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China stands by Afghanistan

By LI JING (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-09-28 13:30:47


China reiterated its support for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned processes on the war-torn country's road to political reconciliation and economic reconstruction, and said China would continue to play a constructive role in the process, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in New York on Sept 26.

Wang was attending a high-level meeting on Afghanistan's peaceful development and regional cooperation on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly. Wang, along with Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, and US Secretary of State John Kerry convened the event and were joined by representatives of the country's more than 30 regional and international friends and partners.

Wang said that President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US, which concluded last night, was a great success and a number of significant results had been achieved.

"The two heads of state exchanged views on Afghanistan and both pledged their support for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction," Wang said. "China and the United States will each play their part and work with each other to that end. So I think this meeting today could not be more timely."

Abdullah updated the assembly on the progress that has been made by the National Unity Government of Afghanistan during its first year in place and expressed appreciation for China and the international community's continuing support for the process and expect continued support for its efforts in anti-terrorism and domestic development in economy.

Wang said this year is vital to Afghanistan's future; the country faces both opportunities and challenges and "the priority should be on improving people's livelihoods, developing the economy and constructing infrastructure".

He called on the international community to support the National Unity Government in its efforts to create a peaceful environment in and outside Afghanistan, and help it integrate itself into the international community.

Wang also mentioned that the Afghanistan government and the Taliban share a desire to resume political discussions.

"It is China's hope that the other parties will come together to support and encourage the process and encourage the two to meet each other halfway and create the conditions for the next round of discussions," Wang said.

"Afghanistan has a significant geographical location, abundant water, mineral resources and huge potential in terms of human talent. The international community should step up strategic communication with it and help the country fully tap its potential," Wang said.

He added that China has supported Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction with concrete action. "We have undertaken a number of projects in medical care, irrigation, culture and education," he said. That includes China trained more than 1000 Afghan professional in all various fields, send Chinese experts for infrastructure construction and implement assistance plans.

Kerry said the strengthened cooperation between China and the US will more effectively solve regional and international challenges including those in Afghanistan. He affirmed the achievements made by the government and call for more supports from the international community.

In the evening, Wang also met with Mogens Lykketoft, president of the 70th session of the General Assembly.