August 28, 2006 -- China has ratified an agreement with Pakistan to fight what it calls the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism, and extremism.
China's official Xinhua news agency says the April 2005 pact was ratified by the National People's Congress (parliament) on August 27.
The agency says the China-Pakistan pact completes another treaty Beijing signed in 2001 with four member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
China sees separatism in its predominantly Muslim Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as a serious threat to its stability.
On August 27, China and Kazakhstan wrapped up a three-day security exercise near the Xinjiang city of Yining, also known as Gulja.
Xinhua says the drill "is a concrete illustration of the SCO agreement to fight terrorism, separatism, and extremism."
Soldiers conducting the first-ever SCO joint antiterrorism exercises, held in Kazakhstan in August 2003 (TASS)
NATO'S EVIL TWIN? At an August 3 briefing at RFE/RL's Washington,D.C., office, Central Asia experts Richard Weitz and Daniel Kimmage discussed the emergence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a multilateral body that comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition, Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan have observer status in the organization.
Listen to the entire briefing (about 75 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media
U.S. Wary Of Shanghai Grouping
Unified Message Emerges From Shanghai Summit
Shanghai Cooperation Organization Mulls Expansion
China-Russia Bloc Challenges U.S. In Region
THE COMPLETE STORY: Click on the icon to view a dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.