I have been discussing elsewhere China and the response to ISIL-based terrorism. China has committed to international collaboration against terrorism, but with reservations and, says one observer, starting from a low base.

Should China be involved? I think we should expect that, and not only because it is in China’s interest narrowly. China wants to be a big player in the world and claims the right to respect. With rights come duties. Do the leaders see China as in some way a world leader and if so a leader that both claims rights and accepts responsibilities?

At the G20, they said “we sympathise” but they did not say “we sympathise and will help.”

During WWII, Franklin Roosevelt said of lend and lease, before the US had entered the war, that when your neighbour’s house is on fire you let them use your water hose without quibble.

Some have asked what China could do? One obvious answer is to use its formidable cyber capacity against ISIL’s building up its own cyber capacity, as we are being warned of today in London. The world is on fire. If the Chinese leaders wanted to, they have much to contribute to a collaborative effort to put it out.


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