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Statement by Mr. Li Yongsheng on Measures to eradicate international terrorism at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly

2015/10/15

Mr. Chairman,

      At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as chairman of the Sixth Committee of the 70th Session of the General Assembly. My congratulations also go to other members of the bureau.

Mr. Chairman,

      At present, international terrorist activities occur frequently and violent extremist ideologies are rapidly spreading. The overlapping of terrorism and regional conflicts is becoming increasingly obvious. The "back flow" of foreign terrorist fighters, the frequent occurrence of terror attacks carried out by "lone wolves" and the use of internet for terrorist activities are all on the rise, posing a major threat to international and regional security and stability. The international counter-terrorism situation is extremely grave indeed.

Mr. Chairman,

      Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind. The international community should cooperate closely and take effective measures to resolutely combat terrorism. China wishes to reiterate that international counter-terrorism actions should be guided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and give full play to the leading role of the UN and its Security Council. There must be no double standards, no linking terrorism with any particular ethnicity or religion. China believes that in fighting terrorism, apart from taking multifaceted measures to tackle both its symptoms and root causes, more targeted measures are needed. Here, I wish to stress the following points:

      First, focus on the removal of breeding grounds of terrorism. Poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment are the root causes of terrorism, and religious problems and regional conflicts are the hotbeds of terrorist forces. The international community should pay high attention to the issue of development and help the countries concerned to eradicate poverty, promote development and improve people's livelihood. At the same time, it should energetically advocate dialogue on an equal footing among various civilizations, religions and ethnicities and seek to address appropriately regional conflicts so as to remove the root causes and breeding soil of terrorism.

      Second, further strengthen pragmatic cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels. We should fully leverage the advantages of the UN and relevant international agencies to set up a counter-terrorism data bank expeditiously and share intelligence resources among member states. In areas of intelligence exchange, law enforcement cooperation, personnel vetting and financial regulation, countries should scale up practical cooperation so as to improve international counter-terrorism cooperation both in scope and in depth.

      Third, keep highly vigilant about the "back flow" of terrorist fighters. In recent years, there has been a clear increase of foreign terrorist fighters who move around frequently, posing a serious threat to the security and stability of countries of origin, transit and destination. This phenomenon also constitutes a huge potential threat of the spread of terrorism. The international community should pay high attention to this issue and strengthen coordination effectively. Countries concerned should reinforce border control and law enforcement cooperation so as to cut off the flow of terrorists.

      Fourth, resolutely combat the use of internet for terrorist purposes. The international community should take effective measures to combat the attempt of terrorist and extremist groups to use internet for propaganda, recruitment, incitation, planning and financing purposes. All countries should effectively implement the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, enhance cyber regulation and work jointly to shut down the channels for spreading terrorist and extremist ideas.

Mr. Chairman,

      China is a victim of terrorism. In July this year, the Chinese Embassy in Somalia suffered a terrorist attack, resulting in one death and three injured. Apart from incidents like this, China faces the perennial threat posed by "the East Turkistan" terrorist forces headed by "the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement". In recent years, this group has grown in strength and stepped up its efforts to gang up with international terrorist forces to incite violent extremist terrorists inside China to go to the Middle East for training. Some of them have either secretly returned to China or gone to other countries and regions, posing a threat to the security of China and other countries. The Chinese government has taken multifaceted measures to deal with this problem. First, we have carried out special operations against violent terrorist activities and maintained vigorous efforts to stamp down terrorist and extremist forces. Second, we have improved counter-terrorism legislation and are expediting the drafting of "Counter-Terrorism Act" while making relevant amendments to our Criminal Law. Thirdly, we are making great efforts to advance "de-radicalization" and to raise the awareness of the public for them to reject conscientiously extremist religious ideologies. Meanwhile, we are forcefully suppressing the use of internet by religious extremists to spread extremist ideas. In so doing, China has made its contribution to the international counter-terrorism cause.

      The Chinese government attaches great importance to cooperation with the international community in the fight against terrorism. To this end, it has constantly sought to improve institutionalized exchanges and cooperation with countries and international organizations concerned in areas of investigation of terrorism-related cases, intelligence and information exchange and personnel training. At the multilateral level, China has actively participated in international counter-terrorism cooperation within such multilateral frameworks as the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the INTERPOL, and "Global Forum on Counter Terrorism". At the bilateral level, over the past year, China conducted a series of consultations on counter terrorism with the United States, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Indonesia respectively. As recent as last month, China and the United States successfully held a seminar on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which issued a joint statement on the two countries' effort to address the threat of IEDs.

      The Chinese government will continue to work with other members of the international community to explore effective ways and means to root out international terrorism and jointly maintain world peace and stability.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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