China supports all measures conducive to political settlement of the Afghan issue: statement
Under the new circumstances, Afghanistan should be a platform for cooperation among various parties rather than geopolitical games, and China supports all plans and measures that are conducive to political settlement of the Afghan issue, according to an 11-point statement released by China, detailing its stance on the Afghanistan issue.
The statement, titled "China's Position on the Afghan Issue," was released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
It said 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, it added.
Noting China supports moderate and prudent governance in Afghanistan, the statement said China hopes that Afghanistan would build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and that Afghan Interim Government would protect the basic rights and interests of all Afghan people, including women, children and all ethnic groups.
To help Afghanistan realize independent and sustainable development at an early date, the statement said China will continue to do its best to support Afghanistan with reconstruction and development, fulfill its assistance pledges, promote steady progress in economic, trade and investment cooperation, and actively carry out cooperation in fields like medical care, poverty alleviation, agriculture, and disaster prevention and mitigation.
China also welcomes Afghanistan's participation in Belt and Road cooperation and supports Afghanistan's integration into regional economic cooperation and connectivity that will transform it from a "land-locked country" to a "land-linked country," according to the statement.
In terms of countering terrorism, China hopes that Afghanistan will take more effective measures to crack down on all terrorist forces, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, with greater determination, and earnestly ensure the safety and security of citizens, institutions and projects of China and other countries in Afghanistan, the statement said.
China urged 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. The statement also called on the international community to 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.
China urges the U.S. to live up to its commitments and responsibilities to Afghanistan, as it created the Afghan issue in the first place and is the biggest external factor that hinders substantive improvement in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, said the statement, noting the U.S. 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.
China opposes external interference and infiltration in Afghanistan, added the statement. It pointed out that to help Afghanistan achieve sustained peace and stability, relevant countries should not attempt to re-deploy military facilities in Afghanistan and its neighborhood, practice double standards on counter-terrorism, or advance their geopolitical agenda by supporting or conniving at terrorism.
The statement said China 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, in an effort to build consensus and synergy for stability in and assistance to Afghanistan at regional and international levels.
China also expressed its willingness to facilitate solution to Afghanistan's humanitarian and refugee issues and support Afghanistan's fight against narcotics.