|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 99 "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism"|
New York, 8 October 2008
A series of terrorist attacks that took place recently demonstrate that terrorism remains a grave challenge facing the international community. Eliminating international terrorism not only helps to protect people's life and property, but also is favorable to the maintenance to international peace and security. As such, it is in the common interest of the international community.
The Chinese government supports the strengthening of international cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms. It has been our consistent view that measures to eliminate international terrorism must strictly abide by the UN Charter and the principles of international law, must avoid double standard and must refrain from linking terrorism with any specific civilization, ethnic group or religion. For measures taken by the international community to eliminate terrorism to achieve practical results, it is necessary to make parallel efforts both in prevention and in punishment, with particular emphasis on prevention.
My delegation is pleased to note that as a result of extensive joint efforts of the international community, a legal framework within the UN system for the elimination of international terrorism has basically taken shape. To date, thirteen international anti-terrorism conventions have been formulated under the auspices of the United Nations that cover various major terrorist crimes as well as important preventive measures. The Chinese government supports the international community in building on this basis and continuing to improve the international anti-terrorist legal system.
My government is in favor of drafting a new comprehensive convention against terrorism so as to further improve the current international anti-terrorist legal framework. We have noticed that many years have gone into this task and that the drafting work has been progressing slowly due to fundamental differences among the parties on certain crucial questions. We hope that countries show political will in seeking a solution and take a cooperative and constructive approach to the drafting with a view to producing a result as early as possible. My government also supports the proposal of having the UN convene a high-level conference on counter terrorism when conditions are ripe because we believe such a conference will help provide policy guidance to international legal cooperation in counter terrorism.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the building of a legal system to combat terrorism. When it comes to international conventions, China has acceded to eleven of the thirteen international conventions on terrorism formulated under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition, China has signed the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and has started the domestic procedure for the ratification to that convention and the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. As for domestic legislation, in 2001, China adopted the Amendment to the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China (III) which contains new provisions on the punishment of several terrorist crimes. In 2006, China formulated Anti-Money Laundering Law which established the legal system for the prevention of terrorist financing. That law came into effect on January 1, 2007. Currently, relevant departments of China are studying the possibility of formulating a comprehensive and integrated anti-terrorism legislation. Concerning judicial cooperation, the Chinese government has up till now concluded with 58 countries 102 treaties on extradition or judicial assistance, of which 79 have come into effect.
For China, the year 2008 bears a special significance. China successfully hosted the Beijing Olympic Games. The Beijing Olympic Games was a grand sports meet for peoples of the entire world. However, some terrorist forces, in order to reach their political purposes, attempted to create terrorist incidents at the time of the Beijing Olympic Games in total disregard safety of life and security of property of peoples of the whole world. Taking the safety and security of the Olympic Games as a top priority, the Chinese government adopted many effective preventive measures. For instance, in 2008, the government organized the formulation and publication of Citizen's Anti-terrorism Handbook and disseminated the handbook widely via media and websites with a view to raising public awareness of terrorism. In June 2008, the government held Great Wall V Anti-terrorism Exercise to test our country's capability to make emergency response in the wake of a terrorist attack. Relevant departments of China also strengthened the work of collecting terrorism related information, foiled several terrorist schemes and in the end, succeeded in avoiding any interruption of the Beijing Olympic Games by terrorist acts and achieving our overall goal of holding a "Safe Olympic Games". The Chinese government would like to express its thanks to all the countries and international organization that have lent support and cooperation to China in its anti-terrorism endeavors. We are willing to continue to work together with the international community in effectively combating international terrorism and maintaining international peace and security.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.