The Consequences of Expanding Counter Terrorism Law in China


By Roie Yellinek.



On the 1st August, the local government of Xinjian, in northwest China, passed a new counterterrorism law. This new law is based on China’s counterterrorism law which was passed in December 2015. The location where this law was passed is not random, Xinjiang is the battleground of China’s war against terrorism. The Chinese government and the Uygur minority that live in Xinjiang province, have had a lengthy confrontation. This confrontation includes a lot of terrorist attacks and the main government try to fight against it in some ways, and their final option is the passing of this law.

This law allows the province security forces to use new methods in the fight against terrorism. The legal ability to intervene in others’ marriages, funerals, inheritance issues for religious reasons and so on gives the province security forces the tools to fight against religious extremism, which is believed to be the basis of the terrorism. The new law is designed to fight against the spread of distorted Islamic ideas. Acts such as encouraging others to resist national policies, destroying identification cards, household registration and marriage certificates are also made illegal. The drafters of the law want to achieve deep control of the Uygur Islamic minority, that sometimes take their Islamic faith to extremism places like terror attacks.


What will be the consequences of this law? Experts at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said that, “For the past 100 years, domestic and international hostile forces have been making trouble in Xinjiang, so the antiterrorism fight will be a long one”. So it will be a long struggle between the two sides, but this new law is a big step by the Chinese government against the Muslims Uygur minority. It seem to be that the new law and the new collaboration between China and three of her Muslims neighboring countries (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) is not accidental. On the 4th of August, high rank official representatives from the three countries and China met in the Xinjian capital, Urumqi. They discussed ways to fight against terror and military cooperation in order to bring about regional stability.

It will be very interesting to wait and see how the Arab countries will react to this new law how damaging it will be to the way of life of the Muslim Uygur minority in Xinjian. Will they protest about that or will they let this go without an action that might annoy the Chinese Dragon? If we learn from history, they will let it pass without any action.


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