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Beijing urges restraint on Afghanistan

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-21 07:13

Taliban fighters are seen on a military vehicle in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

International community should play positive role in political transition

Beijing has urged the international community to restrain from adding pressure to the Afghanistan situation.

Whether the global community can play a constructive role is one of the key factors behind the political settlement of the Afghanistan issue, said State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in talks with the foreign ministers of Britain and Turkey.

Countries should encourage and guide Afghanistan "in a positive direction" instead of exerting excessive pressure on it, Wang said in a phone conversation with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday.

The political transition by the Taliban and other political forces in the country is still advancing amid hope, mistrust and concern voiced by a number of countries upon its potential political landscape and way of its governance.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to mistrust of the Afghan Taliban, saying on Thursday that "nothing stays unchanged", and "we need to not only listen to what they say, but also look at what they do".

"The global community should pay adequate respect" to Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and the will of its people, engage in more dialogue and offer more guidance, Wang said in the phone talk.

He urged countries to "refrain from a predetermined mindset and exceeding one's duties to meddle in others' affairs", and not turn the Central Asia country into an arena of geopolitical games.

Raab agreed that the international community should sum up its experience and lessons of the Afghan issue.

The UK secretary said that the war-torn nation should not become an epicenter of terrorism once again, and the international community should cooperate on the issue of Afghan refugees.

The international community should encourage and support all the parties and ethnic groups in Afghanistan to work together in solidarity during the process to "open a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan", Wang Yi said in another phone talk with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

Wang hailed the Taliban's pledge to not allow anybody to threaten other countries from Afghan territory, urging the Taliban to draw a line for all terror groups.

Cavusoglu echoed Wang's view on the Afghanistan issue, saying that Beijing's position respects the choice of the Afghan people and also encourages the Taliban to act in a responsible manner.

"Facts show that Beijing has no selfish interests over the Afghanistan issue, and it has an earnest hope the country can secure peace and stability," said Yang Cheng, a professor at Shanghai International Studies University and executive president of the Shanghai Academy of Global Governance and Area Studies.

What China seeks is not only to respect the choice of the Afghan people, but also the Taliban honoring its commitment to an open, inclusive government, a steady political transition, a crackdown on terror and other crimes and a safe homeland for its people, he noted.

"These propositions are of great significance and show Beijing's great consistency in policy," Yang said.

Sports not political issue

In his talk with Raab, State Councilor Wang has criticized some political figures' attempts to politicize sports and call for boycotting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

This is "a serious violation of the Olympic Charter and the athletes' rights and interests", Wang said.

The new Olympic motto, which reads "Faster, Higher, Stronger-Together", epitomizes the right direction for the Olympic cause, he said, adding that China welcomes British athletes' better performances in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Raab agreed that sports should not be politicized, saying that the British Olympic Committee will make an independent decision on the participation of British athletes in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

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