China has been increasing its military capability every year and subsequently she has been extending her reach to address global terrorism in different parts of the world. The global involvement increased in 2015 after China passed controversial counter-terror legislation that permitted Chinese military and paramilitary forces to undertake operations overseas.
While the measures were viewed as suspicious and an attempt to increase China’s military might and global involvement, she holds that the measures were to enable China’s various security and armed forces to be able to combat legitimate terror threats worldwide, meeting the expansion of the country’s strategic interests.
Notably, China has a military base in Djibouti in the horn of Africa region that has been used to aid with various security operation in Africa, Middle East and anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Also, Chinese forces have shown a degree of aptitude during deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq defending diplomatic missions. This shows the intention Beijing has to assume more military capabilities to ensure its interests are protected but also more responsibility in trying to achieve global peace and security.
Since passing of the legislation, there has been increased military activity conducted by Chinese forces, both domestically and on the international stage.
Therefore, it is clear that China aims to gradually become a more established actor within the global effort to mitigate and tackle the risks and threats posed by terrorism. This will likely result in China playing a more proactive role in joint counter-terrorism operations around the globe in the medium to long-term.