China’s position paper conducive to peace and development in Afghanistan, experts say

China's position paper on the Afghan issue has drawn a blueprint for the future development of Afghanistan, said Najibullah Jami, a professor and political analyst at the Kabul University.

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang (2nd L, Front) chairs the second informal meeting of foreign ministers of China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran on the Afghan issue in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on April 13, 2023. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)

(Xinhua) — Being in line with the interests of the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community, China’s position paper on the Afghan issue will help Afghanistan achieve peace and development at an early date, as well as play a positive and constructive role in maintaining regional prosperity and stability, said experts.

In the position paper released on Wednesday, China expressed support for prudent governance and reconstruction of Afghanistan and its counter-terrorism efforts. It also urged the United States to live up to its commitments to and responsibilities for Afghanistan and called for international and regional coordination on the Afghan issue.

Afghan Taliban appreciates and welcomes China’s release of the position paper on Afghanistan, and respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the Afghan interim government, who thanked China for its long-term political support to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan understands China’s security concerns, will never allow any forces to use the Afghan territory to harm China’s national interests, and will spare no efforts to protect the safety of Chinese institutions and citizens in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said on Thursday during a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

He also expressed the hope to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and to strengthen bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

The paper provides a comprehensive explanation of China’s policy on the Afghan issue and will play a positive role in achieving peace and stability for Afghanistan and its neighboring countries, said Najibullah Jami, a professor and political analyst at the Kabul University.

In the position paper, China welcomes Afghanistan’s participation in Belt and Road cooperation and supports Afghanistan’s integration into regional economic cooperation and connectivity that will transform Afghanistan from a “land-locked country” into a “land-linked country,” Jami said.

“The position paper has drawn a blueprint for the future development of Afghanistan,” he said. “It is not only a new beginning for Afghanistan … but also a new opportunity for the further development of bilateral relations.”

Zahir Behzad, an economics researcher from the Technical Vocational Education and Training Authority of Afghanistan, said that China will play a vital role in helping Afghanistan to achieve peaceful reconstruction and stable development.

“Afghanistan, located in the heart of Eurasia, was once an important stop along the Silk Road, and we expect that China’s initiative can help Afghanistan become a land of prosperity again,” Behzad said.

There is no doubt that the United States bears primary responsibility for today’s situation in Afghanistan. It should play a more active role in areas such as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and post-war reconstruction there, said Oleg Timofeyev, an associate professor at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

China emphasizes in the paper that under the new circumstances, Afghanistan should become a platform for cooperation among all parties, rather than a venue for geopolitical games. “This is an admirable position. China is working hard to expand international consensus on the Afghan issue, and the results are promising,” he said.

China attaches importance to dialogue and development but sticks to its fundamental principle of non-interference, said Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, chief executive officer of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development.

“So China lets Afghan people decide about that governance system and support them with economic and development opportunities. I think it will bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan, which will be beneficial for that region and the world,” he said.

Chairman of the Association of Political Scientists of Tajikistan Saifullo Safarov considers China as a guarantor of security and stability in the region which has been proved by the position paper, bringing hope to all who are concerned about the future of Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

“This paper, one of the most constructive documents on a global scale, can play a crucial role in establishing order and stability in Afghanistan and in maintaining peace in the region. We look forward to relevant parties responding to China’s constructive proposal,” he said.

The position paper shows that China is looking for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and is ready to help Afghan people to develop their own country, which is beneficial to the whole region and China itself, said Mohammad Reza Manafi, editor-in-chief for the Asia-Pacific news desk of Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

Xinhua News Agency

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