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State intelligence center to counter terror threat

An Baijie and Cui Jia
Updated: Oct 28,2014 7:37 AM     China Daily

A national anti-terrorism intelligence center will be established to counter terrorist attacks, according to a draft anti-terrorism law.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will review the draft from Oct 27 to Nov 1 during the committee’s bi-monthly session.

The draft outlines the country’s anti-terrorism mechanism and the duties of the military forces, armed forces and police officers in fighting terrorism.

Fang Tao, an officer of the Special Police Force with Aksu Prefecture Public Security Bureau in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, said that police would be able to fight terrorists more proactively after the anti-terrorism law takes effect.

“Under the current situation, many anti-terrorism campaigns are based on political tasks rather than the rules of law,” he said.

An anti-terrorism law has been in high demand by lawmakers and the public after five knife-wielding terrorists killed 31 people and injured 141 others at Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province on March 1. The police shot one attacker on the spot and seized four others.

The attackers, all from Xinjiang, were tried in September at Kunming Intermediate People’s Court, which sentenced three of them to death and one to life imprisonment on the charges of murder and leading and organizing a terrorist group.

“Terrorists’ activities are spreading from the border regions of Xinjiang to the inland areas, and an anti-terrorism law is needed to deal with the new challenges”, said Li Wei, an expert on anti-terrorism studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

With the anti-terrorism law, the Chinese government will enhance cooperation with other countries to fight terrorists, he said.

According to Li, the anti-terrorism law should clearly define terrorism and terrorists, stipulate the duties of anti-terrorism departments and establish a precautionary mechanism.

Pan Zhiping, a specialist on anti-terrorism research at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said that China has fought terrorism since the early 1990s, and an anti-terrorism law should be passed as soon as possible to set up a mechanism to fight terrorists.

It will be a tough and long battle to fight terrorism since the problems of terrorists attacks are very complex, he said.

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