US and China Hold Anti-terrorism Talks in Washington

The United States and China on Tuesday opened expert-level talks on combating terrorism, called in the wake of attacks on New York and the Pentagon which killed nearly 7,000 people.

Teams of top officials from both sides met at the State Department less than a week after Beijing and Washington signaled that despite strained relations, they would launch a joint initiative to tackle terrorism.

The US side at the talks was led by Thomas Maertens, director of regional affairs in the State Department's counter-terrorism bureau, an official said.

China's delegation comprised officials from Beijing and members of its diplomatic corps in Washington, the official said on condition of anonymity.

No details were available of the agenda of the talks, and the official said a decision would be made later as to whether they would stretch into a second day on Wednesday.

President George W. Bush and China's Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan agreed to co-operate on counterterrorism measures when Tang was in Washington last week.

China has condemned the attacks on New York and Washington two weeks ago and signaled it would not oppose US retaliatory action, though Beijing has called for any military response to be endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

(china Daily 09/26/2001)

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