US needs clearer view in joint anti-terror fight

Updated: 2015-08-06 07:50

(China Daily)

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China and the United States held their second consultation on anti-terrorism issues on Tuesday in Beijing. The vice-ministerial-level meeting, which is a follow-up step to carry out the agreements both sides reached during this year's strategic and economic dialogues in June, signals enhanced cooperation between the two countries in the war against terror.

US needs clearer view in joint anti-terror fight

Chinese and US soldiers participate in joint counter-piracy exercise on the missile destroyer "Harbin" of Chinese navy in the Gulf of Aden, in this Aug 25, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

During the consultation, the two sides exchanged views on international and regional counterterrorism threats, as well as on each other's anti-terrorism policies. And as an outcome of their talks, the two countries have agreed to boost cooperation in areas such as information sharing and law enforcement.

Against the backdrop that the world is facing an increasingly severe challenge from terrorism and extremism, anti-terror cooperation between China and the US not only caters to the interests of both countries, it also contributes to safeguarding security and stability in both the regional and international arenas.

Obviously, the two powers can continue to expand their counterterrorism cooperation.

The US is leading an international coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, in an attempt to deal the terrorists a fatal blow. As for China, it is willing to join hands with the world community, the US included, to combat East Turkestan terrorist groups such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

But to keep the desirable momentum going, Washington needs to see all international terrorist activities using the same standards. Terrorism in all forms is a common enemy of mankind, and there is no room for the practice of double standards if it is to be defeated.

Nor is the practice of one country using anti-terrorism as a tool to exert pressure on another the right approach. The US is on the verge of making a mistake of this kind, as it is reportedly considering retaliatory measures against China because of unfounded accusations that it hacked the networks of the US Office of Personnel Management.

The US authorities are under growing pressure at home to ferret out the perpetrators, but making China a scapegoat is not the answer. Rather, it will cast a shadow over bilateral cooperation in cybersecurity.

During Tuesday's consultation the two countries reached a new consensus on combating terrorism in cyberspace. However, the US practice of blaming China for its own woes in the virtual world will not help bilateral cyber cooperation yield significant results.