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Beijing on terror alert

Beijing: preparing for the worst
Beijing: preparing for the worst  


By Willy Wo-Lap Lam
CNN Senior China Analyst

(CNN) -- Beijing has underscored China's vulnerability to terrorism in the run-up to the September 11 anniversary.

Chinese officials and scholars have also warned against the rise of American "unilateralism" in the wake of Washington's threats to push the anti-terrorist campaign into Iraq.

The state media on Monday reported a large-scale anti-terrorist exercise by the fire-fighting department of the Ministry of Public Security.

Officers from six provinces and cities took part in rescue operations following a mock attack on a Beijing high-rise building.

Official reports said police, firemen and crack anti-terrorist squads within the paramilitary People's Armed Police had boosted training in the past year.

Apart from pro-independence Uighur activists in Xinjiang, Beijing is also raising its guard against "underground" groupings that may use terrorist tactics in the course of criminal activities or to vent their grievances against the government.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has reiterated the country's commitment to "international cooperation in fighting terrorism."

However, particularly with reference to Washington's possible war against Iraq, Chinese diplomats have stressed that punitive acts against individual countries must be done through the United Nations and that anti-terrorist efforts must not be targeted at a particular country, race or religion.

U.S. 'losing support'

Official academics have also warned against the rise of "unilateralism" and hegemonism in Washington's battle against terrorism.

According to international affairs specialist at People's University, Jin Canrong, "unilateralism has reared its head in American diplomacy in the wake of the success of its anti-terrorist campaigns."

Professor Jin warned that American hawkishness had resulted in "a decrease in the global community's support for America's fight against terrorism."

In a commentary, the Xinhua news agency website also decried Washington's claim that it had a right to take "pre-emptive strikes" against Iraq.

It said such "unilateralist" thinking could "pose a serious challenge to the existing international structure and international law."



 
 
 
 


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