Four-nation counter-terror mechanism to guard Silk Road


A top General of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has visited Afghanistan to work out a regional counter-terrorism mechanism with an eye on safeguarding the ‘One Belt One Road’ connectivity initiative in Eurasia.

General Fang Fenghui, PLA’s Chief of General Staff and member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) — the apex body steering the armed forces — has proposed formation of a regional counter-terrorism mechanism that will also include Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan as members.

Kabul welcomes it

The PLA’s website, China Military Online, pointed out that during his meeting with Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, Gen. Fang offered to make “positive contributions to maintaining regional security and stability and boosting the construction of ‘One Belt and One Road’”. Mr. Ghani also acknowledged the “great significance” of the initiative to the entire region. Besides, the Afghan side also welcomed the Chinese proposal for a four-nation regional counter-terrorism mechanism. Afghanistan’s news agency Khaama Press reported that Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser, Hanif Atmar, during his meeting with Gen. Fang, also requested delivery of transport and logistical aircraft as well as mobile radars for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which are in critical need of aviation assets.

China is threatened by terror strikes from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), especially in its Xinjiang province. However, the rise of the Khorasan Province (ISIL-K) — a branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan — has fuelled further anxieties on its likely impact on the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative.

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Printable version | Jul 21, 2017 4:29:19 PM |