BEIJING, Dec 23 (APP):The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries jointly foiled more than 360 terrorists and extremist schemes last year and arrested 695 suspects, Liu Jie, deputy director of the executive committee of the SCO’s regional anti-terrorist structure, said.

More than 160,000 posts and 3,000 social media accounts containing terrorist and extremist content had also been blocked under the SCO framework, he was quoted by China Daily here on Monday.

“Different countries need to seek common ground while setting aside differences to fight extremism and terrorism and establish worldwide prevention and cooperation mechanism,” he added.

He said extremism was the theoretical support of terrorism, while terrorism was often the result of extremism, so extremists and terrorists shared a common ideology and their networks were codependent.They had become the common enemy of mankind.

“Member countries of the SCO have agreed that we need to attach great importance to measures to curb the spread of extremism online that particularly targets young people between 18 and 30,” Nurlan Akkoshkarov, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat, said during an international symposium on counter-extremism.

More than 60 officials, diplomats and experts participated in the symposium held by China Association of Friendship in Beijing.

The SCO has eight member states, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan, and many members have suffered from extremism, terrorism, and separatism that have led to many violent attacks.

Javid Ahmad Qaem, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to China, said Afghan forces had been fighting the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, “which is a terrorist organization that poses a major threat to China as it seeks independence for the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.”

“Although the presence of ETIM in the country is weak and only exists in border areas with China, it is still our target during counterterrorism missions,” Qaem said.

Qaem said Afghanistan had attached great importance to preventing young people from becoming extremists by improving its education system and enhancing internet control.

Different countries had adopted different measures to combat extremism and terrorism, and China’s experiences were very valuable, said Kairat Osmonaliev, a professor at Kyrgyz National University. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, extremists’ confessions were used to educate others about the harm of following extremism.

In Uzbekistan, people could learn what religion was all about from television programmes sanctioned by the government, Osmonaliev said.