U.S. troops in Kyrgyzstan (file photo)
12 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Chinese official says the United States should respect calls to set dates for pulling U.S. troops from Central Asia.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao made his remarks today in Beijing. He said that Central Asian states have participated in U.S.-led anti-terrorism operations in the region, but that now the situation has changed.
Last week, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the SCO, called on the United States to set dates for withdrawing its forces from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The SCO groups Russia, China and four Central Asian states.
Kyrgyz President-elect Kurmanbek Bakiev on 11 July echoed the SCO's call, urging a review of the U.S. military presence in Kyrgyzstan.
The United States has so far offered no official response to Bakiev's remarks.
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