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Ambassador Deng Xijun attends the Special Session on Afghanistan and Regional Cooperation: Ongoing Efforts and Existing Challenges and Delivers a speech


On 2nd December 2013, the Center for Strategic Studies of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and the Delhi Policy Group jointly held the Special Session on Afghanistan and Regional Cooperation: Ongoing Efforts and Existing Challenges. H.E. Mr. Yahya Maroofi, Minister Advisor to the President on International Affairs, H.E. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, Chief of General Staff of the Afghan National Army, H.E. Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, Secretary General of the High Peace Council, Dr. Faramarz Tamanna, Director General of the Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Radha Kumar, Director General of the Delhi Policy Group and other 80 representatives from the Afghan Government, Diplomatic Corps in Kabul, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and think-tanks were present. H.E. Mr. Deng Xijun, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Afghanistan was invited to attend and deliver a speech at the event.

The full text of Ambassador Deng’s speech is as follows:

H.E. Mr. Yahya Maroofi, Minister Advisor to the President on International Affairs,

Distinguished Dr. Faramarz Tamanna, Director General of the Center for Strategic Studies of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Distinguished Dr. Radha Kumar, Director General of the Delhi Policy Group,

Distinguished friends, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a privilege for me to attend this meaningful session. First of all, I would like to appreciate the efforts made by the Center for Strategic Studies and the Delhi Policy Group for organizing this meeting.

Just now, I listened attentively to the speeches by H.E. Maroofi and other Speakers. Their viewpoints are very constructive and encouraging. Confronted with existing problems and emerging challenges in the region, we could find a way to solve the problems through change and opening up and realize common development by mutual-benefit cooperation. The Change and opening up are of twins, coexistent with each other and energized by each other, which also exactly explain the fast economic growth of China over the past 35 years. Last month, the Communist Party of China held its 3rd plenary session of 18th Central Committee and made strategic deployment for fully deepening reform. Expanding opening up and establishing a new system of an open economy are important parts of China’s reform agenda in the future. China will further ease the foreign investment access, accelerate the construction of free trade area, expand opening-up of the inland and border areas, and expand common grounds of interests with other countries.

In this new period, China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening up. China will more actively participate in the regional cooperation, and uphold the principles of region-led and region-owned, mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation, as well as work together with other countries to maintain regional peace and stability, and deepen regional cooperation to drive economic development and improve people's livelihood.

China's neighborhood area has always been a priority on its regional cooperation. China held a conference on China's neighborhood diplomacy one month ago, during which the Chinese President Xi Jinping made important remarks. He underlined China's commitment to forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors and fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. He also highlighted the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness that guides China's efforts to build a neighborhood of greater peace, stability, development and prosperity and China's desire to bring more benefits to its neighbors and contribute to common development through its own development. The speech of President Xi marked the guiding principle of China's neighborhood diplomatic policy in the next 5 to 10 years. The new Chinese leadership this year has proposed a series of the strategic conceptions such as the Silk Road Economic Belt, Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which are new important opportunities for China to further widen its mutual-benefit cooperation with the neighboring countries including Afghanistan.

China and Afghanistan are more than neighbours. The interests and fates of the two countries are closely interlinked. China consistently and actively participates in the Afghan peace and reconstruction process. Over the years, China helped build projects of water conservancy, hospitals, schools, roads and office buildings, promoted bilateral exchanges between parliaments, political parties, local authorities, business community and media, and offered scholarship to hundreds of Afghan students. So far the Chinese Government has given assistance of over 200 million USD to the Afghan side. During Afghan President Karzai's fifth state visit to China in this September, the leaders of both sides reached a range of important consensus and signed a series of cooperation agreements. China will continue to support Afghanistan to safeguard its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, push forward and participate in the Afghan peace and reconstruction process as well as respect the development path chosen by the Afghan people in accordance with their own national conditions, support Afghanistan for achieving smooth transition and for improving and developing relations with other countries in the region. China hopes the 2014 presidential election in Afghanistan will be held smoothly and the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" reconciliation process will make substantive progress at an early date. China will continue to provide assistance within its own capacity through bilateral and multilateral channels, encourage the Chinese companies to invest and do business in Afghanistan and deepen the bilateral communication and cooperation in all fields, with a view of helping Afghanistan achieve peace, stability, independence and development through concrete actions.

Afghanistan is an important country in the region. The situation of Afghanistan is closely connected to the peace and stability of the whole region. To achieve the stability and development of Afghanistan requires the sincere support and cooperation of the international community and regional countries. We are glad to see that the regional countries and international community continuously enhance their engagement, cooperation and support to Afghanistan. China always actively participates and plays a unique and constructive role in the international and regional cooperation on Afghanistan. China will host and co-chair the 2014 Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan and would like to work together with Afghanistan, participating members and supporting countries as well as all relative international and regional organizations to realize the substantial progress in the cooperation of 6 CBMs and the success of the conference.

China welcomes Afghanistan to play an active role in the Silk Road Economic Belt. As mentioned by H.E. Maroofi and Dr. Kumar just now in their speeches, on September 7th of this year, President Xi Jinping proposed the strategic conception of Silk Road Economic Belt during his visit in Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University. President Karzai positively responded to this idea. The Silk Road Economic Belt connects Asia Pacific and Europe, and is rich in natural resources and cultural heritage. As the hub of central Asia and south Asia, Afghanistan has unique advantage of geographic location. We wish Afghanistan to actively participate in the formation of the Silk Road Economic Belt which features in strengthening policy communication, improving road connectivity, promoting trade facilitation, enhancing monetary circulation and strengthening people-to-people exchanges among the countries and peoples of this region. By sincere cooperation, we can tap regional potentials to the full, inject new impetus into the current regional cooperative programs such as the TAPI, and open up a new prospect for the regional cooperation to benefit the peoples of all regional countries.

I’m sure that Afghanistan will achieve enduring peace, security, stability and prosperity by the joint efforts of the Afghan Government and its people as well as the international community including China.

Thank you.

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