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China releases paper on legal safeguards for counterterrorism activities

Beijing says it is willing to work closely with other countries to push forward counterterrorism cause as part of global governance.

China’s State Council Information Office on Tuesday released a white paper on the country’s legal framework concerning counterterrorism measures, systematizing both domestic and foreign experiences.

The paper titled “China’s Legal Framework and Measures for Counterterrorism”, according to the State Council, will aid China in rolling out counter-terrorism efforts that are anchored in law. This, the white paper noted, provides legal safeguards for China’s ramped-up efforts in combating terrorism.

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“In the face of new developments in international and domestic terrorism, China has first endeavored to gain a deeper understanding of law-based counterterrorism, summarize its underlying dynamics, and identify appropriate countermeasures. Drawing on foreign experience, China has formulated counterterrorism laws, improved the legal framework, and made consistent application of these laws,” the document read.

The white paper covers numerous areas, including, ways to improve the legal counterterrorism framework in the country, the determination and punishment of terrorist activities, the use of power by the Chinese authorities in the fight against terrorism, protection of human rights as part of counterterrorism operations and issues related to China’s national security.

“China has found a path of law-based counterterrorism that conforms to its realities by establishing a sound legal framework, promoting strict, impartial, procedure-based law enforcement, and ensuring impartial administration of justice and effective protection of human rights. It has safeguarded national and public security, protected people’s lives and property, and contributed to global and regional security and stability,” read the white paper

The Chinese State Council also recalled that terrorism is a global problem threatening the whole world and urged the international community “to share the responsibility to fight it.”

China says it wants to work side by side with other nations to promote counterterrorism measures within global governance and is ready to take part in exchanges, cooperation, and mutual training in this regard.

The white paper notes that terrorism is the common enemy of humanity, posing a grave threat to international peace and security, and representing a challenge to all countries and all humanity,

“All members of the international community share the responsibility to fight it,” it said.

State council in the white paper says China has been a victim of terrorism and has long faced its real threat, but was quick to note that the country has always attached great importance to law-based counterterrorism efforts, and has accumulated experience by concluding or joining international conventions and treaties and amending and improving criminal laws.

China notes that countries are applying different legal practices in combating terrorism, owing to different political systems, legal institutions, and cultural traditions to deal with the different forms and manifestations of terrorism.

The document stresses that China’s counterterrorism legal framework has improved over the past four decades, aligning China’s rule of law essentials with international counterterrorism principles.

“The legal framework in place works well both in preventing and punishing terrorist activities, and in respecting and protecting human rights. It conforms to China’s realities and international norms, and has yielded satisfactory and practical results,” read the white paper

The white notes that some countries often disregard others’ right to choose their own path of counterterrorism under the rule of law.

“These countries impose their own will upon others and pass judgment on them. They even interfere in others’ internal affairs, and infringe on their national sovereignty under the pretext of defending the rule of law and human rights. These actions have severely hampered the global effort to fight against terrorism under the rule of law, weakened the foundations of cooperation, and reduced operational effectiveness,” part of the paper read

“Counterterrorism approaches by individual countries that champion the common values of humanity, comply with the norms and principles of the United Nations, and conform to their own national conditions and legal institutions, are all part of the global effort to combat terrorism under the rule of law,” adds the paper

In fighting terrorism, the State Council says the international community should support diverse law-based actions, reject double standards, and oppose the politicization of related issues.

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