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Seminar steps up anti-crime campaign
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-17 01:30

The Sino-ASEAN seminar on China's criminal judiciary system and law enforcement started Monday, marking a new step forward in the fight against cross-border crime.

More than 30 officials from the law enforcement departments of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN secretariat attended the training course, said an official from the Ministry of Public Security Monday.

The ministry will introduce China's achievements in combating organized crimes, illegal migration and drug-related crimes, as well as international co-operation efforts against transnational crimes during the seminar.

After 10 years of development, relations between China and ASEAN have entered a new stage, said Zhai Kun, a researcher from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

The two sides agreed to establish a "strategic partnership for peace and stability" in October 2003, said Zhai. He added China and ASEAN had also decided to set up a free trade zone by 2010, which indicates that bilateral economic co-operation has entered a new phase of all-round development.

Co-operation on non-traditional safety issues has witnessed rapid development in recent years, said ministry officials.

The training course is aimed at meeting the increasing demand of ASEAN's law enforcement departments to understand China's criminal judiciary system and law enforcement system, officials said.

China and ASEAN signed a memorandum of understanding on January 11 on co-operation in the field of non-traditional crime issues, pressing ahead their joint efforts in combating transnational crime.

The signing of the memorandum indicated China and ASEAN's strong willing to improve their existing co-operation in combating transnational crimes, said Tian Qiyu, executive vice-minister of public security.

Under the memorandum, China and ASEAN would improve their joint efforts to combat non-traditional crimes through sharing information, exchanging personnel and training and law enforcement co-operation.

The ministry has allocated special funds as well as working out a five-year programme and a 2004 co-operation plan to implement the memorandum, said a ministry official. China suggested a three-period implementation strategy to carry out the five-year programme.

First is the preparatory period (2004), aimed mainly at strengthening the understanding and mutual trust between China and ASEAN on each other's law enforcement departments, judicial system as well as to decide the major fields of law enforcement co-operation.

The second period, lasting from 2005 to 2006, will seek methods on information exchange, investigation and collection of evidence, arresting and transferring criminal suspects and confiscating illicit money as well to seek an effective regional law enforcement co-operation model.

The last period is to draft framework programme on law enforcement co-operation and to sign bi- and-multilateral agreements in these fields from 2007 to 2008.

Co-operation on non-traditional safety issues between China and ASEAN currently focuses on drug trafficking, illegal migration including people smuggling, piracy, terrorism, arms smuggling, money laundering and international economic and cyber crimes.

China and ASEAN issued a joint declaration in November 2002, in which the two sides were determined to strengthen their co-operation in fighting transnational crime.

The ministry also held a seminar on law enforcement co-operation between China and ASEAN in August 2003.

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