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Fighting terrorism to protect global security

By ZHANG ZHENYA | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-02 10:36
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The state of rule of law signifies the socio-political progress a society makes, and there is a consensus in the international community that counterterrorism measures should be taken based on rule of law.

Like many other countries, China too has figured out its own path to fight terrorism in accordance with the rule of law and in line with its national conditions.

China faced a serious threat from terrorism, mainly in the form of separatism, religious extremism and mindless violence. Between 2011 and 2014, China suffered a series of terrorist attacks in places like the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Beijing and Yunnan province, which endangered public and national security.

In order to curb the frequent terrorist attacks and spread of terrorist activities, and better safeguard people's lives and property, the government remains committed to building a legal system that will help security officials plan and execute counterterrorism work.

In this regard, Article 1 of the Anti-Terrorism Law of the People's Republic of China, the main body of China's anti-terrorism legal system, says "this Law is formulated in accordance with the Constitution", and Article 6 makes it mandatory for "anti-terrorism efforts to comply with the law, respect and protect human rights", which is consistent with Article 33 of the Constitution. Article 1 also makes it clear that the "State respects and safeguards human rights".

Terrorism poses a serious threat to peace and stability, both within and outside China's borders. To strengthen counterterrorism work and maintain global peace and stability, the United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency have jointly formulated a series of conventions on counterterrorism, indicating the international community's basic position on combating terrorism and making counterterrorism work part of the rule of law.

China has been following the UN's norms, and improving its anti-terrorism law by learning from global counterterrorism principles, concepts and practices. China upholds the common values of humankind, supports the UN playing a leading role in the global fight against terrorism, and strictly follows the UN Charter and other international laws and conventions on counterterrorism.

Besides, China has been advocating regional cooperation to better combat terrorism and promote the formulation of a series of counterterrorism documents under the framework of the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Border Control Cooperation Agreement. Also, the country has acceded to 12 global anti-terrorism conventions and implemented the anti-terrorism resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council through legislation and other means. For example, to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, it included the crime of providing financial support to terrorist organizations in the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China in 2001.

In drafting anti-terrorism laws and rules, China complies with not only national laws and administrative regulations on counterterrorism at the national level, but also the local laws and regulations as well as local government rules based on the specific needs of different regions.

In terms of law enforcement and judicial practice, China has taken measures to ensure human rights are not violated in the course of counterterrorism work. It has taken measures to protect the rights of not only the victims and their families but also suspects, defendants and other stakeholders. In its effort to eradicate terrorism, China has not only cracked down on terrorist outfits and their members, but also implemented measures, in accordance with the law, to prevent the spread of terrorism.

China remains committed to better safeguarding national security and people's safety and security, for which it has strengthened publicity and education in order to eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism, and increase its capability to combat terrorism.

The country will continue to improve and update anti-terrorism laws, regulations and practices. China's legislation on anti-terrorism benefits not only China and its people, but also the international community.

China has drafted its anti-terrorism laws and regulations in a way that promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and is willing to work with other countries to strengthen the fight against terrorism.

The author is a research fellow at the Human Rights Institute of the Southwest University of Political Science & Law.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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