Wang Yi says Afghanistan stands at crossroads of history
Updated 18:10, 09-Sep-2021

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday that Afghanistan today stands at the crossroads of history and called for neighboring countries of Afghanistan to exert more positive influence on the development of the situation.

Wang made the remarks via video to the Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Afghan Issue Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan attended by his counterparts from Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The meeting came a day after the Taliban announced the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan.

Wang said the "interim" nature of the Taliban government shows that the future of Afghanistan is still faced with uncertainties.

He said, as neighbors, China and the other five countries have witnessed the consequences of the decades of war on the Afghan people, and have also directly endured the negative influence of the spillover.

"No country is more unwilling than we are to see Afghanistan return to war or disaster, and no country is more eager than we are to see it return to peace and development," he said.

Noting the situation in Afghanistan is moving from chaos to governance, Wang called on the neighbors to seize the key opportunity, boost communication and coordination, focus on common concerns, and exert more positive influence on the development of the situation while respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Afghan Issue Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, September 8, 2021. /CMG

Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the Afghan Issue Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, September 8, 2021. /CMG

China to provide humanitarian aid

Wang said China has decided to provide Afghanistan with 200 million yuan ($30.96 million) worth of grains, winter supplies, vaccines and medicines in line with the need of its people.

Noting that Afghanistan has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, he said China will donate 3 million vaccine doses to the Afghan people and is ready to do more to help it with the fight against COVID-19.

To help the country facilitate contact with the outside world, especially access to humanitarian materials, China is willing to work proactively to restart freight train services between China and Afghanistan, Wang said.

He added that China will support, as its ability permits, the peaceful reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan when security in the country is in place.

'U.S. and allies have duty to aid Afghanistan'

The hasty withdrawal of the United States and its allies from Afghanistan signals that power politics, military intervention and the so-called "democratic transformation" they pursued have ended in failure, said Wang.

Afghanistan, however, still faces serious challenges such as humanitarian crisis, livelihood and the COVID-19 epidemic, and some international forces are likely to create new problems for it through political, economic and financial means, he said.

Wang said, as initiators of the problems, the U.S. and its allies should learn the lesson and assume their due responsibility.

"They have more of a duty to supply economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people than any other country," Wang said, adding that they are obliged to help Afghanistan maintain stability and move towards positive development while respecting its sovereignty and independence.


'Taliban should honor commitments with acts'

Wang said the neighboring countries should guide and urge the Afghan Taliban to unite all ethnic groups and factions to build a broad and inclusive political framework.

He added, the Taliban should also pursue a moderate and stable domestic and foreign policy, make a clear cut with terrorist forces, and establish and develop friendly relations with all countries, especially with its neighboring countries.

The Taliban's positive stance on political construction, counter-terrorism and friendship with neighbors since they entered Kabul are welcomed, Wang said, adding the key for them is how to translate it into concrete actions.

He stressed the importance of being broad and inclusive, and of resolutely fighting against terrorism on the part of the Taliban.

It is hoped that the Taliban will fulfill the commitments they have made to win more international recognition, Wang said.

'Neighbors cooperate on terrorism and drugs'

The changed situation in Afghanistan has complicated the international and regional counter-terrorism situation, and some international terrorists in Afghanistan are planning to infiltrate into neighboring countries, Wang said.

He called for the neighboring countries to strengthen cooperation on border control and capture and eliminate terrorist groups from Afghanistan so as to ensure regional security and stability.

Noting the Taliban's recent announcement that they will no longer produce any drugs, Wang said the neighbors should help Afghanistan to carry out alternative cultivation and jointly eliminate the sources of drugs in the region.

"China is ready to take joint actions with all parties to combat transnational drug crimes in the region," he said.

'FMs' meeting is timely and necessary'

Noting the foreign ministers' meeting chaired by Pakistan is the first such effort, Wang said it marks the official establishment of a coordination and cooperation mechanism among Afghanistan's neighbors so that they can jointly cope up with the situation.

"It is timely and necessary, as the meeting will help Afghanistan's neighbors speak with one voice and send a clear political signal," he said, vowing China's continued support of the unique mechanism.

Search Trends