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Top Chinese Security Official Makes Surprise Visit To Afghanistan

Chinese state media say the country's top security official has made the first high-level trip to Afghanistan by a senior Chinese leader in nearly 50 years.

Xinhua news agency reported that Zhou Yongkang made the four-hour visit on September 22, during which he met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

Zhou, who is in charge of China's security and justice affairs, was quoted as saying: "It is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples for China and Afghanistan to strengthen a strategic and cooperative partnership... conducive to regional peace, stability, and development."

The report said the late President Liu Shaoqi, the last senior Chinese official to visit Afghanistan, visited in 1966.

In Beijing in June, Karzai pledged to work with China to fight terrorism and extremism in the region.

Based on reporting by Xinhua and AFP