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Wang Yi Speaks with Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag on the Phone

On August 24, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag at the latter's request. The two sides mainly exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.

Wang Yi said, 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.

Wang Yi said, 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 said, all parties should make efforts to this end and play their part. 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.

Kaag agreed with China's views on the situation in Afghanistan, saying that the international community should make joint efforts to actively provide assistance to the Afghan people, promote the settlement of the Afghan issue on the basis of the principles set by the UN Security Council and make efforts to promote regional peace and stability.

While exchanging views on bilateral relations. Wang Yi said China regards the Netherlands as the "gateway" for cooperation between China and the European Union (EU), and the China-Dutch comprehensive cooperative partnership that stresses openness and pragmatism, which was established by the leaders of the two countries, conforms to the characteristics of bilateral ties and points out the direction of cooperation between the two sides. China hopes that the new Dutch government will continue to pursue a positive policy towards China and take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two countries next year to promote the sound and stable development of bilateral relations.

Wang Yi said, facing the uncertain international situation, all countries should adhere to true multilateralism, especially jointly safeguard the UN-centered international system and prevent the world from divisions. It is urgent for the international community to jointly fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and China has always actively promoted international anti-pandemic cooperation. However, all parties should stay alert to the current tendency to politicize the origins tracing of the virus. The United States has ignored and abandoned the research report worked out by WHO experts, and asked its intelligence agencies to come up with a so-called conclusion on origins tracing within a limited time. The U.S. approach is anti-science, while the "conclusion" is bound to serve its own political purposes and seriously interfere with the international anti-pandemic cooperation. China hopes that all countries will take a scientific and objective position on the issue of origins tracing and support more extensive origins tracing research in countries and regions where early cases have been found. It's a real attitude to uphold fairness.

Wang Yi said, China is building an open economy of higher standards. China welcomes the Dutch side to further expand its trade and investment in China, and hopes the Netherlands to continue to provide an open and transparent business environment for Chinese companies. China is making every effort to prepare for the Beijing Winter Olympics to be held early next year and is willing to make it as convenient as possible for Dutch athletes to participate in the Games in China. China and the Netherlands should jointly resist politicizing sports.

Kaag praised China for regarding the Netherlands as the "gateway" for EU-China cooperation. She said that the Netherlands will continue to improve its business environment and become a more attractive and competitive investment destination. She looks forward to the joint celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties, and stressed the need to establish effective and inclusive multilateralism and support the UN, WTO and other multilateral institutions in playing their due roles in today's uncertain international situations. The origins tracing of the virus is a scientific issue, and the Netherlands hopes that it will accumulate experience for the treatment of future pandemics. The Netherlands believes that China will host an impressive Winter Olympics and hopes the athletes from both sides will achieve excellent results.

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