China Urged to Join Anti-IS Fight

China Urged to Join Anti-IS FightChina Urged to Join Anti-IS Fight

China should play a more active role in fighting the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, a senior official said on Thursday.

China relies on the Middle East for oil supplies, but tends to leave diplomacy to other permanent members of the UN Security Council—the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

“China can significantly help restore regional peace and stability by becoming more active in the fight against the Islamic State,” said Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei after meeting members of a Chinese delegation in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported.

China has called for greater coordination after attacks in Mali and Paris and the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, but has long said there is no military solution to the Syria crisis, with state media criticizing the West and Russia for airstrikes.

But this month a Chinese-language song purportedly released by Islamic State put Chinese officials on alert that they need closer global cooperation against militancy.

Beijing warns that some members of the Muslim Uighur ethnic group, from the western region of Xinjiang, have joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Rezaei said if China plays a more significant role in the campaign against the Islamic State, “Iran can fight against Islamic extremism in Central Asia through cultural activities and interaction with the Chinese Muslim community.”

Iran has ramped up the presence of its military advisors in Iraq and Syria, where IS controls large areas. The terrorist group views followers of both Shia and Sunni Muslims, who do not adhere to their ideology, as heretics.

Iran is widely credited for convincing Russia to start its military campaign in Syria and join the fight against the IS.