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Expert: Terrorist Organizations in China Influence the World

China's Ministry of Public Security issued a list of the first batch of identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorist organizations and 11 members of their groups. Counter-terrorism expert Liu Tingji, professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, argues that terrorist organizations in China have an international profile, in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency.


Reporter: Is there any difference between China and the international community in identifying terrorist organizations?


Liu Tingji: First, we must understand that there is neither unified concept nor international criteria in identifying terrorism. Many international conventions have stipulated the characteristics of terrorism, but they merely deal with specific situations in specific areas. I personally believe that the criteria China follows in identifying terrorist organizations are in accordance with those stipulated by international conventions.


Reporter: Do these terrorist organizations and terrorists, which were identified by the Chinese government, have an international profile?


Liu Tingji: Yes, they do. All these terrorist organizations and 11 members of their groups have international terrorist characteristics. Firstly, they are quite different from ordinary criminal offenders. They commit crimes not for their own economic benefit, but for specific political purposes. What they really want is to split China and realize the independence of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Secondly, all these terrorist groups have plotted, organized and staged terrorist activities and violence in different countries and regions. The subjects of crimes are of different nationalities, who committed crimes in different countries and attacked people from different countries. Thirdly, what they have done, including bombing, murder, arson, poisoning and assault, are all confirmed as international terrorist crimes by international conventions.


Reporter: What is the background of the identification of terrorist organizations and terrorists in China?


Liu Tingji: The identification is a step in China's fight against terrorism. Since the September 11 Incident, China has joined a series of international anti-terrorism conventions. China has also actively participated in the drafting, negotiation and signing of some international conventions, set up anti-terrorism organizations and conducted anti-terrorism exercises, thus promoting the fight against terrorism.


Reporter: Is there any connection between this identification and Saddam's capture?


Liu Tingji: I personally believe there is no connection between this identification and Saddam's capture. The identification just shows Chinese government's will to strengthen international anti-terrorism cooperation. At the same time, China also seeks international support in counter-terrorism.


(China.org.cn translated by Wu Nanlan December 19, 2003)


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