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Consensus reached with Belarus

By Zhang Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-26 07:05

China and Belarus will further strengthen law enforcement cooperation to fight against terrorist activities amid an increasing threat to regional stability, according to Chinese authorities.

The countries reached consensus on practical measures to cope with the threat during a key meeting in Beijing on Friday.

They decided to hold regular high-level meetings and annual forums or seminars to exchange their concerns, such as cross-border terrorist attacks and human trafficking, and push forward targeted suggestions to address the issues.

They will share intelligence and conduct joint investigations into major cases, while strengthening personnel communication and training to improve professional capability.

In recent years, a rising number of suspects from China have illegally crossed the border areas into Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

From those countries, the suspects typically travel to Asian or Eastern European countries, including Turkey, to buy fake passports. They then move on to countries including Syria to receive training and conduct terrorist activities either locally or back in China, the ministry said.

Strengthening law enforcement cooperation between China and Belarus will play an active role in "enhancing their mutual trust and deepening pragmatic judicial cooperation to fight against terror attacks, in order to maintain regional peace and stability," said Su Qiang, a lawyer from the Beijing Lawyers Association, who specializes in researching regional security in Asian and East European countries.

He said it is necessary for the two countries, which are both members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to "seize a rare opportunity to establish a security cooperation mechanism, which will help them to improve combat capability and guide them in carrying out their counterterrorism action plans".

Although some achievements have been made, difficulties still hinder progress in deepening their law enforcement cooperation, said Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law.

"The authorities in both countries must reach an agreement on the definition of terrorism and its scope, as well as standards on the conviction and sentencing of those found guilty of such crimes," he added.

(China Daily 11/26/2016 page3)

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