Saturday, February 10, 2018

US signals more counterterrorism cooperation with China in Afghanistan

From People's Daily

It’s rare to see NATO and the US launch such a high-profile anti-East Turkistan Islamic Movement campaign, said a Chinese national strategy researcher in an interview with the Global Times on Feb. 8.

The US Defense Department sees room to work with China in the fight against jihadists in Afghanistan, Asia Times reported Thursday, quoting assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver’s response about whether China could be a constructive counterterrorism partner in Afghanistan.

China has been against violent terrorist activities in all forms in Afghanistan, and wishes NATO can safeguard peace and stability in Afghanistan and play a positive role in the country’s reconstruction, said Qian Feng, a researcher at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute (NSI), adding that this campaign shows the US’s positive attitude toward cooperation with China in counterterrorism.
Through multinational cooperation mechanisms and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China has actively participated in the peace and reconstruction work in Afghanistan, said Qian. Combating such terrorist groups as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement is in China’s interests, and also serves the interests of the US and other countries.

This is a sound start and it’s hoped that there will be more room for cooperation, the researcher said.
The US, Britain, and the UN have all listed the East Turkistan Islamic Movement as an Islamic extremist separatist organization.

The airstrikes targeted training camps near the Afghan border with China and Tajikistan. As the military announced Tuesday, “Over the past 96 hours, U.S. forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban training facilities in Badakhshan province, preventing the planning and rehearsal of terrorist acts near the border with China and Tajikistan.”

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