Date
18 December 2017
President Xi Jinping greets US National Security Adviser Susan Rice in Beijing. Chinese officials are said to have shown interest in a proposed US coalition against the Islamic State. Photo: Reuters
President Xi Jinping greets US National Security Adviser Susan Rice in Beijing. Chinese officials are said to have shown interest in a proposed US coalition against the Islamic State. Photo: Reuters

US seeks China backing for coalition against Islamic State

The United States is seeking China’s support for an international coalition against the Islamic State, an extremist group in control of parts of Syria and Iraq.

Chinese leaders have expressed an interest in the US proposal, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a senior US administration official after a visit to Beijing by national security adviser Susan Rice.

The US is exploring areas in which China could contribute to the coalition, the official said.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment but Chinese officials have said recently that there may be Chinese citizens from the northwestern region of Xinjiang fighting with Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Xinjiang is home to the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic group and has been the source of a wave of deadly attacks on Chinese cities in the past year that Chinese authorities have blamed on separatists and Islamic extremists.

Rice was in China to seek cooperation on a wide range of international and bilateral issues ahead of a planned meeting between Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama after a summit of Asia Pacific leaders in Beijing in November.

Meanwhile, there is no sign China is willing to join western nations in putting pressure on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, a US official said, citing meetings between Xi and Rice.

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