World News

China urges U.S. cooperation to battle terrorism financing

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese official urged the United States to work with China to combat terrorism financing, China’s central bank said on Tuesday, as the world’s two largest economies step up efforts against a global security threat.

During two days of talks in New York last week, China and the United States discussed combating terrorist financing, national risk assessments for money laundering and a Sino-U.S. anti-money laundering pact, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on its website.

The meeting is the latest sign that China and the United States are improving bilateral cooperation to fight terrorism, despite major disagreements on a host of other issues.

Shared concern about Islamic State offers a rare convergence of security interests for Beijing and Washington, and a break from their more typical enmity on sensitive geopolitical issues, notably in the South China Sea and matters such as cyber spying.

“The two sides should, on the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit, strengthen communication and coordination,” the statement quoted deputy central bank governor Guo Qingping as saying in his speech in New York.

Other aspects of cooperation he urged were safeguarding the interests of both countries’ financial institutions and actively promoting efforts against money laundering and terrorism financing, it added.

China says some Uighurs, a mainly Muslim people from its violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang, have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with militant groups there.

Last month, Islamic State said it had killed a Chinese hostage, prompting outrage in Beijing.

In September, the foreign ministry said China and the United States would improve cooperation on fighting militancy, including intelligence exchanges, and work together to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez