Why China is Hesitant to Send Troops to Fight ISIS

Why China is Hesitant to Send Troops to Fight ISIS
Nov 26, 2015 Translated by eChinacities.com

Editor's Note: Last week, the first Chinese national, Fan Jinghui, was executed by ISIS, and the world waited for China's response. The country's foreign ministry continued their vague dialogue on combating terrorism outside of its territory saying that the government would "definitely hold the perpetrators accountable." How they plan on doing so is unclear. Involving themselves in the West's war on the Islamic State would violate a long-standing non-intervention policy, but their own war on terrorism has extended across their borders recently as Chinese Uyghurs have been shown training alongside ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Is this what it will take to get China involved in the global fight on terrorism? The translated opinion piece lists reasons why they probably will not.

Western nations and Russia recently have stepped up efforts to combat ISIS after the attack on Paris. The terrorist group killed a Chinese hostage last week, and three Chinese executives were killed in an attack in Mali. After these devastations, the international community has continued to ask: will China participate in a direct military strike on ISIS? The same question has come up within China as well.

Global Times reported that on November 23, when China’s Foreign Minister was asked about China’s plans to combat ISIS, he avoided giving a direct answer. The article surmised that if China does send troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS or initiate precision strikes from afar, it will be a big decision for the nation. The Chinese government must proceed with caution before joining the West in military strikes.

Risks and Rewards
The West hopes that China will become involved in the current military operations against ISIS, but it will still be the leader in the fight against the terrorist group. Russia would most likely welcome China’s involvement as well. Getting involved would promote a positive image of China internationally and open new platforms for exchange and cooperation between China and the West.

However, China would bear a number of risks. The Chinese military may not be fully prepared for such an operation. The West and Russia have made much effort against ISIS, but the effects of their actions are difficult to assess. China could play an important role, but on the other hand, China has not been in combat for many years, especially in the Middle East. The Chinese public is not familiar with the Middle East and has a fuzzy understanding of the region. It would be difficult to get the support of the whole Chinese society to enter the war.

China’s Domestic Terrorism Problem
China is a victim of terrorism, but the West has not fully recognized this. Until recently, Western media has stated that the violence in Xinjiang is not terrorism. If China agrees to help combat ISIS on the international stage, we must first fight the terrorists in our own nation. Because of the attitude of the West, these two things are seen as separate entities by other world powers. China could fight terrorism internationally and within its borders at the same time, but would be going at a large part of the mission alone, without the support of the West.

China’s anti-terrorism efforts within its own borders have in the past been treated unfairly by the West. Despite this, China has kept a positive attitude when it comes to international counter-terrorism. However, when a specific country leads a counter-terrorism mission, they are often only looking out for their own interests. Chinese people are aware of this issue.

Therefore, it is necessary to create a strong international coalition against terrorism under a United Nations framework and UN leadership in order to further clarify the definition of terrorism and identify targets, then the UN can develop a coordinated counter-terrorism action plan. The Security Council has only recently put forth a resolution regarding ISIS, and acknowledged the legitimacy of the ongoing military strikes against the terrorist group.

Will China Send Troops?
In fact, the United States and Europe knows that China has misgivings about sending troops to the Middle East. The West does not hold high expectations when it comes to China’s military involvement in the situation. Chinese do not feel like they are being pressured by the United States and Europe to get involved.

After the terrorist attack on Paris, the UN Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution on Syria. The resolution dealt with the Syrian government, its opposition, and ISIS, and its primary goal was to push out the current Syrian government. China and Russia voted against the resolution. The Security Council passed a measure allowing the use of force against ISIS. China and Russia voted for this resolution. The inherent conflict between the two resolutions reflect the complexity of the Middle East. China does not need to take the initiative to become involved in this complicated political mess.

China should actively participate in international counter-terrorism activities. We should do what we can to contribute but also think realistically.

Source: Wenxue City

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Keywords: China ISIS ISIS Fan Jinghui


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The Chinese are very smart, American politicians are the one's that are so dumb, while those leaders have shelter and roofs against bullets and any kind of weapons, the lay and the mass are the one's that are paying the price, so there are western governments supported not by their people, but by pigs that are queuing for the slaughter houses, and Paris was a good example.

Dec 01, 2015 18:39 Report Abuse



There is so much racism in this comment section and complete idiocy that it's embarrassing. I just love to see people talk about history and politics and have no idea what they are talking about. Also along the lines of blaming one set of people over another. It's time that you all realized that we are all the same. ISIS aren't fighting for Islam as much as the KKK aren't fighting for Christianity. It's a group of opportunists who have taken advantage of a weak state and been able to brainwash others to join their cause. Also for those talking about China's history and categorizing 5000 years into one single event. You're full of crap. Let me remind some of you that one of the biggest massacres to ever happen was done by Genghis Khan whose troops were mostly Chinese. Where did this massacre take place Baghdad and who were the people getting massacred Muslims. Does that mean that Chinese people are evil because of this horrible historical event? No! Does it even matter? No! Because something that happen 750 years ago doesn't make the people now. Anymore than British people are still to blame for imperialism and Germans are to blame for Nazism.

Dec 01, 2015 07:50 Report Abuse



Djibouti, Darwin Port, artificial islands are a LOT more profitable.

Nov 29, 2015 09:27 Report Abuse



..just like airbases in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Balkans.. etc etc..

Nov 30, 2015 22:13 Report Abuse



I can only state that I am pretty disgusted about the editorial stance here from eChinaCities: 'Chinese Uyghurs have been shown training alongside ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq.' You have proof of this right? Perhaps some photoshopped snaps.. you know, the same type as supplied to every bank owned news agency and transmitted as fact? Do you mean the same 'terrorists' who now have their own glossy magazine, are recruited and trained by MOSSAD and the CIA, and are quoted verbatim by western news channels to create fear and panic among the general populace? (See also Heinrich Himmler circa '39-45) Do you mean the same Schmisis that was created by the zionist banking system? (Note 'zionist', not Jewish) And did you REALLY say: 'Is this what it will take to get China involved in the global fight on terrorism?' Really? You REALLY said that? You're REALLY still banging that tired old drum called 'The War Against Terror?' (or TWAT for short) Whoo maybe 'Schmisis' have some WMD's now too huh? I will be cancelling my membership and ceasing all activity on this tiny minded web portal and advising anyone I know to steer well clear of such a dodgy site. My advice to anyone else is try to understand the actual history of the past 2000 or so years and get a reasonable perspective on who pulls ALL the strings in most of the 'Western world', - that is to say; The Banks. (and of course, thenceforth, one must understand what the banking system and 'fiat currency' itself actually are - that is to say - the prime method of control) - Call 'em zionists, the 'old families' of Europe, whatever you wish.. (a Rothschild by any other name would be as vile..) It's a game.. a simple trick.. and if you're falling for the age old trick of divide and conquer, East vs West, Us vs them, Islam vs Christianity, or whatever version of that trick you care to name, you've already lost. I for one am quite happy to see China being way ahead of 'the game' and playing far more wisely (and humanly) than most.. ;>

Nov 29, 2015 04:29 Report Abuse



It's time to expose the threat of Zionist bankers.... Here here

Nov 30, 2015 10:41 Report Abuse



Try reading my comment again, properly this time. At no point did I deny or cast doubt on the existence of something that has been vaunted as the 'new (latest and improved) threat to the civilised world'. I'm very aware of its existence. The only weapons they could possibly have found in Iraq were weapons that were sold to Iraq by the west. Hussein was a CIA asset in the first place. I did not slate 'the jews'. I apportioned responsibility to the zionists. A completely different thing. Israel is not a 'civilised nation' but the headquarter state of the zionists. (I have Jewish ancestry before anyone accuses me of anti-semetism)

Nov 30, 2015 21:48 Report Abuse



Anyone who wishes to know, can find out quite simply, by reading the history of the Rothschilds et al. (Who, by the way, adopted Judaism) ;>

Nov 30, 2015 22:11 Report Abuse



You like using that 'ullullating' word don't you? Bet you think it makes you sound really clever. You spelt it wrong. Actually. Every time. Do you think they all 'ululate' do you, these 'hordes of Islam'? (N.B. 'Ululate' - correct spelling)

Dec 04, 2015 14:57 Report Abuse



Brainwashed disputing with brainwashed. Funny how those war sympathizers sound more like "war on islam" than "war on terror" to me... Who started does not even matter since it's always "the others". Fact is that aggressive actions will likely trigger aggressive reactions. If we airstrike, we're generating support for their cause, but also become terrorists ourselves from the other's perspective. (Oh wait, thinking of Old Europe's rise to global dominance: We actually were terrorists trading slaves, drugs and weapons while playing world police for quite a few centuries... I can't help but think we had it coming... I'm French and Christian, if you're wondering.)

Nov 27, 2015 21:53 Report Abuse



erase pislame

Nov 28, 2015 12:37 Report Abuse



How do you think the Christian world became Christian? "Convert or die" we said to American and African natives. And there were genocides, too. Not too different from methods of ISIS. Eventually, the majority of Christianity evolved a bit. Not all, of course. Some still imagine a "self-defense" crusade will solve xenophobic issues durably. Al Qaida is a product of US foreign policy, weapons and CIA training of the late 80s. Watch Rambo III if you don't remember that the Taliban were our freedom fightin' allies back then - until we screwed them, of course. Like we screwed Saddam Hussein, our former ally fightin Iran on our behalf for decades, two Gulf wars resulting in a power vacuum and the rise of ISIS. Hopefully we'll learn the lesson one day.

Nov 29, 2015 01:11 Report Abuse



@Guest14209148 When lacking arguments some revert to profanity. Before calling me a liar, better read about Hernan Cortes and Francisco Pizarro. Or google the Fourth Crusade (1202–04), where Western European Christians sacked Constantinople, the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire. Oh great Christianity, we're not so different from Muslims: same God, same prophets (minus one), same fundaments. And same violence and genocides throughout history.

Nov 30, 2015 07:02 Report Abuse



Roman Catholics not Christians? ... go ahead, discredit yourself. Anyway: If like those first Christians you were an honest pacifist, you would first look on history unbiased to then ask forgiveness for the sins committed by your ancestors while forgiving the sins committed by their ancestors. You'd make friends, certainly not airstrike urban areas or flood their countries with weapons. Don't give me the "we retaliate against aggressors" pseudo-rhetoric routine. Religiously motivated warfare is unfortunately part of our past. The crusade I mention is fun because it was a crusade by Christians against Christians - so you see, religion shouldn't be part of geopolitics. Just remember that during our barbaric Christian middle ages (without sanitation and plenty of diseases), Middle Eastern sciences and medicine flourished and the islamic world was expanded. That's what powerful empires do. About 200 yrs ago industrialisation made us strong, the winds changed. We Christians then ruled imperialist style with puppet kings and dictators. We divided and controlled the Middle East before and after WW2. Christians stole sovereign Palestinian land and created Israel because we felt sorry for the Christian Nazi genocides against the Jews. That's a hostile takeover. Now Palestine is gone, engulfed by Israel. American Christians made Hussein fight Iran and turned on him later, publicly executing an official head of state. German Christians had sold the chemical weapons Hussein had used against Irani and unruly Iraqi. The French Christians had sold Iran nuclear tech, cashed in, but later condemned Iran for posessing nuclear tech?! We create poverty and millions of migrants while selling weapons, and later we act surprised about the miraculous rise of ISIS and call them the aggressors? Don't even remotely try to say "we're the good guys, we defend" - it doesn't work. 9/11 was a reaction to US foreign policies, never forget that.

Dec 11, 2015 12:02 Report Abuse



Dear guest14209148: You write little and say nothing at all, so I'm still doing fine when implying a lot. You see, the world cannot be explained in Bush-Jr.-Vocabulary. Let's compare terrorist attacks with our typical retaliation technique: airstrikes. Total sum of IS-lead terrorist attacks in the West? I don't know, I'd guess less than 200. But even if the total was, say, 1000, we did retaliate with 3,715+ documented airstrikes in Syria. Thus we gave millions of people in the Middle East (who may have lost families/homes/their future due to airstrikes) a legit reason to hate us! Could that explain a rise of terrorist activities? Maybe, just maybe. *** Now, let's go back in time to a documented conflict: 9/11 caused a total of 2996 civilian casualties. That's a lot. What about the retaliation in Afghanistan? "During the war in Afghanistan over 26,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented" (quoting Crawford, Neta (22 May 2015), "War-related Death, Injury, and Displacement in Afghanistan and Pakistan 2001-2014"). Human Rights Watch and other organisations give much higher numbers of estimated kills (e.g. without documentation, but let's stay true to pure conservative facts). Terrorists 3,000 ... Coalition 26,000 ... In numbers we're almost 9x more violent than the enemy! Setting a basis for "Enduring Freedom" miserably failed. Besides, the Syrian war seems much more violent than the Afghan war. *** Leaving obvious facts or trends aside that you choose not to acknowledge, let's use philosophy and logic to break it down: 1) The more they kill, the more we kill, and the more we kill, the more they kill, etc. 2) Racial/religious prejudices paired with pro-violence rhetorics are self-fulfilling prophecies and vicious circles. If you beat me, of course I fight back. If I fight back, of course you beat me. Violence obviously doesn't break but instead creates vicious circles. When the falcons rule, there is no other option than wars. 3) If a guy hates islamic Jihad-preachers, but is willing to engage in combat to defend his cause... Dead end, he might consider to hate himself first, because it's the same Jihad thinking - just the other way around, based on other beliefs and using another vocabulary. Not reacting to terror with a global invasion campaign would certainly have prevented most of those 26,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan. There are more subtle alternatives. *** So, dear guest14209148, feel free to answer, because promoting a new point of view (objectivity?) is fun and required. ;)

Apr 13, 2016 08:17 Report Abuse



PS: In the West we suffer "a few war-like days" each year because of terrorism. Yet we directly generate 365 days of war and desolation in many countries, hurting several hundred millions of people who did not participate in any way in terrorism. Put into perspective, how can you justify Western carnage? An eye for, uhm, a whole nation? Not very Christian, is it?

Apr 13, 2016 08:30 Report Abuse



In 5000+ years of glorious history, the only wars China ever won were against itself or against pacific population with no means of defense. You bet they're reluctant to see what's a real war like. Better they stand aside and don't endanger professional armies.

Nov 27, 2015 15:05 Report Abuse



I don't know where you studied history but I think you should ask for your money back.

Dec 01, 2015 07:36 Report Abuse



Please humor me with an example.

Dec 01, 2015 20:48 Report Abuse



@RiriRiri: I'll give you 3 obvious ones. (1) Korean war (1950-53): In the third phase, Chinese troops (as acknowledged by all parties) repelled the US to the DMZ. (2) Vietnam war (1959-75): The US were eventually kicked. Again, all parties agree that a majority of the Viet troops were Chinese. (3) Historical Northern Neighbours: A big chunk of modern China overlaps the former Xiongnu territory (check Wikipedia for a map). Historically, the northern neighbours were neither "harmless" nor "pacific", and you may have heard that the Mongols one day had conquered one fourth of the world's surface (Guest14167438 astutely reminds us that a lot of their troops were Chinese). Yet, over the centuries, China had constant conflicts and conquered a lot of their lands. Hence the relocation of the capital to Beijing (to better control these unruly lands) and the many layers of the Great Wall (check the dating of each layer to see documented conquest). --- Wanna talk more history? Ignorance is pityful, since good documentation is freely available on the web! Btw. the "5000 years of history" is only a manner of speech. The first preserved written records (Shang dynasty) describe a Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC), but that leaves us with a total 4000 years. While it's probable there were precursors, there is no scientific proof of "one consistent Chinese culture" before 2000 BC. It's more or less like claiming the Cro Magnon were French because their remnants were found on French territory. But I guess this level of distinction is too complex for many.

Dec 03, 2015 01:43 Report Abuse



Note that contrary to you, dear anonymous, everything I say is from memory because I actually opened some books at some point, as opposed to Wikipedia knowledge you didn't have a minute ago. But heh, I asked for examples so it's fair game. Okay, examples 1 and 2 are not even involving China, and do not concern Chinese troops for the whole length of conflicts and could be argued on many many points. In a word: mostly irrelevant. Your third point being a mishmash of "yeah yeah but this and that guy were repelled at some point". Yeah well most of these enemies, like the Xiongnu or the Mongols were nomadic tribes that were more of a recurring pain in the ass more than actual organized nations, and yes they were kicked at some point by the Chinese after invading. And you know what's funny actually? It's that these tribes, in a consistent manner, have always been repelled by Chinese after they adapted to the local lifestyle: meaning in other words once they sedentarized, got soft and lazy. And it's not even criticism on my part: Hans used to have a very inviting hedonistic lifestyle I have nothing against, but that's another subject. The subject is how your case is weak because your examples are irrelevant at best and work for me at worst. Sorry if you thought you could nail me with 5 minutes worth of Google research. About the 5000 years, it's always irony when I mention it, it has always been times and times again in all my comments.

Dec 03, 2015 10:32 Report Abuse



Did RiriRiri just suggest to better argue based on memory rather than based on facts? ... China "not involved" in the Korean War or the Vietnam War? ... wow ...

Dec 06, 2015 18:26 Report Abuse



"Western media has stated that the violence in Xinjiang is not terrorism". That's not true, they stated its local terrorism and different from the international type dealt by the other countries. If an international group came to China and initiated the Xinjinag ordeal then the response would have been different. America deals with local terrorism constantly so they're desensitized to that level of violence.

Nov 27, 2015 10:14 Report Abuse



very pertinent observations

Nov 27, 2015 11:32 Report Abuse



why do anything when someone else is making the sacrifice? And two guys whacked? ho hum (job), we got 1.3 billion more

Nov 27, 2015 06:43 Report Abuse