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Concentrate Strength by Common Dream Win the Future by Sincere Cooperation
By Deng Xijun
2013/10/12

On 12 October 2013, Chinese Ambassador Deng Xijun published an article titled Concentrate Strength by Common Dream   Win the Future by Sincere Cooperation in the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. The article is attached as follows:

2013 is an extraordinary year. The new Chinese Government took office in this March and pursued its new governing policy with the Chinese characteristics. The Afghan National Security Force will be taking the lead of security responsibility across the country. H.E. President Hamid Karzai just paid his fifth state visit to China. Both China and Afghanistan have been in the new period and at a new starting point. I hereafter would like to express my perspectives on China, Chinese diplomacy and China-Afghanistan relationship respectively.

Chinese Development in the new period

The new Chinese leadership put forward the strategic conception of the Chinese Dream, which means prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation and happiness of the people. We are striving to achieve the dream by two centennial goals, namely the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects when the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary in 2020 and the realization of turning China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious when the People's Republic of China marks its centennial in 2049.

Since its foundation 64 years ago, China has made a series of remarkable achievements on the way to realize the Chinese Dream. China has been transformed into an increasingly prosperous and powerful country of industry from a poor and backward country of agriculture. Especially after adoption of the reform and opening up policy in 1978, the Chinese economy roared ahead with annual growth of 10%, which has lifted more than 500 million people out of poverty. Now China is the world's second largest economy with the GDP of 8.2 trillion US dollars in 2012. China has the world's largest foreign exchange reserve of 3.44 trillion US dollars. However, we still have a long way to go before realizing the Chinese Dream. China remains in the primary stage of socialism as its gross national income per capita ranks around the 90th place in the world with the number of poor totaling over 100 million now, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remains its big problem. Moreover, China's industrial structure is not yet rational, the capacity for scientific and technological innovation is weak, resource and environmental constraints have become more serious, as well as the development gap between urban and rural areas and between regions is still large.

Therefore, the Chinese Government has made clear that its policy was to sustain economic growth, improve people's wellbeing and promote social equity by taking a holistic approach in pursuing steady growth, structural readjustment and further reform, as well as fully exploring the huge potential by reform and focusing more on the quality of growth rather than speed and quantity. China's growth in the coming years will be bolstered by resource conservation and environment protection, and driven by technological innovation and advance, which will upgrade the Chinese economy. The Chinese Government attaches more importance to the coordinated growth with sufficient employment and growing household income to ensure the fruits of development benefit its entire people. In the first half of 2013, China's GDP grew by 7.6 percent with inflation at 2.4 percent and surveyed unemployment at around 5 percent. While in the same period, 7.25 million new urban jobs were created. The real economy was active as well as urban employment situation continued to improve and prices were generally stable with enhanced market confidence and growing public expectations. We are well placed to sustain a healthy economic growth in the long run. The prospect for China's development is undoubtedly bright.

The Chinese Diplomacy in the new period

During the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, new Chinese Foreign Minister declared solemnly that China, now at a new starting point, will stay firmly on the path of peaceful development, remain committed to reform, opening up and sustainable development, firmly promote reform of the global governance system with the United Nations at its core as well as firmly fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations.

The Chinese dream is closely linked with dreams of other peoples around the world. As a responsible major country, China pays high attention to benefit the world with its development. China has become the largest exporting country and the second largest importing country in the world, with an annual average contribution rate of China's economy to world economic growth reaching 20%. By 2012, China's foreign direct investment has been over 532 billion US dollars, with which more than 22 thousand enterprises were set up in 179 countries and regions. In the coming five years, China's commodity imports will reach 10 trillion US dollars with outbound investments 500 billion US dollars and 400 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas. China has become a major engine driving world economic growth and played an important role in responding to the international financial crisis.

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the strategic conception of jointly building an "economic belt along the Silk Road" not long ago, which is a major measure of China to actively promote the regional cooperation, development and revival. The population in the economic belt along the Silk Road is nearly 3 billion with a great potential in the cooperation of marketing, trade and investment. China would like to sincerely work with the regional countries including Afghanistan to strengthen policy communication and coordination,improve cross-border transportation infrastructure, fully explore the potential of the regional cooperation to benefit the people of every country in the region as well as renew and instill new impetus to the traditional Silk Road towards a road of peace and stability, opening up and cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win.

China-Afghanistan Relationship in the new period

The Chinese Dream is closely connected with the Afghan Dream of enduring peace, security, stability and prosperity. China and Afghanistan are good neighbours and brothers geographically. China pays high attention to develop the friendship with Afghanistan, always actively participates and plays a unique and constructive role in the international and regional cooperation on Afghanistan, provides assistance within its own capacity through bilateral and multilateral channel with a view of helping Afghanistan achieve peace, stability, independence and development through concrete actions. During the visit to China last month, H.E. President Kaizai had bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The leaders of both side reached broad consensus on bilateral relations, regional and international issues of common interest. The two countries issued Joint Statement on Deepening Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, signed a series of cooperation agreements such as the Extradition Treaty, the Agreement on Economic and Technological Cooperation, and the Memorandum of Understanding between Shaanxi Normal University and Kabul University. Both side agreed to enhance their cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and security fields, as well as on regional and international affairs. The Chinese Government promised to provide 200 million RMB grant to the Afghan government for 2013, expressed support for the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process, and readiness to continue to play a constructive role.

China and Afghanistan are good friends and partners in regional and international cooperation. China and Afghanistan both are developing countries with the similar standpoints and thoughts. The two countries have established close, abroad and effective cooperation in multilateral mechanisms such as Shanghai Cooperation Organization, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, as well as under the framework of UN. President Xi Jinping's initiative of an economic belt along the Silk Road was positively responded by President Karzai. With its unique advantage of geographic location and huge potential in natural resources, Afghanistan can definitely play an active and crucial role in regional connectivity, facilitation of transit trade, commercial investment and energy and mining resources exploration. China and Afghanistan will co-chair the 2014 Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan. China will join hands closely with the Afghan side to make the conference a success, so as to promote the peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and the region at large.

In this new period, China will work together with Afghanistan to deepen the bilateral Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, keep substantiating the pragmatic cooperation, and spare no effort for the early realization of the Afghan Dream and a bright future of common stability and prosperity.

(H.E. Mr. Deng Xijun is the current Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Afghanistan)

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