PLA obliged to protect overseas interests
Updated: 2015-12-30 08:54
By Zhou Bo(China Daily)
Chinese national Fan Jinghui was beheaded by Islamic State terrorists in November. Of the less than 10 Chinese citizens being kidnapped overseas for ransom, this one ended in the most appalling of crimes.
The question is: What can China do apart from strongly condemning such incidents?
An easy answer, as many Chinese netizens have said, is to follow the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom to conduct air strikes on the IS group's strongholds. Technically speaking, China's Su-30, JH-7, H-6k or drones could carry out such air strikes. But to do that, China needs bases overseas, which it doesn't have. And the only Chinese aircraft carrier is still undergoing trial.
Besides, it is not clear whether a foreign government, however friendly it may be, would allow Chinese aircraft to use its territory or air space to strike IS targets. Also, adequate logistics supply and real time intelligence are needed to make such a decision.
But that doesn't mean China can only express anger over such heinous acts of terrorism. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China's institutionalized authority and unequivocal attitude are already reflected in the UN resolution that called for combating the IS group using all possible means. And China will continue to wield its power at the UN to support military strikes on the IS by Russia and the West, and help cut off the financial chain of the terrorists.
China will resolutely prevent and combat separatists in its Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, because it wants to curb separatists' activities in other parts of the country and sever their links with the IS group. About 1,000 Xinjiang separatists have reportedly joined the IS and quite a few others have tried to do the same using the South East Asia "route".