Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 11th, 2020

China-style Counter-terrorism Strategy Will Lead to Peace

Since terrorism is a global threat, a nationwide strategy to combat terrorism will lead to peace and stability. Suffering as a result of violence and terrorist acts, Afghanistan’s counter-terrorism strategy has reached a stalemate, but that of its neighbor China has been highly productive.
Chinese officials have reiterated in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that their counter-terrorism strategy had borne the desired result as there was no terrorist attacks within the past two years in Xinjiang, which borders Afghan province of Badakhshan.
Hosting a media event titled “The Core Zone (Xinjiang) of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ Media Event”, Chinese officials showed media delegates, from different countries, Xinjian’s vocational training centers, mosques, museums, villages, etc. and briefed them about their achievements, mainly in terms of combating terrorism.
The media delegates visited “Exhibition of Major Terrorist Attacks and Violent Crimes in Xinjiang”, which is established as a terrorist victims’ memorial museum to show terrorist acts in Xinjiang. They were shown tragic photos of terrorist victims and violent video of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which were tremendously shocking.
The media delegates visited Wensu Training Center, which had three large buildings equipped with all necessary facilities, including room and board. Zulia Abli, one of the trainees in the center, said that he was sent to the center because he was downloading and watching violent videos via internet, which could lead him to radicalization. Moreover, his classmate Busaromo Ashemo, who was learning in the center for a year, told the journalists that she was also downloading and watching violent videos and learnt Holy Quarn underground from videos, which is not legally acceptable in China. Answering to a question, she said that students were not allowed to practice their religion in the center based on Chinese law, which has been confirmed by Chinese officials. 
China’s strategy for combating terrorism:
The People’s Republic of China has adopted two effective strategies for combating terrorism:
(1.) Training, educating, and employing prisoners of terrorist activities:
Vocational training centers have been established to curb radicalization. For instance, trainees in the centers are those who “were incited, coerced or induced into participating in terrorist or extremist activities” or those whose involvement in such activities were not serious enough to constitute a crime, based on a white paper released by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China.
The second category is those who “posed a real danger but did not cause actual harm” or those who “made confessions of their crimes and were contrite about their past actions” or those who voluntarily joined the centers.
Third category trainees is those who were “convicted and received prison sentence for terrorist or extremist crimes and after serving their sentences, have been assessed as still posing potential threats to society”.
Hence, those who were involved in terrorist activities are not simply released after serving their sentences, but they are trained, educated, and employed, which can be a fruitful lesson for Afghanistan. For instance, the trainees in vocational centers have to pass four exams including Mandarin Language, vocational skills, law, and anti-terrorist ideas.
With this in mid, it is believed that releasing prisoners of terrorist activities will be highly perilous to a country. Instead of keeping those prisoners in jails, a country has to establish vocational centers similar to those of China so as to train, educate, and employ them. That is, if those prisoners return to the country with the same radical mindset, they will resume their terrorist activities. In short, to combat terrorism in an effective way, prisoners of terrorist activities have to be de-radicalized in a healthy environment.
(2) Poverty alleviation project:
China is also seeking to combat terrorism through economic means, namely alleviating poverty. The media delegates visited some houses in villages, which were established by government’s subsidies. For example, the journalists visited the house of a vocational training center graduate Abdul Wali. His house costs one hundred fifty thousand yuan, one hundred thousand of which was subsidized by the government. Chinese government also encourages investment in those areas and supports the villagers to start their own business without paying tax to the government. Thus, alleviating poverty and creating jobs are the second strategy for decreasing terrorist activities since some resort to terrorism to make a living.
Regional and global powers and Afghanistan’s neighboring countries should support Kabul government in combating terrorism through sharing their counter-terrorism strategy, brokering peace talks, etc.
Meanwhile, Afghan government is recommended to adopt more cautious approaches towards terrorists, including the Taliban, and do not simply release their prisoners to give them concessions in return for nothing.