THE JAPAN TIMES - FEBRUARY 28, 2015
BEIJING – China is close to
approving a law that will create a legal framework for sending troops
abroad on counterterrorism missions as Beijing seeks to address the
vulnerability of the country’s growing global commercial and diplomatic
Experts said Article 76 of the draft anti-terrorism law
would allay concerns among the military elite about the lack of a formal
mechanism for carrying out such operations, as well as mark a shift in
foreign policy thinking and military doctrine.
The article is a small part of a draft law chiefly aimed at
combating terrorism at home that was made public in November. It has
undergone a second review by a parliamentary committee and is likely to
be adopted in the coming weeks or months.
China has rarely been the target of terrorist acts overseas
but has vast energy interests, construction projects and mines in
unstable parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa.
The risk to those projects was highlighted in 2011 when the
government evacuated thousands of Chinese workers from Libya during the
uprising against Moammar Gadhafi. Some Chinese operations have also
generated local hostility over issues such as the use of imported
Chinese labor and the exploitation of natural resources.
Article 76 would authorize the military, as well as state
and public security personnel, to conduct counterterrorism operations
abroad with the approval of the “relevant country.”