November 22, 2002

Co-op in Fight on Terrorism to Expand

China's signature on anti-terrorism treaties demonstrates its positive role in international co-operation on this subject, international relations and military experts agree.

Since terrorism has become a problem of international concern, the response has to be an international effort as well, said Shen Jiru, director of the Research Office of International Strategy Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, on behalf of the Chinese Government, signed the International Convention for Suppression of Financing for Terrorism.

Philippe Kirsch, who chaired the working group that drafted the legislation, called the convention a model for future documents.

The communique states that it is a crime to provide or collect money to be used to harm civilians or intimidate governments.

This is significant because it is a much broader category of crime than has previously been outlawed.

The September 11 US terrorist attacks show that the goals of the international community cannot be limited to identifying and capturing terrorists, but must be extended to address underlying systemic problems, Shen said.

A senior security professional with military background who declined to be identified echoed Shen's remarks. "Solid financial aids, precise plot behind the scene and professional training provide powerful possibilities to those terrorists," the expert said.

He said China's efforts to strengthen international law enforcement co-operation is of vital significance to the prevention and suppression of transnational crimes. So far, China has joined 10 international anti-terrorism treaties, and another signed convention is waiting for ratification by the National People's Congress.

China has implemented a series of domestic measures in the prevention and fight against terrorism, according to the security expert.

Since countries are getting more dependent on one another for security, the military expert said, only international co-operation can help achieve universal and lasting security.

He said China is duty-bound to co-operate. "Unjustifiable international economic and political orders breed desperate groups," Shen said.

He said terrorism is a weapon of the desperate who are unable or unwilling to voice their grievances through the conventional political process.

An estimate by the World Bank shows that the number of poor people living on US$1 a day will soon increase by 10 million.

(China Daily November 15, 2001)

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