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Wang Yi Talks about China's Policy toward Afghanistan
2021/10/27

On October 26, 2021 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi answered questions from media about his engagements with the delegation of the Afghan Taliban's interim government before leaving Doha.

Wang Yi said that during my visit to Qatar this time, I had separate engagements with Acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Afghan Taliban's interim government. They introduced in detail the Afghan interim government's domestic and foreign policies and made more positive statements on increasing the inclusiveness of the Taliban regime, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, and combating terrorism that China and the international community are concerned about. We also communicated on bilateral exchanges and decided to establish a working-level mechanism. It should be said that these engagements are beneficial and have enhanced mutual understanding.

Wang Yi said that as the situation in Afghanistan is undergoing a major turning point, China first put forward four expectations for the future of Afghanistan, including: first, build a more open and inclusive political structure in which all ethnic groups and factions should participate and play a role; second, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, including the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of women and children; third, make a clear break with all terrorist forces including the Islamic State and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and take measures to resolutely combat them; fourth, pursue a peaceful foreign policy and live in harmony with other countries, especially its neighbors.

Wang Yi said that the expectations put forward by China have become the consensus of the international community. The key is how to achieve them. China maintains that the international community should uphold an attitude of equality and respect, engage and communicate with all parties and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and provide active guidance in order to reach those goals. We do not approve of indiscriminately exerting pressure, and we are even more opposed to threats with sanctions. Afghanistan is a sovereign country, and the Afghan nation is a nation with a strong spirit of independence. The history of Afghanistan and many international events prove that pointing fingers at an independent nation often brings counterproductive results. Interfering in the internal affairs of a country at every turn violates the basic norms of international relations. As long as we remain patient, proceed step by step, and actively interact with the Afghan interim government and other parties and ethnic groups, I believe the Afghan Taliban will be able to understand more clearly what actions are more in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of the Afghan people, as well as the expectations of all parties, in order to be more smoothly integrated into the international community.

Wang Yi stressed that China is Afghanistan's neighboring country and the two peoples enjoy long-lasting and friendly exchanges. Many Afghan friends said that China is a big country that has never bullied Afghanistan and a great neighboring country to Afghanistan as well. China's policy toward Afghanistan is clear and consistent. We respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respect the Afghan people's active exploration of a development path that suits its own national conditions, and respect the objective reality of the Afghan interim government's efforts on governance throughout the country. China has never interfered in Afghanistan's internal affairs, nor has it sought its own interests or a sphere of influence in Afghanistan. We will continue to listen to the voices and needs of the Afghan people and play a constructive role in restoring stability and achieving development in Afghanistan within our capacity.

Wang Yi said that regarding the temporary difficulties facing Afghanistan, we need to point out clearly that the United States and some Western countries bear the unshirkable responsibility. China calls on and urges these countries to assume their due responsibilities and take practical actions as soon as possible to effectively help alleviate any potential humanitarian crisis and truly do some practical work for the Afghan people's benefit. The international community should make concerted efforts to ensure the implementation of the "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" principle.

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