China, India agree intel exchange on terror groups

Beijing, November 21: In a major boost to bilateral security cooperation, China and India today agreed to actively exchange intelligence on terror groups and their activities through a dedicated communication channel.

A comprehensive joint statement issued after talks between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and top Chinese leaders and security officials said, "both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in combating international terrorism through exchanging information on terrorist activities, terrorist groups and their linkages."

China and India also agreed to "coordinate positions on anti-terrorism endeavours at regional and multilateral levels and supporting each other" and promote "exchanges by groups of counter-terrorism experts to discuss counter-terrorism cooperation," the statement said.

Besides cross border terror networks, which in India's and China's case are operated through Pakistan and Afghanistan, such a cooperation would be of great value to India specially in cracking down on various militant groups in India's northeastern states, officials said.

The terror groups thrived with patronage of China and Myanmar in the past.

While Singh and the Indian officials were tight lipped about the fallout of close anti-terror cooperation on militant networks of North East groups, sources said the new deepening of Sino-India security cooperation will have significant positive impact on India's terrorism related challenges.

The joint statement also referred to the formation of the new security mechanism headed by the two Home Ministers which will meet every two years to review security issues between the two countries and the formation of an official committee headed by a Joint Secretary and Director General-level official to conduct an annual review.

"This mechanism will be held once a year, alternately in Beijing and New Delhi. The Ministry of Public Security of China will send a Director General-level delegation to India and hold the first Director General-level annual meeting in 
2016," the statement said.

Significantly, the joint statement was released today coinciding with the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Kuala Lumpur on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

Modi thanked Li for a very fruitful outcome of Singh's talks here with Chinese officials in the last three days.


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