China to help Afghanistan achieve lasting peace
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pledging 1.5 billion Chinese Yuan ($236.301million) in aid to Afghanistan over the next three years, China on Tuesday said it would cooperate with the Afghan government in achieving sustainable peace in the country.
China’s Vice-President Li Yuanchao, leading a high level delegation, on Tuesday arrived in Kabul on a rare official visit to participate in the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and China and met with the Afghan president and other officials at the Presidential Palace.
Li said China would continue to support Afghanistan, particularly in achieving lasting peace and wanted to increase its support with Afghanistan for counterterrorism and the Afghan-led peace process.
He said his country would help Afghanistan develop the capacity its defence forces and was trying to struggle for peace and stability in the two countries and the region. He said China would assist Afghanistan with 1.5 billion Chinese Yuan ($236.301million) over the next three years and would spend 500 million Yuan this year.
At the ceremony, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the visit of the Chinese vice president to Kabul showed deep relationship between the two countries.
“The policies of China are for peace and stability in the region. The Silk Road is a simple idea for short, mid and long-term projects,” he said.
The Silk Road or Silk Route is an ancient network of trade and cultural transit routes connecting Central Asia with southern and western Asia, Europe, and Africa through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
Ghani insisted Afghanistan would turn into a connecting point of the region, saying the Chinese assistance for Afghanistan’s infrastructure could change opportunity into reality.
He said it was the desire of every Afghan to see Wakhan border area with China changed into a connecting point in the region. Afghanistan and China has 85 kilometre joint border in Wakhan area of northeastern Badakhshan province.
Ghani hoped the projects of gas pipeline, power line, railway and roads between China and Afghanistan would deepen relations between the two countries.
He said China as a strategic partner of Afghanistan showed its eagerness to help the Afghan people especially for earthquake affected people.
He said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah would participate in next month’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation conference in China where Chinese pledges with Afghanistan would become clearer.
“The opportunities we are focusing on are a connecting point between China and Afghanistan. Both the countries are committed to peace and stability and are in danger of regional and international terrorism, so we would discuss issues which prevent stability, prosperity and regional cooperation and we would try to control and eliminate the problems,” he said.
“China is a strategic partner in regional stability and an agent of peace in Afghanistan. We have proved that the war in our country is not ours, it is regional and international, so there is need that the regional countries should recognise each other on the basis of internationally accepted rules and the national integrity of each other,” he said.
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