|Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Geng Shuang on the Security Council Draft Resolution on Afghanistan|
Thank you, Mr. President,
At present, the domestic situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes. In light of the developments on the ground, it is the general expectations of the international community for the Security Council to conduct full consultations with the aim to find an effective way out, and to help Afghanistan restore peace, stability and order. At the same time, given the fragile and sensitive situation in the country, as well as many uncertainties in its future, any actions taken by the Security Council should help ease, rather than intensify tensions and conflicts, so that Afghanistan can transition smoothly, rather than relapse into turmoil.
The countries concerned circulated the draft resolution last Friday evening, demanding action to be taken on Monday. China has huge doubts about the necessity and urgency of adopting this resolution and the balance of its content. Despite this, China has still participated constructively in the consultations and put forward important and reasonable amendments together with Russia. Unfortunately, our amendments have not been fully adopted. China has always opposed to forcefully pushing for resolution by any sponsors. Based on the above considerations China has abstained from this draft resolution.
The recent chaos in Afghanistan is directly related to the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops. We hope that relevant countries will realize the fact that withdrawal is not the end of responsibility, but the beginning of reflection and correction. Relevant countries should learn from the lessons, truly respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and genuinely respect the rights of the Afghan people to determine their own future. It is hoped that relevant countries will effectively change the wrong practice of imposing their own models on others, and change the hegemonic practice of imposing sanctions or even using force at every turn. These countries should be responsible for what they have done in the past 20 years, and fulfill their commitments towards the peaceful rebuilding of Afghanistan. They cannot claim to care about Afghan people's welfare, while imposing unilateral sanctions, or claim to support Afghanistan's acceleration of economic and social development, while seizing and freezing Afghanistan’s overseas assets. They have left behind in the country huge catastrophe they have created but shifted the responsibility to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and the Security Council. The actions of foreign troops in Afghanistan in the past 20 years, including the criminal activities carried out by the United States and Australian forces for the indiscriminate killing of civilians must not be wiped out, and must continue to be investigated. The United States’ recent retaliatory attack on the Islamic State have caused casualties of innocent civilians. We call on the United States to refrain from indiscriminately bombing the civilian populated areas in Afghanistan.
In the face of the fundamental changes in the domestic situation in Afghanistan, it is necessary for the international community to engage with the Taliban, and actively provide them with guidance. The international community should provide Afghanistan with urgently needed assistance for the economy, livelihood and humanitarian needs in order to help the new authority maintain the normal operations of governing institutions, maintain public order and stability, curb currency depreciation and price increase, and embark on the path of peaceful reconstruction as soon as possible.
China has always attached great importance to Afghanistan's fight against terrorism. We strongly condemns the recent terrorist attack in Kabul. This terrorist attack in Kabul once again proved that the war in Afghanistan did not achieve the goal of eliminating terrorist groups in Afghanistan. The hasty withdrawal of foreign troops is likely to have provided opportunities for various terrorist organizations to make a comeback. We hope that the security of Kabul airport can be guaranteed, the evacuation of relevant personnel can proceed smoothly, and all parties concerned can strengthen coordination to jointly prevent new terrorist attacks. Afghanistan must never again become the birthplace for terrorism or the base for terrorists. This is the bottom line that Afghanistan must adhere to in any future political settlement. It is hoped that the Taliban will honestly fulfill their commitments and completely cut off ties with all terrorist organizations. Countries should follow international laws and Security Council resolutions, and resolutely combat international terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the ETIM, so as to prevent any chaos caused by terrorists by gathering in Afghanistan. On the issue of counter-terrorism, there must not be any double standard or selective approach.
The mandate for UNAMA will expire on September 17. China looks forward to continuing constructive consultations with members of the Security Council, and conducting in-depth discussions and striving for board consensus on the UN presence in Afghanistan in the next phase in order to help Afghanistan achieve peace and reconciliation, and start its reconstruction process. As a member of the Security Council and an important neighboring country of Afghanistan, China has all along followed the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and always pursued a friendly policy for all Afghan people. We are ready to continue to develop good neighborly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan and play a constructive role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Thank you, Mr. President.