It is still uncertain and unclear how the success of the decade-long war on terrorism should be defined. There is, however, little progress toward the stated objectives of the war. The accomplishments (if any) from US perspective may be cited as the removal of the repressive regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the introduction of new constitutions and elections as well as some developmental work. But signs of sustainable stability can barely be seen in Afghanistan and even Iraq. Americas presence in strategically important areas and its success in legitimising the extended role and scope of Nato can be counted as another accomplishment for Washington. In addition, it is hoped that Al-Qaida will grow weaker after the killing of Osama bin Laden (and a good part of Al-Qaida leadership). The success, by and large, in controlling the agenda and the narratives in the media and intellectual circles, too, could be a satisfying factor for the US and its allies. In the regional context, though not really successful, the US has tried using media power to exploit certain violent incidents to create misgivings between China and Pakistan as part of its strategy for creating a de-link between Beijing and Islamabad. It is evident from the above analysis that the US has not been successful in eliminating terrorism or even terrorists. It is difficult to believe that Al-Qaida has lost whatever influence it used to have. On the contrary, it has become an ideology and the Taliban are much stronger, whereas the US, though still the most powerful country, (and its allies) has paid a high price in terms of human, economic, social and political costs, which has had a negative impact on its role as a global leader. After Americas aggressive response to the Sept 11, 2001, attacks in the form of war on terrorism, it did not suit China as an emerging power to stay out of the issue. Beijing had four major options: to offer all-out support, or conditional support, or tacitly endorse US actions while disapproving of the war and keeping itself away from the proceedings, or extend only political support for anti-terrorism measures but voice concern from the sidelines while maintaining a distance from the US without offering any human and economic resources for the war. Not surprisingly, China chose the last option, for that provided it with an opportunity to invigorate its relations with the US, build a positive international image and refute charges of having any link with states that harbour or sponsor terrorist groups and organisations. Moreover, it was in line with its perspective on international terrorism that focuses on the origin, evolution and characteristics of terrorist groups and activities, and seeks to address the main causes of terrorism and the links to international political, economic and social injustice. Furthermore, Beijings response was based on its own problems in the Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions, and its analysis of Washingtons post-Cold War foreign policy, which shows the US as an arrogant superpower protecting an unjust international political and economic order, intervening in other countries domestic affairs and Chinas concerns over Americas pursuance of a broader agenda in Chinas neighbouring countries and regions. China, therefore, has remained cautious toward the use of force. It has not joined any coalition forces, and opposed the invasion of Iraq. Beijing laid down several conditions for endorsing US military operations in Afghanistan such as Washingtons actions should be based on concrete evidence and strictly in accordance with international laws, and they should not hurt innocent civilians and be carried out with the United Nations authorization. China has remained focused on its priorities and achieved tremendous development in the political and economic fields, and unlike the US, it has improved its global standing. And efforts to strike a balance between immediate and long-term policy objectives in Chinas approach with regard to the response to war on terrorism seem to be continuing. But apart from its own national interests, Chinas policy has not helped much in genuinely dealing with terrorism, addressing its main causes and moving toward a just global system. While acts of terrorism should not be acceptable in any form, the need is to define its various forms. It has to be realised that military actions and war cannot eliminate terrorism. Instead, proper strategies and measures are needed to eliminate it. By addressing the political dimensions of the issues that trigger violence, a somewhat smaller number of perpetrators can be isolated from the much larger population of prospective followers. Additionally, using police and surveillance networks, treating violence as crime, and implementing a judicial process to deal with criminals will help eradicate support for terrorism on a sustainable basis. At a higher level, it needs to be realised that the current formulation, maintenance and operation of the international system are inherently Western (European and the American). These countries and regions, with a higher level of development and comparative superiority in different aspects of power, influence decision-making that often favours the powerful. Thus global institutions should proceed and prove that they are moving toward worldwide justice, as opposed to might is right. It is good to note that the document released by Chinese government about peaceful development emphasises recognition and respect for principles of equality, independence, sovereignty and security of all nations. It is welcome, too, to see the document emphasise genuine pluralism and the right to uphold and safeguard ones own civilisation, culture and values. And it is heartening to see it focusing on persuasion and strength of logic and reasoning and the use of pacifying means to resolve conflicts, subordinating the use of force to law and the international system of justice, collective self-reliance, and international cooperation and collaboration. Moving toward such a just global order is a long journey. Nevertheless, it is inevitable not only for peace and stability in Asia, which is the main battleground of the war on terrorism, but also for global progress and prosperity. The author is director general of the Institute of Policy Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan. China Daily