other fears have been raised, such as international businesses losing valuable protection of their intellectual property rights.

These fears, however, ignore the international context and China's history over the last two decades. It has increasingly been a responsible international participant in the UN. For example, it played an important role in helping to minimize disruption to the world economy after the Global Financial Crisis. It has been proactive in supporting the UN in resolving regional and international political and economic problems and disputes.

While it is true that the laws of any country, including the U.S., can be misused, it is unfortunate that international goodwill and the spirit of cooperation is hindered by biased perceptions that assume the worst when China is involved. This is a type of international political "attribution error" that assumes the worst motives of others while seeing purity in one's own endeavors.

The new law is only the most recent of many measures by China and other countries (such as the U.K., U.S., Germany, Russia) against terrorism and reflected in treaties and the resolutions of the UN Security Council. China's new anti-terrorism law includes provisions that promote and provide for international cooperation against terrorism.

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