China urges US to return assets to Afghans in full; over 410,000 Chinese netizens sign GT’s joint letter
Published: Mar 04, 2022 11:24 AM
Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Photo: CFP

Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Photo: CFP

After the US decided to divert $7 billion in frozen Afghan assets, China called on it to immediately return the assets to Afghans in full. As of press time Friday, over 410,000 Chinese netizens have signed the joint letter by the Global Times (GT) urging the US to return assets in full to Afghans immediately and unconditionally.

"Returning other people's money in full is not a virtue of generosity, but a matter of course. Paying back half and deducting half of other people's money is not gifting, but stealing," China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Zhang Jun said at the UN Security Council Briefing on United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday.

"This is the simplest truth. What the US did is neither legal nor reasonable nor humane," Zhang said, calling on the relevant countries to immediately and unconditionally return these assets to Afghans in full.

These assets are the only few available assets owned by Afghanistan and are crucial to the stability and development of the country. US' act is a breach of Afghanistan's national sovereignty and property, and is a serious contravention of international law, Zhang said. The move triggered protests and demonstrations in many parts of Afghanistan. 

The World Food Programme data show that 22.8 million Afghans face severe food insecurity, and 3.2 million children under the age of five are severely malnourished. Afghanistan is facing an avalanche of hunger and poverty. 

Afghanistan is at a crucial stage of reconstruction, which is working hard to improve its political structure, restore order in production and life, and actively conduct foreign exchanges and cooperation, Zhang said.

The international community should actively inject liquidity into Afghanistan, help the country restore its domestic market and economic system, reintegrate into regional and international economic cooperation, and embark on the path of peaceful development.  Any economic blockade or unilateral sanctions against Afghanistan should be stopped immediately, Zhang noted.

Zhang called on the international community to continue to adhere to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned principle, enhance engagement with them through an equitable, rational and pragmatic approach.

Afghanistan can gradually achieve lasting peace and stability, eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism, and Afghan women and children achieve better development only in this way, according to Zhang.

The top priority is to push the international community to increase assistance to Afghanistan, support its efforts to improve people's lives, maintain stability and restore socio-economic development. As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China has always been committed to supporting Afghanistan's peace, stability and development, Zhang said.

Global Times