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H.E. Sun Weidong
Chinese Ambassador to India
Twitter: @China_Amb_India
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China's position on issues related to Afghanistan
2021/08/25
 

I. On recent situation in Afghanistan

 Xi Jinping Attends the Meeting on Afghanistan of the Heads of State of the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization(17 September 2021 ):
https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1908121.shtml

 
Xi Jinping Attends and Addresses the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization(17 September 2021):
We need to follow the journey of upholding our common security. We need to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and take tough actions against the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. We need to strengthen cooperation on counter-narcotics, border control and security for major events, and speedily improve the SCO's security cooperation mechanism. We need to enhance the capacity of competent authorities of SCO countries to maintain stability and respond to emergencies. We SCO member states need to step up coordination to facilitate a smooth transition in Afghanistan and help Afghanistan truly embark on a path of peace, stability and development.
 
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers' Video Conference on Afghanistan(September 23, 2021):
https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1909122.shtml

 

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the Phone(3 September 2021):
Wang Yi said, China has noticed that the Afghan Taliban might announce the formation of a new government in the coming days. He hopes that the new government will be open and inclusive, make a clean break with terrorist organizations, and establish and develop good relations with other countries, especially neighboring countries. As common neighbors of Afghanistan, China and Iran need to strengthen communication and coordination to play a constructive role in achieving a smooth transition and peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Wang Yi said, although the United States has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan, it still has an inescapable responsibility for the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan and should not try by any means to make new troubles or even turmoil for Afghanistan, or undermine the legitimate rights and interests of its neighboring countries.
Wang Yi said, the claim of the United States that the withdrawal from Afghanistan allows it to shift its focus to China and Russia not only serves as an excuse for its own failure, but also reveals the nature of its pushing for power politics in the world. If the United States is unable to learn the due lessons and turn to a completely fresh start, it is bound to make mistakes more serious than those in Afghanistan, and to slide from the failure in Afghanistan to greater failures.

 

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Diplomatic Counselor to French President Emmanuel Bonne on the Phone  (1 September 2021): 

Wang Yi said, we should learn three lessons from the situation in Afghanistan: First, it is unacceptable to seek hegemony, and no matter how strong a country is, it should respect other countries, as well as fairness and justice. Second, military intervention is unacceptable, and political solutions to hot issues should be upheld. Third, wishful thinking of "democratic transformation" is unacceptable, and each country's development path, which is suited to its national conditions, should be respected.
Wang Yi said, the United States suddenly withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, but it cannot shirk its responsibility. What is pressing now is to provide urgently needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, so as to make up for the huge damages done to its national development and people's well-being. Effective measures should be taken to help Afghanistan achieve a smooth transition and avoid a wave of refugees and migrants that will bring bitter consequences to neighboring and European countries. It is also necessary to get rid of the old habit of unilateral sanctions. It's unwise and hardly effective to freeze Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves in the United States and exert pressure on Afghanistan at every turn.

 

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the latter's request (29 August 2021):

Wang Yi said that the situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes, and it is necessary for all parties to make contact with the Taliban and guide it actively. The United States, in particular, needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability, curb currency devaluation and inflation, and embark on the path of peaceful reconstruction at an early date. Facts have proved again that the Afghanistan war never achieved the goal of eliminating terrorist forces in Afghanistan. The hasty withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO troops is likely to offer an opportunity to various terrorist groups in Afghanistan to resurge. The United States, on the premise of respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty and independence, should take concrete actions to help Afghanistan combat terrorism and violence, rather than practicing double standards or selectively fighting terrorism.

Wang Yi said the U.S. side clearly knows the causes of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan. Any action to be taken by the UNSC should contribute to easing tensions instead of exacerbating them, and contribute to a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan rather than a return to turmoil.

 

Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi Attends the 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives for Security Issues via Video Link (25 August 2021):

Political settlement is the only way out for resolving the Afghan issue. The international community should respect the will and choice of the Afghan people, and encourage Afghanistan to build a broad and inclusive political structure that suits its national conditions. Efforts must be made to fight terrorism in all its forms, and Afghanistan must never again become a gathering place for terrorist and extremist forces.

 

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Speaks with Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag on the Phone(24 August 2021):

Afghanistan will face multiple challenges in the future, complex conflicts of ethnic groups and religious sects, poverty and refugee issues need to be resolved and risks of a civil war triggered by regional conflicts must be avoided. Whether Afghanistan can bring all its people together, heal its social fragmentation and realize peace and reconstruction will be tested over time.

It's time to truly implement the "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" principle. After intensive communication, the international community now is gradually forming a consensus on Afghanistan, which can be summarized into three points: build an open and inclusive political structure, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and thoroughly disassociate from all terrorist groups.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on the Phone(20 August 2021):

The international community is concerned about the future of Afghanistan, and all parties share the common hope that Afghanistan builds an open and inclusive political system, pursues moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and severs ties with all terrorist organizations completely. We have noted that the Taliban spokesperson has made active responses to the said concerns of the international community on many occasions, and demonstrated a cooperative attitude. "To hear their words, and look at their conduct." We hope that the situation in Afghanistan can keep moving ahead on the right course. At the same time, we need to see that there are still many destabilizing factors in the country, and the shaping of upcoming policies of the Taliban is also uncertain.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with British First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on the Phone at Request(19 August 2021):

The major change to the situation in Afghanistan reflects that after more than 40 years of war, the Afghan people yearn for stability and do not want another war or chaos. It also shows that the governance model imposed from the outside has not been supported by the Afghan people, and lacks social foundation. Relying on military intervention to solve regional hotspot issues will lead nowhere. The situation in Afghanistan is yet another negative example, and if the United States does not learn from the painful lessons, it will suffer new ones.

As the Afghan issue has entered a critical stage from military settlement to political settlement, the following aspects should be focused on. First, whether the Taliban can unite the Afghan people, establish an open and inclusive political structure in line with the country's conditions, pursue moderate policies, and avoid triggering new conflicts or even a civil war. Second, whether Afghanistan can draw a clear line from terrorism, resolutely crack down on all kinds of terrorist organizations and avoid becoming a gathering place for terrorists again. Third, whether the international community could play a constructive role. The international community should fully respect the independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan and the will of its people, conduct more dialogue and provide more guidance, refrain from a predetermined mindset and exceeding one's duties to meddle in others' affairs, and not turn Afghanistan into an arena of geopolitical games.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the Phone at Request (18 August 2021):

The situation in Afghanistan has changed overnight, and what will happen next depends on the policy of the Afghan Taliban. Taliban leaders have sent positive signals to the outside world, saying they would address issues faced by the people and fulfill the people's wishes. A Taliban spokesperson said, the Taliban will ensure the safety of embassies of all countries in Afghanistan, is willing to establish good relations with all countries, and will never allow anybody to threaten other countries on the territory of Afghanistan. Wang Yi welcomes those remarks, and expects that the commitments will be turned into concrete policies and actions. This Taliban spokesperson also proposes to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan, making the country no longer a hub of opium planting and drug dealing. This also signals a right direction.

Only after the withdrawal of foreign troops, the Afghan people have the opportunity of seizing their destiny in their own hands, and it becomes possible to truly implement the basic "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" principle. The key now is to find a reconstruction path that is suited to the national conditions of Afghanistan, in line with the trend of the times, and understood and supported by the Afghan people.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on the Phone at Request (16 August 2021):

The situation in Afghanistan has undergone dramatic changes, with the former regime collapsing without a fight and the Taliban declaring victory. It is commonly believed in the international community that this result has its own internal logic and inevitability, signifying that military intervention and power politics are unpopular and doomed to fail.

 

II. On China's policy

President Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin ( August 25, 2021):

Xi Jinping stressed that China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and adheres to the policy of non-interference in its internal affairs, and has played a constructive role in resolving the Afghan issue via political means. China stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Russia and the broader international community to encourage all factions in Afghanistan to build an open and inclusive political structure through consultation, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, thoroughly dissociate from all terrorist groups, and maintain friendly relations with the rest of the world, especially neighboring countries.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with British First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on the Phone at Request (19 August 2021):

The following situation in Afghanistan is still unstable and uncertain, and the international community should encourage and guide it in a positive direction, instead of exerting excessive pressure. This is conducive to the early political transition by the Taliban and other political forces in the country, the stabilization of domestic situation in Afghanistan, and the reduction of the impact of refugees and immigrants. China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in the Afghan issue without interfering its internal affairs.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Phone at Request (16 August 2021):

China stands ready to have communication and dialogue with the United States to push for a soft landing of the Afghan issue, so that a new civil war or humanitarian disaster will be prevented in Afghanistan and the country will not relapse into a hotbed and shelter for terrorism. China encourages Afghanistan to establish an open and inclusive political framework in accordance with its own national situations.

 

III. On U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

Wang Yi Speaks with Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag on the Phone(24 August 2021):

The initiator of the Afghan issue, the United States should not simply walk away or manipulate sanctions on Afghanistan. It is the responsibility of the U.S. to properly handle chaos around the Kabul airport, provide necessary economic, living and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and help realize smooth transition in the country through concrete actions. China understands European countries' concerns over Afghanistan and hopes the European side could contribute to the peace, stability and development of Afghanistan. China hails the Netherlands' aid to United Nations' Afghan humanitarian fund.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on the Phone (20 August 2021):

A new page has been turned in Afghan history, and a just historical conclusion will eventually be reached about what happened in the past. But one thing is clear: it does not work to impose certain values on other peoples and civilizations. It has never worked, nor will it ever work.

 

Wang Yi Speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Phone at Request(16 August 2021):

Facts have once again proved that it is difficult to gain a foothold in a country with a completely different history, culture and national conditions by mechanically copying foreign models. A regime cannot stand without the support of its people, and using power and military means to solve problems will only cause more problems. Such lessons deserve serious reflection.

The United States should play a constructive role in helping Afghanistan maintain stability, prevent chaos and rebuild peacefully. The hasty U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused a severely adverse impact on the situation in Afghanistan and it would not be responsible if it continues to create new problems.

 

IV. On cracking down on the international terrorist organizations including the ETIM

Wang Yi Speaks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the Phone(18 August 2021):

The Afghan Taliban needs to make a clear break with all terrorist forces and take measures to crack down on the international terrorist organizations designated by the United Nations Security Council, including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.