Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
1. At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, at the head of a delegation, paid an official visit to China on 15-18 May 2016. President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping met with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Premier Li Keqiang held formal talks with Afghanistan’s Chief Executive, and Vice President of the People’s Republic of China Li Yuanchao met with the Chief Executive. Abdullah Abdullah also visited Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
2. Leaders of both countries agreed that, since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1955, the two countries have enjoyed mutual understanding and mutual support. The two sides expressed satisfaction over the substantial progress achieved in China-Afghanistan relations since the commencement of peace and reconstruction process and new legitimate political order of Afghanistan. Both sides decided to further deepen China-Afghanistan Strategic and Cooperative Partnership and strengthen their cooperation in the political, security, economic and cultural fields and on international and regional affairs in the new era for the welfare of the two peoples.
3. Both sides undertook to firmly support each other on state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and stressed on mutual respect and cooperation, with special emphasis on mutual understanding and support in areas of common interest. The Afghan side reaffirmed its commitment to the one China policy and firm support for China’s positions on issues related to Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang and stated that Afghanistan would not allow its territory to be used by any forces for any separatist activities against China. The Chinese side expressed its appreciation for Afghanistan’s support on issues concerning China’s core interests and stated that China would respect and support the Afghan people’s national struggle for peace, stability and economic prosperity, and their choice of development path in line with their national conditions.
4. The Chinese side introduced the latest developments in the South China Sea and China’s position. The two sides call on the countries concerned to resolve territory and maritime disputes and differences through friendly consultations and negotiations in accordance with bilateral agreements and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Both sides stressed that the right to settle disputes by the means of their own choice by the sovereign states and the State Parties of UNCLOS should be respected.
5. The Chinese side firmly supports the Afghan National Unity Government in its governance and realization of political, economic and security transformation in Afghanistan. The Chinese side firmly supports the broad-based and inclusive peace and reconciliation process which is “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” and hopes to see early realization of lasting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, towards which it will render all possible moral and practical assistance and support.
6. Under bilateral and multilateral mechanisms like the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, the Chinese side will support Afghanistan and play its constructive role and encourage the international community and the countries in the region for their full cooperation to create favorable conditions for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The Chinese side calls on all Afghan armed opposition groups to participate in the reconciliation process with Afghan Government, in order to put an end to the ongoing violence and usher in lasting peace in the country. The Afghan side appreciates and welcomes the constructive role of China in Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation efforts.
7. Both sides believe that high-level exchanges are of special significance to the development of the bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to maintain frequent high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust and hold meetings between leaders of the two countries on bilateral and multilateral occasions, in order to exchange views on issues of common interest. The two sides will further promote exchanges and cooperation between governments, legislatures, judicial bodies and political parties of the two countries.
8. The Chinese Government will continue to support peace and reconstruction work of the Afghan Government, provide assistance to Afghanistan within its capabilities and actively conduct bilateral economic and technical cooperation. In 2016, the Chinese Government will provide RMB500 million of aid gratis to the Afghan Government for the mutually agreed projects. The two sides agreed to start the feasibility study on construction of low-cost affordable housing in Afghanistan within this year. China will implement the Kabul University main building and auditorium project and provide Afghanistan with approximately RMB50 million of non-emergency humanitarian aid in kind. China will support Afghanistan in capacity building and continue to provide training programs for Afghan professionals in various fields in line with the needs of Afghanistan. China would like to help Afghanistan enhance its self-development ability through bilateral cooperation and will work with the Afghan side to formulate the Afghan government’s national infrastructure plan and set priority areas. The Afghan side expressed its heartfelt appreciation for China’s sincere assistance to the peace and reconstruction process in Afghanistan over the years.
9. The two sides agreed to make full use of the China-Afghanistan Joint Committee on Economics and Trade (JCET) and to explore ways to expand and deepen bilateral commercial and investment cooperation. To strengthen investment cooperation between the two countries is in line with the fundamental interests of both sides and has great cooperation potential and development space. The two sides expressed their concerns on the slowness of the Aynak copper mine project and the Amu Darya basin oil project, and thus agreed to carry out friendly consultations to promote practical progress in this regard, so as to help Afghanistan develop its economy and improve its people’s livelihoods. The Chinese side will encourage and support capable Chinese enterprises to invest in Afghanistan and carry out information, communications and other infrastructure projects. China would like to explore flexible and diversified cooperation forms with the Afghan side based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. The Afghan side will provide necessary facilitation for Chinese enterprises making investment in Afghanistan and ensure the safety of the relevant projects and personnel in accordance with laws and regulations of Afghanistan. The competent authorities of the two sides will cooperate actively and step up their work to complete the access protocol for Afghan saffron, the access assessment for pine nuts, pomegranate and realize the export of these products to China at an early date, and work on facilitating the export of other fresh and dry fruits to China in the future.
10. Both sides agreed that construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt would be significant to promoting pragmatic cooperation between China and Afghanistan and the region. China will continue to strongly support Afghanistan’s efforts in regional cooperation and integration in line with its position as a natural land bridge and roundabout in the Heart of Asia region. China welcomes the active participation of Afghanistan in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, proposed by China. Afghanistan will continue to make concerted efforts to use its geographic and resources advantages to become an active participant in regional connectivity- in energy, transportation, transit and regional trade. Afghanistan reiterated its support for the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and expressed firm willingness to carry out close cooperation with China to push forward the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The two sides exchanged views on the China-Kyrghyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran Railway project, and agreed to maintain communications on this issue.
Both sides agreed to strengthen information and communications connectivity between the two countries and support the cooperation on Afghan sat-2 and the construction of Euro-Asia Information Highway. Both sides will encourage enterprises of their respective countries to conduct cooperation in information and communications infrastructure in the principle of complementary advantages and mutual benefit.
11. Both sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in cultural and educational fields and further enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. The Chinese side will continue to encourage and support Afghan students to study in China. In each of the five years starting from 2016, China will provide 50 additional scholarships to Afghanistan. The Chinese side will continue to support the Afghan side in running the Confucius Institute at Kabul University and will support Afghanistan to promote Chinese language teaching by providing Confucius Institute scholarships, training local Chinese language teachers, dispatching more Chinese teachers and volunteers to Afghanistan, donating Chinese language textbooks and other books, etc. The Chinese side will consider building new Confucius Institutes in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and other cities to be agreed by the two sides. The Chinese side is willing to enhance cooperation with the Afghan side in health-related human resources, public health emergency response, commodity inspection, animal and plant quarantine, food safety, health quarantine and agricultural areas. The two countries will further strengthen communication and cooperation in the field of agriculture. The Chinese side is ready to carry out cooperation with the Afghan side in dryland farming, crops production, processing and trade of agricultural products, animal husbandry, veterinary and capability building. The Chinese side will train 30 to 50 Afghan agricultural management personnel and technicians in the next three years.
12. The two sides appreciated the trilateral cooperation between China, Afghanistan and the United States in the development field, and agreed to conduct more China, Afghanistan plus one cooperation on the basis of consent through consultation on equal footing.
13. The two sides are firmly against terrorism, extremism and separatism and organized crimes in any form or manifestation. The two sides agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the security field. The Afghan side reaffirmed its strong support to China in combating the “the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement” and undermining groups supporting its activities and its intention to take concrete measures to ensure the security of Chinese institutions and nationals in Afghanistan. The Chinese side expressed appreciation for the Afghan government’s commitment and resolve to continue to cooperate with China in cracking down on “the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement”. China is ready to deepen cooperation with Afghanistan in counter-terrorism and drug control, provide training courses for Afghans in these areas and provide assistance to Afghans in capacity development. The two sides agreed to speed up the approval of The Bilateral Extradition Treaty and, in accordance with respective laws and regulations of the two countries, strengthen information exchange and border control, conduct joint law enforcement operations, crack down on cross-border illegal activities such as illegal immigration, human trafficking, arms smuggling and drug trafficking, and cooperate in disaster prevention and mitigation and other fields of non-traditional security.
14. Both sides pointed out that to cope with the deep and complicated changes in the international and regional circumstances, both sides would strengthen their coordination and cooperation under international and regional mechanisms and maintain communication and coordinate their positions on major international and regional issues.
Both sides agreed that it is in the fundamental interest of the Afghan people to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan, which is also the common aspiration of countries in the region. Both sides agreed to continue their efforts to promote peace, stability and development of Afghanistan and the whole region. The Chinese side supports the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in playing a positive role in peace and development of Afghanistan. Afghanistan expressed its hope to become a formal member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at an early date, which China values and welcomes. The Afghan side appreciates China’s contribution to the developments in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and supports China in deepening its relations with SAARC. Both sides agreed to enhance communication and coordination under multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations.
15. The two sides signed cooperation documents in the fields of economic and technical cooperation, connectivity, inspection and quarantine.
16. Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, and his delegation appreciated the warm hospitality accorded to him during his visit to China. Abdullah Abdullah invited Premier Li Keqiang to pay an official visit to Afghanistan at a convenient time, and Premier Li Keqiang expressed his thanks in this regard.