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BEIJING, March 8 China said on Saturday that it
will work with Afghanistan to fight terrorism, after it blamed a
deadly train station attack on extremists from its western
Xinjiang region, which shares a short border with the war-torn
Beijing has become increasingly concerned about security in
restive Xinjiang, where it says Muslim extremists receive help
from militants in neighbouring countries.
China says separatists from the region, home to a large
Muslim Uighur minority, launched a terrorist attack in the
southwestern city of Kunming last week, killing at least 29
people and injuring about 140.
China will work with the international community for
political reconciliation in Afghanistan and support
reconstruction, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press
briefing during an annual session of China's largely
"We will also work with Afghanistan and other neighbours to
resolutely fight all terrorist forces," he said.
China will host a foreign ministerial conference on
Afghanistan in August to encourage "a move toward lasting
peace", Wang said.
Wang last month visited Afghanistan as U.S. and allied
troops prepare to draw down their forces after more than 12
years of fighting Taliban extremists.
China has been stepping up its engagement with other
regional players in recent months in Afghanistan, Beijing-based
diplomats say, mainly out of concern that the NATO-led force's
pullout may spawn instability that could spill into Xinjiang.
Many Uighurs in the energy-rich region, which borders
ex-Soviet Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, chafe
at Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion. More than
100 people there have been killed in unrest in the past year,
according to Chinese state media reports.
China bristles at suggestions from exiles and rights groups
that the violence is driven more by unhappiness at government
policies than by any serious threat from extremist groups who
want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
Experts say militant ideology does in part fuel the unrest,
but the level of organisation has long been disputed.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; Editing by