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Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui Attends the International Seminar on Joint Response to Terrorism under the New Circumstances

2020/12/22

On December 22, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui attended and delivered a keynote speech at the International Seminar on Joint Response to Terrorism under the New Circumstances hosted by the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS). Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Vladimirovich Syromolotov, Additional Secretary of the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nabeel Munir, Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Mohamed Fuad Ahmad, and Chairman of UAE International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism Ali Rashid al-Nuaimi attended and addressed the seminar. Government officials, heads of counter-terrorism research institutions and scholars from 12 countries, including Russia, France, Egypt, Pakistan, UAE, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Syria, participated in the seminar via video link.

Luo Zhaohui said, next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War and the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As we review the non-traditional security threats the international community faced in the past three decades, we may come to a few conclusions. First, non-traditional security threats have grown in number and frequency, and increasingly become a major threat to humanity. The 9/11 terror attacks, the SARS outbreak, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the global financial crisis and the ongoing pandemic have proved this point time and again. Second, non-traditional security threats require transnational responses. In a global village, we live in a community with a shared future and no one is immune to common threats. Therefore, working in solidarity like passengers in the same boat is the only right way to address non-traditional security threats. Third, response to non-traditional security issues should be based on a coherent and sustainable approach; we need a long-term view instead of knee-jerk reaction. While crisis management is necessary, sustained efforts are imperative. Otherwise, previous threats may reemerge, and all hard-won gains may be lost. The SARS outbreak in 2003, the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and COVID-19 this year all show that global public health security demands our sustained attention. Fourth, reflection on international counter-terrorism cooperation is needed. The global fight against terrorism has made important progress. However, terrorist activities remain rampant, the breeding ground is yet to be eradicated, international common understanding needs strengthening, and a sustainable strategy is yet to take form. Opting for unilateralist and bullying practices, a certain country has politicized counter-terrorism and turned it into a convenient tool. This has caused serious disruption to international counter-terrorism cooperation, and we all need to be on high alert.

As Luo Zhaohui put it, frequent terrorist attacks around the world remind us that terrorism has never gone away. International counter-terrorism cooperation still has a long way to go, and must be strengthened, not weakened. In fighting terrorism, we must uphold multilateralism, adopt a comprehensive approach, follow a unified standard, and embrace openness and inclusiveness.

Luo Zhaohui said, China is an important member of the international fight against terrorism and an active participant in and contributor to counter-terrorism cooperation. We have engaged in productive exchanges with other countries on counter-terrorism and deradicalization policies, and contributed useful experience to the international effort. The counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures taken in Xinjiang are effective. They offer useful experience to global deradicalization efforts and represent China's contribution to the international counter-terrorism endeavor.

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a terrorist group listed by the UN Security Council. Combating ETIM is a core concern in China's counter-terrorism efforts and an integral part of the global counter-terrorism endeavor. Regrettably, a certain country, in a blatant act of double standards, has revoked the designation of ETIM as a terrorist organization, which will only whitewash and embolden ETIM, breach international consensus and undermine counter-terrorism cooperation. We trust and expect that the international community will be clear-eyed about the violent, terrorist nature of ETIM and its grave danger, oppose the delisting of the group, and continue to work together to curtail the terrorist group until this security tumor is uprooted.

Luo Zhaohui emphasized China's four propositions on counter-terrorism.

First, it is important to uphold international consensus. Unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon against terrorism. We need to rise above exclusive-block or zero-sum mentality, stand on the side of international justice, and resolutely reject unilateral, selfish and bullying acts that only jeopardize and erode international consensus on terrorism.

Second, it is important to adopt effective measures. We need to support the UN in playing a central coordinating role, support more coordination of positions and actions, and support creative and multi-pronged solutions to tackle outstanding issues. More attention should be paid to the impact of COVID-19 so that terrorist organizations will not be able to use the pandemic to instigate and execute attacks.

Third, it is important to follow a unified standard. We must adopt a zero-tolerance, indiscriminate approach and resolutely crack down upon terrorists wherever they are and on whatever ground. We should reject ideological biases or double standards, and avoid linking terrorism with any particular country, ethnicity or religion.

Fourth, it is important to deny terrorism its breeding ground. We need to address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism, facilitate economic and social development in developing countries, and effectively alleviate and eradicate poverty. Developing countries should receive strong support to help them build capacity in counter-terrorism and deradicalization. Expert and academic exchanges should be encouraged to provide intellectual input to international counter-terrorism efforts.

Luo Zhaohui suggested that this seminar be held on a regular basis to build consensus and keep up the momentum of counter-terrorism. Next time, we may consider issuing a press release and inviting more countries.

The participants had in-depth discussions on the "new circumstances and challenges of counter-terrorism and security on the international and regional spheres in the time of COVID-19", "counter-terrorism concerns and experiences of various countries", and the "right path to deepen international cooperation against terrorism". It was agreed that this international seminar on counter-terrorism was held just in time. In the context that the current pandemic has made the international counter-terrorism situation more complex and severe, the international community should strengthen unity and jointly tackle non-traditional security challenges, including terrorism. The international community should always uphold multilateralism, follow a unified standard, adopt a multi-pronged approach, and oppose "double standards" and politicization of counter-terrorism, in order to pool greater efforts. Chinese scholars introduced China's experience and practices in counter-terrorism and deradicalization at the seminar, to which all participants responded positively.

This was the first international seminar on international cooperation against terrorism that the CIIS held, and it received active support from all parties. CIIS President Xu Bu summarized the seminar and expressed his gratitude to the participating officials and scholars.

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