China has supported the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and welcomed the air strikes by the US-led coalition targeting the terror group in Iraq, despite domestic scepticism over the effectiveness of a military approach to battling terrorism.
The killing of a Chinese hostage by ISIS last Wednesday has also triggered a tough response from Beijing, which has vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice, sparking speculation that China might be keen to join in the global fight against terror.
China last Friday joined in a rare unanimous vote of support by the United Nations Security Council for a resolution calling for increased force against the terror group. But China continues to state that the UN should play the coordinating role in the anti-terror fight, instead of individual countries like the US.
On the Syrian issue, China has resisted the US-led intervention in the civil war between the government and opposition forces, and instead advocated what it calls a "political settlement process". It says Syria's fate should be determined by its own people.
Analyst Li Yincai of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said the differences among the global community on dealing with the Syrian issue will "greatly cripple the effectiveness of the military attack against ISIS as the fundamental conundrum in Syria lies in the underlying internal conflicts".
"More than 20 million Syrians have fallen victim to improper interference from the international community, which must change," she wrote in a commentary on Nov 16 in the Global Times, a tabloid linked to the Communist Party.
This article was first published on November 26, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.