China on Monday termed the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as one of the “most notorious terrorists attacks”, and said the “global spread of terrorism and extremism over the years has inflicted agony on humanity”.
The Mumbai attacks were mentioned alongside other “notorious” attacks such as the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, as well as the 2015 attacks in Paris. These were listed in a white paper released by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China on Monday.
The white paper, titled ‘The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang’, said nearly 13,000 “terrorists” were arrested in the China’s northwestern Xinjiang province since 2014.
Under a chapter titled ‘International Counterterrorism Exchanges and Cooperation,’ the paper notes: “Throughout the world, terrorism and extremism gravely threaten peace and development, and endanger the life and property of individuals. Striking aggressively at terrorism and furthering the de-radicalisation effort is the common responsibility of the international community and essential to the protection of human rights.” It also states that China “opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism”, and “opposes double standards on fighting terrorism”.
Further, it states: “As a responsible member of the international community, China supports the United Nations in playing a leading and coordinating role in international cooperation against terrorism. China upholds the UN Charter and other principles and norms of international law. It has supported a series of resolutions on combating terrorism adopted by the UN Security Council, and contributed to the full implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy,” the paper states.
The paper comes days after China put a technical hold on India’s bid in the UNSC to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel and saw escalations between India and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, a strategic dialogue between Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi is scheduled to take place in Beijing on Tuesday. “I believe the issues causing regional tensions will be discussed,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at the MFA’s regular briefing here.