Some countries ‘abusing’ definition of terrorism to advance own goals: Chinese General
Major General Wang Jingwu , a Chinese general from People’s Liberation Army (PLA) while speaking at a session on counterterrorism discussed its nature and the current state of terror activities at the global stage.Updated: Oct 23, 2019 21:20 IST
Some countries are “abusing” the definition of terrorism to advance their national goals by calling terrorists in another country “freedom fighters” and supporting them, a Chinese general from a leading People’s Liberation Army (PLA) university has said.
This has created a problem in having a universal definition of terrorism and complicated the fight against it across the world, Major General Wang Jingwu, president of the National University of Defense Technology’s School of International Relations, under the PLA, said.
“To complicate matters, some countries are abusing the definition of terrorism and counterterrorism mechanisms to advance their own national goals. Terrorists in one country might be considered ‘freedom fighters’ and get support from another,” Wang was quoted as saying by the state media.
“If we can’t even have a common understanding of what a terrorist is, the future of global counterterrorism efforts will be very difficult,” Wang added.
The Chinese general was speaking at a session on counterterrorism at the just-concluded 9th Xiangshan Forum in Beijing.
Wang, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, suggested countries should forge a stronger consensus against terrorists’ acts against humanity and their use of violence to advance their goals.
Wang named four countries where terrorists were expanding their presence – Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. He did not mention Pakistan.
New Delhi has consistently said Pakistan is the hotbed of cross-border terrorism and is training and aiding terrorists to carry out attacks in India.
“In 2017, the world suffered around 8,580 terrorist attacks, leading to more than 18,700 deaths,” Wang said.
“So far this year, there have been around 1,545 terrorist attacks and 6,825 fatalities around the world,” the news report said.
“Terrorists are becoming more globalised, internet-savvy and younger,” Wang said, adding: “This poses serious challenges to global counterterrorism efforts because terrorists are becoming more scattered and elusive, and they can carry out surprise attacks in a wide range of locations”.
Major General RPS Bhadauria, from New Delhi’s United Service Institution of India, said the social and psychological makeup of a terrorist is extremely complex, with many new recruits being well-educated and middle-class youth - demographic characteristics traditionally thought to be less susceptible to extremist ideals.
“We can kill a terrorist, but what we really need to do is kill the idea behind the terrorist,” Bhadauria was quoted as saying at the forum by China Daily.