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Acting on the Global Security Initiative to advance International Counterterrorism Cooperation
2023-09-21 08:44

Written Statement by Wang Yi
At the 13th Ministerial Plenary Meeting
Of the Global Counterterrorism Forum

September 20, 2023

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government, congratulations on the convening of the 13th Ministerial Plenary Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). I wish to thank Morocco and Canada, the former Co-chairs, for their sustained efforts for the Forum’s development, express appreciation to the incumbent Co-chairs Egypt and EU for the productive work, and welcome Kenya and Kuwait to the Forum as new members.  

The world today is witnessing transformation and turbulence. Changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. International counterterrorism has achieved notable effects. Yet there remain daunting difficulties and challenges. With terrorist and extremist forces stirring troubles and colluding with each other across borders, terrorist networks continue to spread and expand. The use of emerging technologies by terrorist groups has made it harder for the international community to forestall and frustrate terrorist activities.    

Faced with the deep-seated scourge of terrorism, countries have a shared task to effectively address the root causes of the problem, and overcome the international counterterrorism dilemma. China is also a victim of terrorism, and is confronted with the real threats from the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an international terrorist group listed by the U.N. Security Council. As it combats terrorism, China is also reflecting deeply on and exploring a solution to this pressing issue.

Last year, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI). The Initiative advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, emphasizes maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and calls for creating a new path to security that features dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance, and win-win over zero-sum mentality. The Initiative provides China’s proposals on meeting international security challenges, and offers new thinking for international counterterrorism cooperation. In the GSI Concept Paper, counterterrorism is among the 20 priorities of cooperation listed. China calls upon the international community to uphold the GSI’s vision and principles in advancing international counterterrorism cooperation and jointly make new contributions to the global fight against terrorism. The Chinese side would like to propose the following.

The vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security should be followed as a guiding philosophy. Countries need to commit to pursuing common security, respect and protect the security of every country, and crack down on terrorism. We need to take a holistic approach to address both the symptoms and the root causes of terrorism and remove its breeding ground through comprehensive measures covering political dialogue, economic recovery, betterment of people’s lives, mutual learning among civilizations, and international cooperation.    

The purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter should be taken as our fundamental guidance. Countries need to safeguard and practice true multilateralism, and earnestly uphold and enhance the U.N.’s central role in coordinating international counterterrorism efforts. We should support the full implementation of the counterterrorism resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Security Council, and the U.N. Global Counterterrorism Strategy, and work together to clamp down on all terrorist organizations and individuals listed by the U.N. Security Council.

Taking seriously the legitimate and just security concerns of all countries should be upheld as an important principle. Only focusing on terrorist groups that threaten oneself, but ignoring those menacing other countries, and even using these groups to serve one’s own geopolitical interests is not counterterrorism in the real sense. Smearing the justified counterterrorism efforts of other countries in the name of human rights, democracy and religion will find no support. These acts poison the international environment for counterterrorism cooperation and hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Hence, it is crucial to reject double standards and stand firmly against politicizing and instrumentalizing counterterrorism.   

Counterterrorism capacity building should be made a priority area. Faced with the new threats and challenges in counterterrorism, countries need to  thoroughly study and actively address the impact of emerging technologies on global efforts against terrorism, and further deepen policy communication and pragmatic cooperation. We should work to channel more global resources to developing countries, assist with the capacity building of African countries, to help enhance their own ability to maintain security and peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The GCTF, as an important mechanism for global counterterrorism cooperation, is dedicated to summarizing and sharing the experience gained among its members, and has played an active role in strengthening the capacity building for all members. Being important partners of international counterterrorism cooperation, GCTF members need to make concerted efforts and seek the biggest common denominator for cooperation. The Forum’s nimbleness and expertise should be fully harnessed to provide timely, pragmatic and effective public goods for capacity building in keeping with countries’ counterterrorism needs. The Forum needs to step up communication and coordination with international and regional organizations including the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS. The Forum is welcome to participate in counterterrorism exchanges and cooperation under the framework of the GSI, to pool wisdom, gather strength, and deliver tangible results for international counterterrorism cooperation.

With solidarity and sincerity, we will usher in a bright future. China hopes and believes that the Forum, under the leadership of the new Co-chairs, will produce new practical outcomes. China will continue to support and participate in the Forum’s work, and join hands with all parties to effectively tackle the global terrorist threat, and make active contributions to realizing lasting peace and universal security for the world.

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