Today (13 April) Samarkand will host fourth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan. On the eve of the meeting the foreign ministry of China issued an 11-point statement on Beijing’s stance on Afghanistan.
“China stands ready to step up coordination and cooperation with Afghanistan’s neighbors and the rest of the world to help Afghanistan embark on a path of stability and development at an early date and jointly realize lasting security, prosperity and progress in the region”, said ministry’s spokesman Wang Wenbin during a regular press conference on 12 Apr.
Here is the full text of the statement:
China and Afghanistan are close neighbors with longstanding friendship between the two peoples. Under the current situation, China’s position on the Afghan issue is as follows:
1.Adhering to the “Three Respects” and “Three Nevers”. China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respects the independent choices made by the Afghan people, and respects the religious beliefs and national customs of Afghanistan. China never interferes in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, never seeks selfish interests in Afghanistan, and never pursues so-called sphere of influence.
2.Supporting moderate and prudent governance in Afghanistan. China sincerely hopes that Afghanistan could build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and engage in friendly exchanges with all countries especially neighboring countries. We hope the Afghan Interim Government will protect the basic rights and interests of all Afghan people, including women, children and all ethnic groups, and continue working actively to meet Afghan people’s interests and the international community’s expectations.
3.Supporting peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan. China will continue to do its best to help Afghanistan with reconstruction and development, make plans with Afghanistan and fulfill its assistance pledges, promote steady progress in economic, trade and investment cooperation, and actively carry out cooperation in such fields as medical care, poverty alleviation, agriculture, and disaster prevention and mitigation, so as to help Afghanistan realize independent and sustainable development at an early date. China welcomes Afghanistan’s participation in Belt and Road cooperation and supports Afghanistan’s integration into regional economic cooperation and connectivity that will transform Afghanistan from a “land-locked country” to a “land-linked country”.
4.Supporting Afghanistan in countering terrorism resolutely and forcefully. Security is the foundation and prerequisite of development. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council and designated by the Chinese government in accordance with law. The ETIM forces in Afghanistan pose a severe threat to the security of China, Afghanistan and the region. China hopes that Afghanistan will fulfill its commitment in earnest and take more effective measures to crack down on all terrorist forces including the ETIM with greater determination, and earnestly ensure the safety and security of citizens, institutions and projects of China and other countries in Afghanistan.
5.Calling for greater bilateral and multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation. As Afghanistan faces pronounced terrorism-related security issues, it is necessary for the international community to strengthen counter-terrorism security cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels and provide Afghanistan with much-needed supplies, equipment and technical assistance. Afghanistan should be supported in taking comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism and prevent the country from again becoming a safe haven, breeding ground and source of terrorism.
6.Working together to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism in Afghanistan. Terrorism, separatism and extremism in Afghanistan remain a major security threat to the region and the world. China calls on the international community to firmly support Afghanistan’s fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism and its active measures to cut off the channels of terrorist financing, to counter recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists and the spread of violent terrorist audio and video materials, to contain extremism, youth radicalization and the spread of terrorist ideologies, and to eliminate sleeper cells and terrorist safe havens.
7.Urging the US to live up to its commitments and responsibilities to Afghanistan. It is a widely-held view in the international community that, by seizing Afghanistan’s overseas assets and imposing unilateral sanctions, the US, which created the Afghan issue in the first place, is the biggest external factor that hinders substantive improvement in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The US should draw lessons from what happened in Afghanistan, face squarely the grave humanitarian, economic and security risks and challenges in Afghanistan, immediately lift its sanctions, return the Afghan overseas assets, and deliver its pledged humanitarian aid to meet the emergency needs of the Afghan people.
8.Opposing external interference and infiltration in Afghanistan. It is a shared view of regional countries that the military interference and “democratic transformation” by external forces in Afghanistan over the past 20-odd years have inflicted enormous losses and pain on Afghanistan. It will be difficult to eliminate the negative impacts for many years to come. To help Afghanistan achieve sustained peace and stability, relevant countries should not attempt to re-deploy military facilities in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood, practice double standards on counter-terrorism, or advance their geopolitical agenda by supporting or conniving at terrorism.
9.Strengthening international and regional coordination on the Afghan issue. Under the new circumstances, Afghanistan should be a platform for cooperation among various parties rather than geopolitical games. China supports all plans and measures that are conducive to political settlement of the Afghan issue, and will actively engage in multilateral coordination through such mechanisms and platforms as the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan Issue among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Afghanistan Contact Group, the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the Informal Meeting of China-Russia-Pakistan-Iran Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan, the Troika Plus Meeting and the United Nations, in an effort to build consensus and synergy for stability in and assistance to Afghanistan at regional and international levels.
10.Facilitating solution to Afghanistan’s humanitarian and refugee issues. China is concerned about the situation of Afghan refugees and will continue to provide assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels. China supports relevant UN agencies in playing a positive role in this regard, applauds the efforts by regional countries, and calls on the international community to provide continuous humanitarian and development assistance to jointly help Afghanistan rebuild its economy and create favorable conditions for the final settlement of the refugee issue.
11.Supporting Afghanistan’s fight against narcotics. China looks forward to and supports more concrete actions by Afghanistan to counter narcotics cultivation, production and illicit trafficking, and will work with the international community to help Afghanistan with alternative development and crackdown on cross-border drug-related crimes, so as to eliminate the source of narcotics in the region. ///nCa, 13 April 2023