College addresses need for experts in anti-terrorism

Updated: 2014-07-10 07:23

By Zhang Yan (China Daily USA)

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China is inviting overseas counterterrorism experts to serve as visiting professors who will help train a new generation of anti-terror personnel.

Mei Jianming, director of the Research Center for Counterterrorism at the People's Public Security University of China, said: "The US and Israel have accumulated rich practical experience in fighting terrorism. The US is advanced in overall strategic research, and Israel is very proficient at tactical action in fighting terrorism."

The university will recruit leading counterterrorism experts from the US, Israel, Pakistan, Australia and other countries as visiting professors.

It will enroll 80 counterterrorism majors who will become specialists in fighting the increasing threat of terrorist attacks, Mei said.

Various terrorist organizations have recently incited and organized attacks in China - including in Beijing, the Yunnan provincial capital of Kunming and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region -that killed and injured innocent people.

"We urgently need to cultivate counterterrorism specialists to improve our preventive and terror-fighting capabilities," university President Cheng Lin said.

Mei said, "The lessons and training will focus on intelligence gathering, investigating special cases, network information technology, technical and tactical anti-terror action and related international judicial cooperation".

The 80 counterterrorism majors will have to meet admission criteria beyond what is expected of other students, Mei said.

"After passing the national university entrance exams, they will also go through physical and psychological testing," he said.

Attention will be given to their physical training and endurance. They will learn to use a variety of weapons, including submachine guns and sniper rifles, he said.

After the four-year program, most of the 80 students will join counterterrorism departments in the Ministry of Public Security or in local public security units, he said.

China established anti-terrorism departments in public security agencies at national, provincial and municipal levels in 2001, but there was a shortage of specialists, Cheng said.

Police personnel were recruited from other departments, he said.

However, "counterterrorism efforts were riddled with problems, including insufficient intelligence-gathering capabilities, unsound warnings and preventive mechanisms, lagging on-site command operations and coping measures or subsequent rescue efforts," he said.

Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said China should increase international cooperation because many terrorists have global connections.

Chen Mengwei contributed to this story.

zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily USA 07/10/2014 page1)

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