Xinhua Commentary: Eradicating global terrorism demands addressing root causes

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 12, 2021
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by Xinhua writer Zhong Ya

BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States pulled its troops out of Afghanistan, bringing an inglorious end to its longest war fought overseas in the name of counterterrorism.

The botched Afghan exit epitomizes the fiasco of the world's sole superpower's global war on terror. It also shows that on the one hand, no country, no matter how powerful it is, can defeat all the world's terrorists; on the other hand, seeking to eradicate global terrorism without addressing its root causes is out of the question.

Poverty, social inequality, education gap and political instability have been widely regarded as among the key factors that generate extremist ideas and help terrorist groups find recruits.

Of the 26,445 global deaths from terrorism in 2017, 95 percent occurred in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, while only less than 2 percent were in Europe, the Americas and Oceania combined, according to the Global Terrorism Database, an open-source database of terrorist incidents worldwide from 1970 onward.

Thus, one of the priorities for a country to beat terrorism is to grow the economy as well as boost social justice and equality so as to provide a decent life for its people, particularly the young. This can not be achieved through military might.

Besides economic security, de-radicalization education -- especially among teenagers and children -- also plays a significant role in fighting terrorism.

Nowadays, the rapid development of the Internet and social media has supercharged the spread of extremist ideas to almost all corners of the globe. Some radical groups have also tried to exploit grievances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to peddle hatred and incite terror attacks, the United Nations warned in its Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Because of rampant online radicalization, children in some less-developed countries, who should have gone to school and held pens in their hands, are holding grenades and AK-47 machine guns.

British newspaper The Independent reported that Britain's youngest known terror offender committed his first offence at the age of 13, and he later became the British head of a global online neo-Nazi group. This shocking case highlighted the significance of helping adolescents develop heathy values in the mission against terror.

With an accurate pulse of the root causes of terrorism, China's comprehensive efforts to stamp out the once surging terrorist attacks in Xinjiang have proved effective.

In recent years, the local government in Xinjiang has taken a series of measures, like setting up vocational education and training centers, to address such root causes of terrorism as poverty, unemployment and religious extremism. As a result, Xinjiang has not seen a single terror attack for many years.

In today's globalized world, no country is immune to terrorism and no country can effectively uproot terrorism by itself.

Thus, countries around the world should further strengthen international cooperation in efforts to vanquish global terrorism. To do this, countries like the United States should stop abusing its war on terror as a pretext for intervention, and abandon their double standards in fighting terrorism, as those acts gravely undermine the much-needed global cooperation.

On the world stage, China has been trying to boost common development with developing countries through such drives as the Belt and Road Initiative with hopes of tackling global terrorism in a fundamental way.

A World Bank report suggests that by 2030, the Belt and Road projects, which have attracted the participation of some 140 countries, could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty across the world.

Fighting terrorism is the shared responsibility of all mankind. The international community must maintain high vigilance, foster a sense of a community with a shared future for mankind, and take a holistic approach to the joint fight against terrorism in all its forms. Enditem

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