China asks int’l counter-terrorism assistance ahead of G20

G20 Summit

Photo: CFP

China is seeking assistance from the international community to ensure a safe G20 meeting in September, as the country faces what one official called the “grim task” of fighting terrorism.

Such assistance would include evaluations of the risk of attacks against world leaders who will come to China to attend the summit, and lists of possible terrorists and terrorist organizations that might be involved, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

“We’re facing a grim task in fighting terrorism, and we hope participating countries will work together with Chinese police to ensure the safety of such large-scale meetings,” Hou Le, a senior official from the ministry’s Counterterrorism Bureau, said on Wednesday. Hou made the remark on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of foreign law enforcement liaison officers in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Hangzhou will be the host city for this year’s G20 summit. Leaders and delegations from more than 20 countries and international organizations, such as the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Japan, will take part.

China hopes that police liaison officers from participating countries will offer a list of the names of international terrorist organizations and terrorists who might pose security threats to the G20 meeting or target their leaders or delegates. Risk assessments for possible attacks are also welcomed.

At the same time, China is willing to enhance intelligence exchanges and investigation of individual cases with the international community, according to the ministry.

“Grasping international intelligence, making national assessments and close personal protection of important leaders are considered the priority for the prevention of terror attacks for large-scale international conferences such as the G20 summit,” said Thorsten Boelts, a liaison officer from Germany who is based in Beijing and attended the Hangzhou meeting.

Hou from the Counterterrorism Bureau said that although China has made progress in combating terrorism in recent years, the country is faced with real terrorist threats.

Hundreds of members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an organization labeled as a terrorist group by the United Nations in 2002, are receiving military training in Syria and Afghanistan. They might come or return to China to launch attacks, according to the ministry.

The Islamic State group is another threat to China, and Southeast Asia has become a key area in which IS publicizes information, recruits members and launders money, posing serious risks to regional safety and stability, according to the ministry.

Police intelligence shows that some Syrian and Iraqi passports have been stolen, and terrorists might use them to illegally cross China’s borders, it added.

Story by China Daily.