November 22, 2002

Joint Efforts Needed in War Against Crime

Senior Chinese and Italian ministers Monday called on the world to declare a joint and continuous war against cross-border crimes -- including last Tuesday's terrorist attack on the United States.

"The attack is a typical terrorist activity and it is not only the American people who have suffered but the willingness for peace among people of all the world that has been challenged," Chinese Minister for Public Security Jia Chunwang said.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day international workshop attended by 26 members of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Beijing.

"The attack is despicable and the world as a whole should step up decisive measures at once to prevent such a tragedy ever occurring again," Italian Interior Minister Claudio Scajola told the workshop aimed at discussing strategies to combat cross-border crimes.

Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji sent a congratulatory massage to the forum, saying China, as a country long devoted to world peace and economic development, will unremittingly play a powerful role in global police co-operation to counter transnational crimes.

"International communities have heightened attention and adopted pro-active countermeasures to prevent the rampancy of transnational crimes and China backs these efforts with its full support," said Zhu in his letter. Luo Gan, State councillor , read it to delegates at Monday's ceremony.

Apart from economic and cultural exchange and co-operation with ASEM, Luo said improved procedures for tackling wrongdoing were needed to bring criminals to justice in the 10 Asian and 15 European Union member states. The European Commission is also a ASEM member.

Transnational economic crimes, terrorism and illegal immigration are major problems for police in many nations, Luo said.

"As the world has been reshaped as a village, criminal actions have become more complex," he explained.

Minister Jia said many of today's criminals use high technology and have ties with illegal groups in other countries, making security and justice an international concern.

"We are in an era in which only international teamwork can guarantee sound development in any country," said Jia - a point echoed by the Italian minister, acting as co-chairman of the Organizing Committee of the three-day forum and heard by more than 200 representatives at home and abroad.

The forum was proposed by Italy and China during an ASEM meeting in Seoul last year.

Another senior official said the police authority in China is well prepared for an expected surge in international crime that may come after the nation's entry to the World Trade Organization in November.

"We are determined to crack down on domestic crime and to join international police authorities to safeguard the world," said Bai Jingfu, vice-minister of public security.

China has always spared no effort in fighting domestic crime. This year, the government launched several campaigns to stop criminal activity and safeguard public security as well as intellectual property rights, Bai said.

China is also probing 70 money laundering cases involving 17 countries and regions as a member of the International Police Organization, Bai said.

(chinadaily.com.cn 09/18/2001)

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