Working Together in Support of a Bright Future for Afghanistan
– Remarks by Wang Yi, Special Representative of H.E. President Xi Jinping and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, at the G20 Extraordinary Leaders' Meeting on Afghanistan
12 October 2021
Your Excellency Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Distinguished Leaders, Colleagues,
Afghanistan today is at a crossroads that could lead to either order and prosperity or turbulence and downslide. The country, which has experienced many sufferings, is finally seeing the prospect of a bright path toward independence, peace and reconstruction. However, complex ethnic and religious tensions remain unresolved. Local conflicts and terrorist activities still persist. Economic and livelihood issues are particularly acute. To achieve genuine peace and stability remains a long and formidable journey.
The experience and lessons of Afghanistan of the past two decades prove once again that the right way for countries to get along with each other is to respect independent choice of the development path by others and embrace inclusiveness and mutual learning among civilizations. Imposing one's own ideology on others, wantonly meddling in others' internal affairs, or even resorting to military intervention will only bring about incessant turbulence and poverty, and cause severe humanitarian disasters.
At a time when Afghanistan faces both challenges and opportunities, difficulties and hopes, we, as major developed countries and emerging market countries, need to leverage G20's specialties and strengths. And on the basis of respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and supporting the basic principle of an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process, we should move to help with the peace, stability, prosperity and development of Afghanistan and the region. To this end, China would like to make four proposals:
First, we should put people's livelihood first and help Afghanistan tackle the humanitarian crisis. Afghanistan now faces food shortage, the spread of COVID-19, and other severe difficulties. The coming winter will take an even heavier toll on people's life. We must provide urgently needed assistance as quickly as possible to help ease the plight of the Afghan people. In this connection, we should all support the role of the United Nations as the coordinator. China is accelerating the shipment of 200-million-yuan worth of emergency aid to Afghanistan, including food, winter supplies, vaccines and medicine. And the first batch of aid has been delivered. Countries which caused the difficult situation in Afghanistan should draw lessons, shoulder their responsibilities in earnest, prevent humanitarian crises and refugee outflows, and avoid creating new shocks to the neighboring countries and the international community.
Second, we should bear in mind both the near and long-term needs and help Afghanistan embark on a path of open and inclusive development. The international community should take a well-conceived and realistic approach, pursue dialogue and engagement with various parties in Afghanistan, support the Afghan people in independently choosing a development path suitable to their national conditions, and encourage and guide Afghanistan to ultimately build a broad-based and inclusive political structure and adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies. The fundamental solution to the Afghanistan issue lies in helping the country continue to advance peace and reconstruction, and achieve virtuous economic and social development. The international community should take further concrete actions to this end. Countries that still have unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan should remove them as soon as possible. International financial institutions should scale up funding support for Afghanistan's poverty reduction and infrastructure programs. All parties need to work together to help Afghanistan get on to the track of sustainable development at an early date.
Third, we should be zero-tolerant for terrorism and ensure that Afghanistan is free of it. Terrorism played a part in prolonging the Afghan war and turmoil that lasted for decades. This tumor must be removed. We need to urge the relevant parties in Afghanistan to make an early decision on counterterrorism and to take credible actions; and at the same time, we should also get the international community to work together to build a united front against terrorism, abandon double standards and selective approaches, and prevent Afghanistan from slipping back into a breeding ground and sanctuary of terrorism.
Fourth, we should build broad consensus and form synergy among various Afghanistan-related mechanisms. The Afghan situation is evolving with important impact on the security and stability of the region and beyond, and various multilateral mechanisms are trying to play an active part. It is important to ensure that the United Nations remains the main channel in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and providing humanitarian assistance, and promote complementarity and synergy among various Afghanistan-related multilateral mechanisms, so as to foster an enabling external environment for Afghanistan's peace and reconstruction and sustained development. The G20 should stick to its role as a forum for international economic cooperation, and focus on pooling wisdom and advancing cooperation from economic perspectives including humanitarian assistance and peace and reconstruction.
Distinguished Leaders, Colleagues,
China stands ready to join hands with all parties to help Afghanistan turn a new page in its history and support the Afghan people in realizing a bright future of peace and prosperity.