India, China to strengthen cooperation against terror

24 November 2015

Terming terrorism a "cancer" that needs to be removed jointly by the world community, China on Monday called for close cooperation between Indian and Chinese security establishments as the two countries for the first time worked out a joint mechanism to combat the menace.

The joint action plan was finalised during the concluded visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to China, which ended on Monday.

Commenting on Singh's visit, the first by an Indian home minister in a decade, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing that during his meeting with Singh last week Premier Li Keqiang called for close cooperation between law enforcement forces of the two countries to combat terrorism.

"During the meeting, Li pointed out that the world is filled with both conventional and unconventional security threats and the situation is becoming serious," Hong said.

He said law enforcement agencies of the two sides should enhance cooperation to jointly maintain social stability and create favourable conditions for economic development to jointly safeguard world peace and tranquillity.

"Terrorism is a cancer that needs to be removed jointly by the international community," Hong said commenting on the Paris and Mali attacks.

Singh wound up his visit today after extensive talks between the two security establishments which have until now remained apart, especially due to China's close ties with Pakistan and Beijing's suspicions of Indo-US relations.

He visited Chinese internal security institutions both in Beijing and Shanghai.

Singh held substantive talks with China's top security officials - Guo Shengkun, state councillor of the ruling Communist Party and public security minister; and China's security Czar Meng Jianzhu. The two sides agreed to form a ministerial committee and a joint secretary-level mechanism to periodically meet and review cooperation.

Also, the two home ministries decided to form dedicated channels for continuous communication to exchange intelligence on terrorism and other security-related issues like cross-border crimes and drug trafficking.

The two sides have already completed five rounds of anti-terrorism exercises between them.

Besides coordinating positions on international terrorism, both sides agreed to exchange intelligence on terrorist groups, activities and their links.

The talks also covered India's concerns over China blocking its move to get UN to take action against Pakistan for releasing Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

New Delhi's move was stuck at UN's Sanctions Committee after China called for more information.

Singh earlier told the media in Beijing that he raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart and the two sides are exchanging information in this regard. India is hopeful China will reconsider its move.

(Also see: Rajnath urges Chinese firms to join Indian projects)

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