Xi, Putin stress strengthening coordination on Afghanistan, against foreign interference in phone call
Published: Aug 25, 2021 08:41 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold talks via video link on Monday. The two leaders issued a joint statement during the event, officially deciding to extend the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. Photos: Xinhua, AFP

File photos: Xinhua, AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Russia and the international community on the Afghan issue and stressed that China and Russia should deepen cooperation against interference in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.   

The top leaders of the two countries also agreed that given the complicated changes in the international and regional situation, it is important and necessary for the two sides to communicate on key bilateral and multilateral issues and stay in close contact.

They also talked about a series of achievements of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era and the joint efforts in fighting against COVID-19. 

Xi stressed that China respects Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, insists on not interfering in its domestic affairs, and has always played a constructive role in promoting a political solution to the Afghan issue.  

Xi said that China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the broader international community including Russia on the Afghan issue, and called for concerted efforts to encourage all factions in Afghanistan to build an open and inclusive political structure through consultation, implement moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, thoroughly dissociate from all terrorist groups, and maintain friendly relations with the rest of the world, especially neighboring countries. 

Putin said that the current changes in the Afghan situation showed that outside forces' forcibly promoting their political models did not work in some countries and will only bring destruction and disaster to these countries. Russia and China share similar stances and interests on the Afghan issue. 

Russia is willing to closely communicate with China and  actively participate in a multilateral mechanism on the Afghan issue to promote a peaceful transition, crack down on terrorism, cut off drug smuggling, prevent the spillover of security risks from Afghanistan, resist interference and destruction from outside forces and safeguard regional stability, Putin said. 

The conversation between the top leaders of China and Russia on Wednesday with a focus on the Afghan issue was a "strategic" exchange, which indicated China and Russia stand together in helping reconstruct peace, stability and development in Afghanistan on the basis of respecting the will and choice of the Afghan people, Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Yang believes the exchange between the top leaders of the two countries again showed that the two major powers are acting as responsible countries in helping address the chaos in Afghanistan and maintain the international order.

To restore peace, stability and order in Afghanistan at an early date, China and Russia can play a big role after the hasty and irresponsible withdrawal of the US, Yang said.  

Coordinating the interested parties including the Afghan Taliban and neighboring countries and regions, combating terrorists in Central Asia, and pushing forward practical and beneficial projects including those under the Belt and Road Initiative when security and stability are restored in the war-torn country are the conducive ways for the two major powers to help boost its recovery and revitalization, Yang noted.

Xi also stressed that only people who wear their shoes know whether the shoes fit. The Chinese and Russians have the final say on which system works in their countries. As comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era, China and Russia should deepen cooperation against interference and hold the destinies of each country firmly in our own hands. 

Aside from exchanging views on the Afghan situation, the two leaders also talked about achievements in bilateral ties and joint efforts on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Xi pointed out that making the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia as a starting point, China and Russia have promoted strategic and comprehensive cooperation and yielded a series of new achievements, which have supported each country's development and played an important role in uniting the international community to overcome current hardships. 

In facing the unstable situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, China is ready to work with Russia to deepen cooperation on vaccine development and production and ensure the safety and stability of the global supply chain for vaccines, Xi said. 

Putin said that Russia is satisfied with the development of ties with China. This year marks the 20th anniversary of signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia, which carries special significance to the two countries. 

China and Russia made great sacrifice and decisive contributions to winning the World Anti-Fascist War 76 years ago. Under the current circumstance, the two counties should strengthen strategic coordination, firmly support each other, safeguard the victory of WWII and defend the truth of history, Putin said. 

Russia firmly insists on the one-China principle, supports China's legitimate position on safeguarding its core interests on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea, opposes interference from outside forces and the politicization of COVID-19 origins tracing. Russia is also willing to deepen cooperation with China in all fields and promote anti-virus cooperation, Putin said.