Is China abetting global terrorism?


Should China be called a terrorist-state or an abettor of terrorism for blocking UN sanctions on leaders of known terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) who have themselves publicly claimed responsibility for terror attacks targeting innocent peoples.  China has done this continuously this year for the fourth time on October 19,2022. Rarely has any other country done this in recent times?

There is no rationale behind such blockings except to thwart US and Indian attempts to sanction LeT leaders, and on the side, to show Pakistan how friendly it is. Needless to say, US also maintains close relations with Pakistan but that doesn’t stop US from calling a spade, a spade.  China’s continuous blocking of proposals in the UN for sanctioning terrorists make a mockery of global attempt to curtail activities of global terrorist groups like LeT. Such actions encourage terrorist groups across the world and China, in some ways, is paying the price for protecting terrorists operating in Pakistan.

Back in 2006, China stated in the UN that “China has always held that, as a common scourge of the international community, all terrorist activities constitute grave crimes, regardless of their motivation, timing and location or the identity of the perpetrators. China is opposed to all kinds of terrorist activities”. So what happens when other countries make a move to sanction terrorist leaders and groups? Why does China back out, taking advantage of its veto power, and end up supporting the very country that spawns and sponsors global terrorist groups like LeT?

There could be reasons for a country to adopt a particular stand–China’s reasons for protecting terrorists from Pakistan could be its massive investment in terrorist-infested country but it is the same reason which could boomerang on China in years to come. Unless terrorists are wiped out, Pakistan would remain a serious threat to Chinese investments.

Continuous blocking of international efforts to sanction terrorist leaders in Pakistan could prove to be a costly mistake in the near future. When it comes to its own terrorism, China wants the international community to recognise its challenge and various policies it had put in place to address the issues. In 2014, when Xinjiang was affected by attacks from angry Uighur groups, China called for a `strike hard` campaign and `people’s war on terror`. Chairman Xi Jinping vowed to create surveillance nets that stretched from `the earth to the sky`. It has since been able to stem the alleged tide of terrorism with a heavy hand.

The real reason for this action of China in UN could be mainly US and some extent India. The US had delisted the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in 2020. China believes the group to be the most serious threat to its homeland, especially in Xinjiang. An angry Chinese Foreign Office spokesman hit out that “Terrorism is terrorism. The US should immediately correct its mistake and refrain from ‘whitewashing’ terrorist organizations, or going backwards in international cooperation on counter-terrorism.” China is paying back with refusal to sanction Pak-based terrorists, creating a cycle of moves that could endanger the world.

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