Senior diplomats from China and the United States met in Beijing on Aug 4 for the second China-US consultation on anti-terrorism issues as the world’s two largest economies vowed to boost cooperation in anti-terror information sharing and law enforcement.
Terrorism struck China recently when a suicide bombing hit a hotel housing the Chinese embassy in Somalia in July, killing one and injuring four embassy staff members.
Both sides agreed that “the China-US efforts in enhancing bilateral and multilateral anti-terror cooperation serve the shared interests of both countries”, according to a release on Aug 4 by the Chinese Foreign Ministry following the second China-US counterterrorism consultation.
They said the talks on Aug 4 were helpful in creating a positive atmosphere for the next stage of interactions, and agreed to hold a third round in the US “at an appropriate time”.
Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping and Tina Kaidanow, coordinator for counterterrorism at the US State Department, co-chaired the talk.
Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, observed that China has witnessed changes in terrorist threats against it recently.
“In the past, China’s major terror threats came from within the country. As China’s interests overseas are expanding, a growing number of terrorist attacks focus on such interests,” he said.
Jin also noted an increasing common ground between China and the US when they are analyzing terrorist threats, which echoes the necessity for stronger teamwork.
In July last year, Cheng and Kaidanow co-hosted the first consultation in Washington, and the two sides “achieved broad consensus”, Xinhua News Agency said.
China stressed the terrorist nature of the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” and urged Washington to “energetically support and coordinate China’s efforts in fighting against ETIM terrorist forces”.
According to a news release on June 24, Chinese government officials and industry experts accepted a US invitation to discuss best practices on stemming the illicit flow of chemical precursors and dual-use bomb components used by terrorists worldwide in improvised explosive devices.
Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the two countries should “reach a strategic consensus” on curbing terror organizations that have global reach.
Pragmatic China-US cooperation to crack ETIM is necessary because the fight against regional terrorist groups is the precondition for reining in global organizations, Fu said.
Anti-terrorism has also been high on the agenda of law enforcement departments.
On April 9, State Councilor and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun and visiting US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson co-chaired the first ministerial meeting between the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the US Homeland Security Department in Beijing.
They agreed to fortify cooperation in “anti-terrorism information exchanges involving foreign terrorists, border controls, anti-terrorism financing, cyberspace anti-terrorism and the fight against violent extremism”.