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Disarmament Helps Improve Border Security

Joint disarmament efforts made by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have improved security along China's 7,000-kilometre-long border with the four countries, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said on Friday.


The disarmament has also bolstered the relationship of the five nations and the development of regional cooperation, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui.


Envoys from China, Russia, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- the five members of a joint supervision group on disarmament -- convened a meeting from October 19 to 29 to commemorate the group's fifth anniversary.


The group, established in 1999, is obligated to supervise and implement an agreement on the reduction of military forces, and an agreement on strengthening mutual trust in the military, signed by the five nations in 1996 and 1997.


The five nations, also members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), hold two sessions each year to draw up mutual inspection plans and to supervise the implementation of the two agreements. The SCO is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborliness and friendship among member states.


On Thursday, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo met delegates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in Beijing to discuss military trust and the reduction of military forces in border areas, praising their work as "yielding fruitful results."


"The relationship between China and the other four countries has reached an unprecedented high level," Li Hui said. "The SCO is also entering a new period."


"To carry out the two agreements will help create favorable conditions for the advancement of relations and regional cooperation," Li said.


Li said that the joint supervision group would keep working hard to ensure smooth implementation of the agreements, and make new contributions to the lasting peace and stability in border areas, and to the friendship between China and the other four countries generation after generation.


(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2004)


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