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Rosita Dellios

Counter-terrorism in the People’s Republic of China (PRC, China) is largely a domestic affair aimed at non-Han ethnic groups who challenge the status quo through acts of political resistance, including bombings and self-immolation. China’s population of 1.3 billion comprises 56 ethnic groups, the largest at 91.6 per cent being Han. Yet 60 per cent of China’s territory is populated by non-Han minorities. They are mostly the Turkic-speaking people in the northwest and Tibetans in China’s far west. It is here in these remote but strategically important areas of China that terrorism takes on ‘Chinese characteristics’, that is, the threat of secession and its manifold implications. In both domestic and international efforts to combat terrorism, China has taken a determined stance, comprehensively employing military, paramilitary, political, technological, and regional security measures. This chapter examines the perceived threat, the response, and its efficacy – all within the wider lens of China’s own experience and a security doctrine that treats any political dissent as incipient terrorism.