China has never sought selfish gain or a sphere of influence in Afghanistan, says China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi
ISLAMABAD, March 25 (Agencies): China has never interfered in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and never sought selfish gains or a sphere of influence, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a meeting with Afghan Taliban officials in Kabul on Thursday.
Wang met with Acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Afghan Taliban’s interim government earlier in the day. His visit comes ahead of the third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, which is now being prepared by the Chinese side.
China and Afghanistan are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, with bilateral exchanges spanning over a thousand years, Wang said.
He said China respects Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, respects the independent choices of the Afghan people, and respects Afghanistan’s religious beliefs and ethnic habits.
Citing the Afghan saying that China is the only major country that has never harmed Afghanistan, Wang said China is willing to continue the traditional friendship between the two peoples and develop normal, friendly and good-neighborly relations with Afghanistan based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Wang said China is willing to help Afghanistan become independent, achieve independent development, and take Afghanistan’s future and destiny into the Afghan people’s hands.
The Chinese foreign minister arrived in Kabul from Pakistani capital Islamabad, where he attended a two-day meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It was Wang’s first visit to Afghanistan since the Taliban took power last August.
Baradar told Wang that Afghanistan attaches great importance to China’s security concerns and will take pragmatic and firm actions to ensure security across the country as a contribution to safeguarding regional security.
Afghanistan is willing to give play to its unique geographical advantage to fully participate in the building of the Belt and Road and become a bridge for regional interconnectivity, Baradar added.
During his meeting with Muttaqi, Wang said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a terrorist organization listed by the United Nations Security Council and designated by the Chinese government in accordance with the law.
Wang called on the Afghan side to earnestly honor its commitment and take effective measures to resolutely crack down on all terrorist forces including the ETIM.
Muttaqi said that the Afghan side is highly vigilant against the resurgence of terrorism, and will take resolute and strong measures to eliminate the terrorist forces in Afghanistan.
The Afghan caretaker government fully understands China’s concerns and will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to harm the Chinese friends, he said.
Muttaqi thanked China for providing the Afghan people with valuable and much-needed humanitarian assistance that has helped them go through a harsh winter.