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Premier emphasizes fight against terror

China Daily, November 3, 2016 Adjust font size:

China and Kyrgyzstan vowed on Wednesday to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism through strengthened security cooperation as Premier Li Keqiang paid his first visit to the Central Asian neighbor.

In the capital, Bishkek, Li and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov signed a joint communique on bilateral cooperation in fields such as security, agriculture and production.

The agreement is especially timely since the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan was attacked by a suicide car bomber on the morning of Aug 30. The attack injured three embassy personnel.

Li rushed to the embassy upon his arrival in Bishkek, and said the embassy should rebuild damaged buildings as soon as possible. Security should be reinforced for Chinese diplomatic missions, Li said.

Such agreements are also key for Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan, which have been victims of terrorism, separatism and extremism. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with both countries as founding members, has fought these forces since 2001.

Both countries have been part of joint anti-terrorism drills under the SCO framework each year.

Xing Guangcheng, an expert on Central Asia and Russian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, suggested boosting two-way information sharing.

Security cooperation is the best way to fight terrorism, a cross-border problem in Central Asia, said Xu Tao, an expert on Central Asia studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Xu said both countries can increase exchanges in intelligence, technology and policy coordination to fight terror. "China and Kyrgyzstan have maintained political trust as strategic partners and have promoted pragmatic cooperation. ... China will do what it can to help Kyrgyzstan," Li told his counterpart.

Li will attend the 15th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO on Thursday in Bishkek.