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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - China

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - China, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcbdb.html [accessed 26 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: China's cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism issues was marginal with little reciprocity in information exchanges. China conducted joint counterterrorism training exercises with Pakistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Indonesia. China's domestic counterterrorism efforts remained primarily focused against the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of northwest China. Domestic counterterrorism exercises were also held in southwest China. China does not always distinguish between legitimate political dissent and the advocacy of violence to overthrow the government, and it has used counterterrorism as a pretext to suppress Uighurs, the predominantly Muslim ethnic group that makes up a large percentage of the population within the XUAR. China's government characterized Uighur discontent, peaceful political activism, and some forms of religious observance as terrorist activity.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: In 2011 ETIM claimed responsibility for two violent acts primarily targeting government officials. On July 18, an attack on a police station in Hotan, Xinjiang claimed the lives of four and left four others injured. On July 30 and 31, a series of bomb and knife attacks in Kashgar left at least 12 dead and over 40 injured.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Chinese government adopted legislation to address counterterrorism issues. On October 29, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the Decision on Issues Related to Strengthening Anti-Terrorism Work, which clarified the definitions of terrorist activities, terrorist organizations, and terrorists. Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning stated in his report to the legislature on the decision that there was previously no clear and precise definition of these terms provided in domestic law, and the lack of clear definitions had "adversely affected the control over terrorist assets and international cooperation in antiterrorism efforts, and the decision has been designed to fill this gap."

The Chinese government typically did not provide public information on law enforcement actions in response to terrorist attacks. One exception was the publication of trial results for those accused of participating in terrorist attacks. Four death sentences and two 19-year jail terms were issued to individuals found complicit in the Kashgar and Hotan attacks.

U.S. law enforcement agencies sought assistance from Chinese counterparts on several cases affecting U.S. citizens, but the Chinese government generally did not respond to these requests. For example, in several instances China was asked to conduct joint investigations with U.S. law enforcement and provide assistance to disrupt suspect activities and then prosecute the relevant individuals either in the United States or China. In response, Chinese authorities took no action beyond simply confirming information they had previously provided. No additional action was taken to proactively assist U.S. law enforcement.

Countering Terrorist Finance: China is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. The Decision on Issues Related to Strengthening Anti-Terrorism Work, passed in October, defined the legal scope of "terrorist activities" and "terrorist organizations" related to, among other crimes, terrorist financing. The decision provided the legal basis for the establishment of a national interagency terrorist asset freezing body. Regarding the monitoring of non-profit organizations, China has a deep and far-reaching system of overall oversight; however, there were still no identifiable measures or requirements for preventing terrorist finance abuses in this sector.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: China is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. China provided support for three United Nations Security Council committees (the 1267 committee, the Counterterrorism Committee (CTC), and the 1540 committee). In May, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members China, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan staged counterterrorism exercises in Xinjiang (Tianshan-II); China and Indonesia held their first counterterrorism exercises in June (Sharp Knife 2011); counterterrorism exercises were held with Belarus in July; and China and Pakistan held their fourth joint counterterrorism military exercise in Pakistan in November. In late 2011, the Chinese government ratified the China-Russia Cooperation Agreement on Combating Terrorism, Separatism, and Extremism, which called for Moscow and Beijing to coordinate more closely through the G20 and the SCO.

Hong Kong

Provisions of Hong Kong's UN Anti-Terrorism Measures Ordinance (UNATMO) for the freezing, forfeiture, seizure, or detention of terrorist assets and property came into effect in January and further strengthened legal statutes to combat terrorist financing and acts of terrorism. The Hong Kong Police Counterterrorism Readiness Unit provided a strong deterrent presence, assisted police districts with counterterrorist strategy implementation, and complemented – with tactical and professional support – the Hong Kong Police's existing specialist units, such as the Special Duties Unit and its VIP Protection Unit.

Hong Kong is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In July, Hong Kong passed legislation to counter money laundering and terrorist financing. The legislation imposed statutory supervision requirements for money changers and remittance agents as well as legal requirements for customer due diligence and record-keeping in the banking, securities, and insurance sectors. Terrorist financing is a criminal offense in Hong Kong, and banks and other financial institutions are obliged to continuously search for terrorist financing networks and screen accounts using U.S. designations lists, as well as the UN 1267/1989 and 1988 Sanctions Committees' consolidated lists . Filing suspicious transactions reports irrespective of transaction amounts is obligatory, but Hong Kong lacked mandatory reporting requirements for cross-border currency movements.

Hong Kong cooperated in counterterrorism efforts through Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, INTERPOL, and other security-focused organizations, and incorporated recommendations into its security strategy. In April, the Hong Kong Police and the Australian Federal Police signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly address transnational challenges and to bolster capacity building, an effort that led to an inaugural International Counterterrorism Investigators Workshop in November. Hong Kong authorities continued their effective security and law enforcement partnership with the United States through the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department's effective joint operation of the Container Security Initiative and by participating in U.S.-sponsored training.

Macau

Macau is a member of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Terrorist financing is a criminal offense in Macau, and banks and other financial institutions are obliged to continuously search for terrorist financing networks and screen accounts using U.S. designation lists, as well as the UN 1267/1989 and 1988 Sanctions Committees' consolidated lists . Filing suspicious transaction reports irrespective of transaction amounts was obligatory, but Macau lacks mandatory reporting requirements for cross-border currency movements or large currency transactions. Macau is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. In May, Macau hosted the Asia Pacific Regional Review Group meeting under the FATF's International Cooperation Review Group. The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network attended this meeting.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

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