Saturday, February 28, 2015

China drafts law on counterterrorism operations abroad

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 interests.
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.”