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Li Yuanchao Attends Reception for the 60th Anniversary of China-Afghanistan Diplomatic Ties

2015/11/04

On November 3, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani attended the reception marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Afghanistan.

Li Yuanchao said that the recent massive earthquake that hit northern Afghanistan has caused severe loss of life and property. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent messages of sympathy and condolences to President Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The Chinese government has announced a 10 million yuan of humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan, which has already arrived today at the Kabul airport. I have been entrusted by President Xi Jinping to announce on behalf of the Chinese government and people, the provision of another one million US dollars of grants in emergency aid to the Afghan government. Previously, the Red Cross Society of China has provided 100 thousand dollars of emergency assistance in cash for disaster relief. We are convinced that under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Afghan people will prevail over the difficulty and rebuild their home.

Li Yuanchao said that as close neighbors, people of the two countries enjoy time-honored exchanges. Over 2,000 years ago, the two peoples were connected by the ancient Silk Road. Sixty years ago, the establishment of diplomatic relations opened a new era of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Looking back at the past extraordinary 60 years, the two countries have stood with each other in time of difficulty and joined hands in pursuing common development in time of peace. The two countries have established a strategic cooperative partnership and the friendship between the two peoples has grown ever stronger.

Li Yuanchao pointed out that the sound and steady growth of China-Afghanistan relations can be attributed to the following reasons: First, leaders of successive generations of both countries have kept our relations on the right track from a strategic perspective; second, both countries have been committed to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, treated each other with respect and as equals; third, we have engaged in win-win cooperation, and the livelihood projects China has undertaken in Afghanistan have brought the two peoples closer; fourth, we have had close coordination in regional and international affairs to uphold the common interests of our two countries and all developing countries.

Li Yuanchao said that Afghanistan is in the first year of its transformation decade and has embarked on a historic journey toward a new Afghanistan under the leadership of the national unity government. The Chinese people are now striving to achieve the two centenary goals and realize the Chinese dream of great national renewal. Our two peoples share the same aspiration for better lives and enjoy broad prospects of cooperation for common development. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, both sides should better implement the important consensus reached between the two presidents and move forward the China-Afghanistan strategic cooperative partnership.

Li Yuanchao stressed that both sides should maintain high-level visits and meetings and effectively implement bilateral development cooperation projects. China will meet its commitment of providing 1.5 billion yuan of grants to Afghanistan in three years' time. This year China will provide 500 million yuan to build affordable housing. China is willing to help Afghanistan draw up an infrastructure development plan to enhance connectivity with its neighbors. China welcomes Afghanistan to take an active part in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. Both sides should deepen counter-terrorism, defense and security cooperation and jointly uphold security and stability of the two countries and the region at large. China supports the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" reconciliation process and effort by Afghanistan to improve relations with its neighbors. The two sides will strengthen cooperation in the Istanbul Process, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other regional and international mechanisms, and urge the international community to increase support and fulfill assistance commitments to Afghanistan.

Ghani said that China is a reliable neighbor of Afghanistan. Bilateral relations have made great headway in the 60 years of diplomatic relations. Afghanistan appreciated China's significant and constructive role in the Afghan peace and reconstruction process. The Afghan side stands ready to enhance its strategic cooperation with the Chinese side, actively participate in the Belt and Road initiative, and promote Afghanistan-China relationship.

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