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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

China, Kazakhstan To Hold Anti-Terrorism Drill

Reuters: China and the Central Asian energy power Kazakhstan are to hold a joint "anti-terrorism" exercise this week, adding to growing security ties between the two countries, China announced on Aug. 21.

The exercise would take place in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan and far western China’s Xinjiang region for three days from Aug. 24 and involve police and special operations forces from both countries, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The ministry did not say how many personnel would take part or specify their exercises, Xinhua said.
Kazakhstan shares a 1,700-kilometers (1,060-mile) border with Xinjiang, where the Uighur population has bridled under Beijing’s strict controls on Islamic religion and culture.

Late last year, Kazakhstan began sending oil to energy-famished China along a new pipeline. The vast Central Asian state’s oil output is expected to nearly triple to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2015, making Kazakhstan an increasingly important player among world oil producers.

China, Russia and the former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan that together make up the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) announced in April that the SCO would hold joint anti-terrorism drills in 2007.

Beijing is the main backer of the SCO, which says it is dedicated to fighting terrorism and Islamic extremism in Central Asia. Human rights groups say the group has given international cover to Central Asian states’ repression of peaceful civilian opponents.
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