U.S. completes withdrawal from Afghanistan

The international community should encourage Afghans towards a positive direction instead of exerting more pressure as the situation is still unstable and the country faces uncertainties, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.

A Foreign Ministry statement said Wang made the remarks during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab that stressed China’s willingness to continue to play a constructive role on the Afghanistan issue under the premise of non-interference in its internal affairs.

Read more: After taking control of Afghanistan, what lies ahead for the Taliban?

Wang said the major change in the situation in Afghanistan reflects that after more than 40 years of war, the Afghan people yearn for stability and do not want another war or chaos.

It also shows that the governance model imposed from outside has not been supported by the Afghan people, and lacks a social foundation, Wang said, adding that relying on military intervention to solve regional hotspot issues will lead nowhere.

The situation in Afghanistan is yet another negative example, and if the United States does not learn from the painful lessons, it will suffer new ones, Wang said.

He noted that as the Afghan issue has entered a critical stage from military to political settlement, the next aspects should be focused on, first, whether the Taliban can unite the Afghan people, establish an open and inclusive political structure in line with the country’s conditions , pursue moderate policies, and avoid triggering new conflicts or even a civil war.

Second, whether Afghanistan can draw a clear line from terrorism, resolutely crack down on all kinds of terrorist organizations and avoid becoming a gathering place for terrorists again.

Third, whether the international community could play a constructive role. Wang said the international community should fully respect the independence and sovereignty of Afghanistan and the will of its people, conduct more dialogue and provide more guidance, refrain from a predetermined mindset and exceeding one’s duties to meddle in others’ affairs, and not turn Afghanistan into an arena of geopolitical games.

The Chinese senior official stressed that the international community should encourage and guide the country in a positive direction. This, Wang said, is conducive to the early political transition by the Taliban and other political forces in the country, the stabilization of the domestic situation in Afghanistan, and the reduction of the impact of refugees and immigrants.

China-UK ties

Wang said that there were some positive signs recently at the low ebb of China-Britain ties and China agreed with a remark by Raab that it should be cooperation, rather than divergence, that defines bilateral relations.

Wang added the premise of cooperation between countries is mutual respect, especially in each other’s path of development and core concerns. In the meantime, the mutually beneficial cooperation should be carried out openly and inclusively so as to gradually enhance stability and foreseeability in the bilateral relationship, he said.

Cooperation against COVID-19

Wang emphasized that solidarity remains the top priority of all countries in the fight against COVID-19 and origins tracing is a scientific issue that should not be kidnapped by politics, adding that it is also unacceptable to ignore or even overturn the conclusions and suggestions of the joint China-WHO study report because of political needs.

He said China is willing to continuously enhance communication with the British side in fields related to vaccine, treatment and origins tracing so as to jointly contribute to the safety of human health.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Wang pointed out that a “pan-political” trend is witnessed frequently in the international community recently as some even attempt to “politicize” sports and hype up “boycotting” the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, adding it is a serious violation of the Olympic Charter and athletes’ rights.

He said that adding “together” to the Olympic motto reflects a correct direction for the Olympic cause, and China welcomes British athletes to have better performances in the Beijing Winter Olympics. China, together with other countries of the world, is willing to host a simple, safe and wonderful Winter Olympics.

The foreign ministry statement said Raab congratulated Chinese athletes on their impressive results achieved at the Tokyo Olympics, agreeing that sports should not be politicized. He said the British Olympic Committee will make an independent decision on the participation of British athletes in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Similarly, the UK also believes that international anti-pandemic cooperation should not be politicized, Raab said, adding that Britain is ready to develop positive bilateral relations with China, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy, finance, and health.

Raab agreed that the international community should sum up the experience and lessons of the Afghanistan issue and the country should not become an epicenter of terrorism again.

The international community should cooperate on the issue of Afghan refugees, Raab said, noting that Britain has announced that it will take in 20,000 Afghan refugees and is ready to increase humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan in support of the United Nations in helping neighboring countries. of Afghanistan to accept Afghan refugees.

Britain and China can strengthen coordination on the Afghan issue, Raab said.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover: Taliban fighters patrol in Herat after taking over the city, Herat, Afghanistan, August 18, 2021. / CFP)