China willing to settle Afghan upheaval with US on the premise of mutual respect: Chinese FM
Published: Aug 17, 2021 03:42 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Photo:

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Photo:


The hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused a severely adverse impact on the situation in Afghanistan and it would not be responsible if it continues to create new problems, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a phone talk with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday. Wang said that China is willing to coordinate with the US on the premise of mutual respect.

The phone call was conducted at the request of the US side. Wang elaborated on China's position on the situation in Afghanistan, saying that facts have once again proved that it is difficult to gain a foothold in a country with a completely different history, culture and national conditions by mechanically copying foreign models. 

A regime cannot stand without the support of its people, and using power and military means to solve problems will only cause more problems, Wang noted.

Wang urged the US to play a constructive role in helping Afghanistan maintain stability, prevent chaos and rebuild peacefully.

China stands ready to have dialogue with the US to push for a soft landing of the Afghan issue, so that a new civil war or humanitarian disaster will be prevented in Afghanistan and the country will not relapse into a hotbed and shelter for terrorism, Wang said, adding that China encourages Afghanistan to establish an open and inclusive political framework in accordance with its own national situations.

Wang went on to say that in the face of various global challenges and urgent regional hotspot issues, the two countries - both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - should carry out coordination and cooperation, which is what the international community is looking forward to.

However, the US cannot, on the one hand, work hard to contain and suppress China, and on the other hand, counts on China's support. Such logic has never existed in international exchanges, Wang said, urging the US to follow a rational and pragmatic policy toward China.

"Wang's remarks have stressed China's attitudes toward the Afghan issue that as a responsible major world power and a close neighbor to the war-torn country, China hopes to see a safe, peaceful Afghanistan after a steady transition of power. But China will never interfere in its internal affairs, nor is it possible for the US to drag China into muddy waters," Diao Daming, associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The Wang-Blinken phone talk also reaffirmed China's pragmatic approach in dealing with relations with the US, and reiterated China's baselines in bilateral exchanges, that is, if the US truly wants to cooperate with China on the Afghan issue, it must respect China and its core interests, Diao noted. 

During the phone talk, the US top diplomat expressed appreciation for China's participation in the Doha meeting on the Afghan issue, noting that the current situation in Afghanistan is entering a crucial stage.

The Taliban should make a clean break with extremism, and opt for an orderly transfer of power and establish an inclusive government, Blinken said, adding that the US recognizes that the fate of Afghanistan should be decided by its people. Blinken also hopes that China will play an important part in the issue, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. 

Blinken agreed that it is the common goal between the two sides to achieve peaceful coexistence. While there are obvious differences between China and the US, he believed they can be resolved in a constructive way in the future.

"The US' request for talks with China and Russia came at a time when the Biden administration' confidence is at a bottom low as shown in the mounting dissatisfaction among the public, after the humiliating 'Saigon moment' in Afghanistan," Diao said. 

The White House wants to convey a message through the talk that the US will not sit aside and do nothing about the Afghan upheaval, but such a discourse is only going through the motions, experts noted, while the real directions of the US on the Afghan issue are already made clear - retreating its troops, refusing to recognize Taliban, and imposing sanctions in the name of "values and human rights."

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), also warned against Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists. "This is the bottom line that must be held firmly for any future political solution in Afghanistan," he said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council held on Monday.

China respects the will and choice of the Afghan people, and believes that a political solution is the only way out for Afghanistan, Geng noted, adding that China hopes the Taliban can unite with all factions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and build a broad-based and inclusive political structure suited to Afghanistan's conditions.