International

China and Russia call for a global counter-terrorism front following Paris attacks

China and Russia have called for a “united front” to counter terrorism following the Paris attack, but warned that participating countries must  avoid “double standards” and ensure that the “root causes” of extremism are kept in focus.

Addressing heads of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Antalya in Turkey, President Xi Jinping stressed that the United Nations Charter and “recognized basic norms” of international relations must be the touchstone of devising a global counter-terrorism strategy. "The international community must join hands to step up counter-terrorism cooperation, in light of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and other recognised basic norms for international relations," Mr.  Xi observed.

Both China and Russia have been asserting that the UN charter, international law, and respect for national sovereignty should   guide an international response to global security challenges. This view sharply contradicts the advocacy in the West of human rights driven approach for military interventions in sovereign states, under the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine.

"Both the symptoms and root causes of the issue should be addressed. Double standards shouldn't be allowed," President Xi observed.

Separately, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi advocated the formation of a global “united front” to combat terrorism.  "The UN's leading role should be brought into full play to combat terrorism, and a united front in this regard should be formed," he observed. Mr. Wang backed France’s intent of  “resolutely cracking down on terrorist activities”, linking it with  China’s own crackdown on the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a UN-listed terror group, which has Xinjiang in western China as its prime arena of operations.

The Russians have also voiced full support for a “universal anti-terror front” as the core instrument for combating terrorism, following the Paris attack.  Addressing the media after the BRICS meeting in Antalya, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, pointed out that “recent events, including the terror attacks in Paris, make absolutely imperative for all to drop any good reasons, any pre-conditions and to focus on organisation of a truly universal anti-terror front". During his address to the BRICS leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin also called for “uniting efforts” to effectively defeat the “terror threat”.

In tune with the observations of his Chinese counterpart Mr. Putin also stressed that all counter-terrorism activity “should comply fully with the Charter of the United Nations Organisations, should be based on international norms and should respect sovereign rights and legal interests of every country".

Analysts point out that despite the Sino-Russian advocacy for international legality to counter terrorism, France has now stepped up its air campaign in Syria, following the Paris attacks, without a UN Security Council resolution, or an invitation to do so by the government in Syria.

Ahead of the latest round of air strikes, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad told reporters in Damascus, that Syrian and French authorities were not sharing any intelligence. “You cannot talk about intelligence cooperation in order to fight terrorism while at the same time your policies, the policies of the same government are going in the direction of supporting terrorism,” he observed.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 1:15:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-and-russia-call-for-a-global-counterterrorism-front-following-paris-attacks/article7883746.ece

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