US duplicity on terrorism condemnable

2021-01-15 12:03:09

LIMIN/CHINA DAILY Editor's Note: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement will be delisted as a terrorist organization even though the terrorist and separatist outfit remains a big threat to China and the rest of the world. Some experts share their views on the issue with China Daily. Excerpts follow: Double standard harms fight against terrorism Mike Pompeo, according to an official announcement on the US State Department website, decided to delist the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist organization in October 2020, citing the lack of conclusive evidence in this regard. But contrary to Pompeo's claim, the ETIM has become more active in recent years, expanding its activities in many regions including South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and thus poses a growing security threat to China and the world. The ETIM is recognized as a terrorist organization by the international community and is banned by many countries and organizations. The US has turned a blind eye to these facts, confusing right with wrong and using double standard on terrorism. But its ploy to use terrorist outfits to derail China's development and destabilize the country will never succeed. Since its establishment, the ETIM has committed innumerable crimes, causing heavy loss of lives and properties and posing the most direct and realistic terrorist threat to China. Since the late 1990s, the ETIM has set up bases in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries and regions, trained and sent its members to "infiltrate" China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and planned, incited and carried out a series of terrorist acts. Since 2008, the ETIM has extended its tentacles to, and organized attacks in, other provinces and regions of China. In 2012 alone, it organized more than 190 violent and terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, the vast majority of them in southern Xinjiang. Over the past 20 years or so, the ETIM members, seeking refuge in many countries, have developed close links with al-Qaida and other dreaded terrorist organizations, and become a notorious part of the global network of terrorists, posing a serious threat to not only China's national security but also global peace and stability. The international community is worried about the atrocities committed by the ETIM and has taken a series of measures to prevent it from carrying out terrorist attacks, and many countries have added it to their lists of terrorist organizations. So by fabricating a lie that there is a lack of evidence to prove the ETIM is still active and revoking its terrorist tag, the United States has once again exposed its duplicity on terrorism- it will respect counter-terrorism efforts if they are beneficial to it, and if not, abandon, even violate them. By resorting to double standard vis-à-vis terrorism, the US has caused great damage to not only the global fight against terrorism but also global governance. The US has drawn up an "anti-terrorism blacklist" in total disregard of basic facts and the international consensus to decide which outfits should be labeled "terrorist organizations" and which countries blamed for sponsoring terrorism based on its own political and economic interests. Worse, it uses such tags and accusations to interfere, many a time blatantly, in other countries' internal affairs, so as to maintain its global hegemony. Terrorism is the common enemy of all humans, and terrorists have caused great harm to all countries and people around the world. So, all countries should treat terrorism and terrorists as potent threats. However, Washington often reacts fiercely to terrorist attacks in the US or in its ally countries, and stands united with them. Yet when terrorists launch attacks in countries which the US sees as rivals or competitors, it remains indifferent and even tries to use so-called ethnic and/or religious problems in these countries to dilute the issue or give it a political twist. The delisting of the ETIM by the US will not change the fact that it is a terrorist organization, nor will it erase the security threat the outfit poses to the international community. China condemns the US' unscrupulous move, and the international community will not agree with the US on the issue. For example, the official US State Department website uploaded Pompeo's announcement on Nov 5, yet the Comprehensive Financial Sanctions List the European Union released on Nov 12 continued to include the ETIM and one of its senior leaders as targets. And on Nov 17, the UN Security Council updated its list, continuing to treat the ETIM as a terrorist outfit. China has made remarkable achievements in combating terrorism- for almost four years, there has been no violent terrorist incident in China- while Xinjiang has made unprecedented achievements on the economic and social fronts, and greatly improved people's livelihoods there. Moreover, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang today have a growing sense of gain, happiness and security. Therefore, it is time for the US to abandon double standard on terrorism and stop supporting the ETIM, otherwise it would also get burned by the fire it has been fanning. A research team on anti-terrorism studies Washington must change stance to prevent disaster Since the beginning of the 21st century, the global fight against terrorism has made some encouraging progress, but there is still a long way to go before complete victory can be achieved. In fact, some countries and regions have even seen the expansion of terrorist organizations. Contrary to popular belief, terrorist attacks increased, not decreased, in 2020 despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world experienced at least 2,000 attacks by the end of November last year, much more than those in the whole of 2019. An important reason for this is that some countries, led by the US, have adopted double standard on terrorism and, by politicizing the fight against terrorism, made the counter-terrorism operations more complex. In fact, the US' decision to delist the ETIM as a terrorist organization is a result of its unilateral policies and Cold War mentality, which shows the US is not really combating terrorism, but seeking political gains under the pretext of fighting terrorism. As China's key battleground in the fight against terrorism, separatism and religious extremism, Xinjiang is at the forefront of the international fight against terrorism. Drawing on the experiences of the international community, China attaches equal importance to fighting and preventing terrorism. That's why while cracking down on terrorists and terrorism-related crimes, China has also taken strict measures to better protect the human rights of the people in Xinjiang by strengthening the nine-year compulsory education system, establishing education and training centers, and vigorously combating poverty, so as to maintain social stability and prosperity in the region. It is a pity that the US, which experienced the devastating Sept 11,2001, terrorist attacks has not only turned a blind eye to Xinjiang's economic growth, social stability, and religious harmony, but is also deliberately misinterpreting the measures to "protect of human rights" and guarantee "religious freedom" in Xinjiang to tarnish China's counter-terrorism efforts and support the ETIM. The US is also using long-arm jurisdiction by sanctioning Chinese companies and officials to interfere in China's internal affairs. The Xinjiang issue is not about human rights, or ethnic or religious freedom. It is about combating terrorism and violence, defeating separatist forces, and de-radicalizing indoctrinated youth. The US claims it is trying to "safeguard" the human rights and freedom of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, but by supporting the ETIM, it is actually seriously threatening the safety of more than 20 million people of all ethnic groups in the region. The US has become the biggest disrupting force in the global fight against terrorism by supporting, conniving with and using terrorist outfits to fulfill its own narrow gains. The threat posed by terrorism and extremism remains grave, and the global fight against terrorism requires all countries to reach a consensus on counter-terrorism, enhance mutual trust, promote exchanges and cooperation, and consolidate counter-terrorism efforts. By taking a duplicitous stance on terrorism, the US has undermined global counter-terrorism efforts. And it will only bring disaster to the world, and itself, if it does not change its biased and politically motivated stance on terrorism. Guo Fankong, an expert on anti-terrorism studies The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily. If you have a specific expertise and would like to contribute to China Daily, please contact us at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn , and comment@chinadaily.com.cn