Terrorism a real threat to Chinese society: Daily

Beijing, Dec 24 (IANS) Terrorism has become a “real threat” to the Chinese society, a state-run daily said Thursday, stoutly defending an anti-terrorism law.

An editorial “Criticism of anti-terrorism law misguided” on Thursday said that the US State Department on Tuesday expressed “serious concerns” to China over the new anti-terrorism law. It claimed that the law would restrict people’s freedom of expression and association.

“Some analysts believe that the US is concerned that the law will require US tech firms operating in China to hand out core data which will affect their interests,” said the daily.

It said that formulating anti-terrorism law is a “typical internal affair of China”.

“Terrorism has become a real threat to the Chinese society, and it is the need of the hour to have such a law. The legal interests of US companies should be guaranteed, as they help advance China’s opening-up policy. But it’s also natural to expect US firms in China to cooperate with China’s anti-terror efforts,” the daily added.

It noted that if US companies are worried that the Chinese government is trying to boost the competitiveness of domestic firms through regulatory means, they can safeguard their own interests via legal means. “But they cannot refuse to cooperate with the governance of the country.”

The editorial went on to say that the world has not formed a consensus on defining terrorism. “Many countries have not released a formal definition, while the definition in the Chinese anti-terrorism draft law could be the clearest one yet.”

According to the draft, terrorism is defined as any proposition or activity that, by means of violence, sabotage or threat, generates social panic, undermines public security, infringes personal and property rights, and menaces government organs and international organisations – with the aim to realize certain political and ideological purpose. “The definition incorporates the opinion of international observers and also distinguishes terrorism from the anti-social behaviour.”

The daily said that the freedom of expression is the most commonly used excuse by the West to bash China and “…in Western thinking, any regulatory measure will have no legitimacy if the freedom of expression is suspected to be compromised by it”.

It noted that China and the US have a wide range of interdependent interests in the era of globalization.

“With its discourse power, Washington can disguise its selfishness as international justice. Therefore, Chinese legislators don’t need to take the US attitude too seriously. China must decide by itself how we should do things.”

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