China's Xi promises support for Afghan reconstruction
DPABEIJING -- China will expand its role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and strengthen economic ties with its neighbour, President Xi Jinping said Friday.
September 28, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
“China will continually provide help for the peaceful reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan within its capacity,” state media quoted Xi as telling Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Xi said the two nations should strengthen cooperation in economic and trade fields, exploitation of minerals and energy, and infrastructure construction, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.
“China supports those [Chinese] companies with the capacity to invest in Afghanistan,” Xi was quoted as saying.
The two nations issued a joint statement on strengthening their “strategic cooperation partnership,” while Xi and Karzai witnessed the signing of agreements on an extradition treaty and economic and technological cooperation, the broadcaster said.
Speaking to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday, Afghan Foreign Minister Zulmai Rasoul said he hoped China would be “actively involved” in Afghanistan's planned military, political and economic transition over the next year, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The agency quoted a presidential spokesman as saying Karzai planned to discuss with Xi training for Afghan security forces and speeding up the development of Afghanistan's Aynak copper mine.
In a speech at the Brookings Institute in Washington last week, Wang said China and the United States had common interests in Afghanistan and could expand cooperation there.
“We both hope Afghanistan will continue to maintain stability after next year, or the U.S. troop pull-out,” Wang said.
“We both hope to see the reconstruction of Afghanistan and we both don't want to see the resurgence of terrorism.”
The US is expected to withdraw most of its troops from Afghanistan next year.
A China-US training programme for Afghan diplomats was a “small but very good example” of their cooperation, Wang said.