China had always perceived itself as being a second order of concern for international terrorist organizations. Whilst often a feature of jihadist groups rhetoric, it was never clear that they were dedicating many resources towards attacking Beijing. Over time, however, this narrative has become less obvious, with an escalating problem of extremism at home matching with a growing national footprint abroad meaning that China is finding itself both in terrorist’s cross-hairs but also finding its domestic terror threat with strong links abroad. Consequently, China has had to evolve its previously passive position and develop a more coherent response to this threat.
This article seeks to focus first on how this threat picture is evolving for Beijing, and second how Beijing is adapting to it. In concluding it will show how this marks the end of the sacred ‘non-interference’ principle and places China increasingly amongst the international players willing to deploy force and military means to advance national interest.
The whole article is published in the first issue of Asia Trends: Key Insights & Analysis, l’Asie à la source.