Chinese envoy highlights importance of further promoting multilateralism in counter-terrorism efforts

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UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy said Friday that it is of utmost importance to further promote multilateralism in counter-terrorism efforts, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Facts have proved that no country can stand alone in the face of pandemic situations, which also shows the growing threat from non-traditional security issues. We must redouble our efforts and enhance our responses,” Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the meeting on “Member States’ Counter-Terrorism Priorities in the Post COVID-19 Environment” during the Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week.

“Terrorism knows no borders, and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes threat to international peace and security. Double-standard should be avoided in fighting against terrorism,” he said.

“We must strengthen, instead of weaken, our firm support for international mechanisms, and continue to support the UN to play a leading role in counter-terrorism,” said the ambassador.

“Adhering to multilateralism, and strengthening international cooperation, is the only option for responding to the challenges. Strengthening counter-terrorism efforts must be a priority when we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN,” he added.

Speaking of the new approaches and ways in dealing with terrorism, Zhang said that facing the new and evolving challenges of terrorism, “we must be equipped with new tools, technologies and take more prompt actions in fighting terrorism.”

“Terrorism will not stop due to the pandemic. On the contrary, it may even utilize and exploit the opportunity and gaps caused by COVID-19, to incite and advocate terrorist activities, to use cyberspace to spread extremism ideologies and poison our youth, etc.,” he said.

“While the link between COVID-19 and terrorist activities needs further studies and analysis, we should keep high alert on the impact of the pandemic. The spread of the virus also reminds us of the low cost and disastrous impact of bio-terrorism,” said the envoy.

“We should further strengthen the legal framework and actions, internationally, regionally and domestically, in all fronts of counter-terrorism. Utilization of information technology, intelligence sharing and judicial cooperation should be further enhanced,” he added.

“Relevant international instruments, including relevant Security Council resolutions, should be strictly implemented. We welcome the recent adoption of Security Council Resolution 2532, concerning COVID-19, which will help strengthen the framework of counter-terrorism. Actions are needed to implement these resolutions,” Zhang said.

The ambassador called on the international community to “enhance unity and solidarity in fighting terrorism, and strengthen capacity building.”

“COVID-19 shows the urgent need for us to be united. Facing these challenges, no one is safe until everyone is safe. We need to build partnerships among all of us,” he said.

“The social and economic conditions of some developing countries are very fragile, and have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic, creating soil for the breeding and spread of terrorism,” the envoy added.

“The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) has implemented a large number of capacity-building projects with outstanding results. We hope that UNOCT will continue to strengthen its capacity-building projects in response to cyber terrorism, bio-terrorism, law enforcement cooperation, etc. Counter-terrorism in Africa should also be a priority,” said Zhang.

“Cooperation with regional organizations, including the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the European Union, is extremely important. Promoting development and regional cooperation are highly encouraged, in response to the needs of member states to eradicate the root causes of terrorism,” the ambassador noted.

Speaking of China’s counter-terrorism efforts and its determination to continue international cooperation, the envoy said that China will continue to strengthen its political and financial support to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and the international counter-terrorism cooperation.

“Through the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, we have sponsored a couple of UNOCT’s projects in Africa, and in major sporting events,” he said.

“In the future, we will continue to vigorously support the work of the relevant UN counter-terrorism agencies, and to participate in the process of the review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” said the ambassador.

“We are committed to jointly advancing our common struggle against terrorism and the pandemic, to safeguard our common future for all,” he noted.

On the U.S. accusation against China, the ambassador said that he first of all rejected the accusation.

“Terrorism is our common enemy. There is no such difference between so-called good or bad terrorists,” he said.

“Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region suffers deeply from terrorism and violent extremism. To address these threats, Xinjiang has taken a series of preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, which is in line with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. These measures are widely supported and have yielded good results. Xinjiang has not seen a single terror incident in the past three years,” said Zhang.

“China is firmly opposed to the practice of politicization and double-standard in counter-terrorism. We urge the U.S. to stop such actions and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” the envoy noted. Enditem

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