China among fastest, biggest earthquake relief donor to Afghanistan with $8m cash, materials: FM
Published: Jul 06, 2022 11:30 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

The last shipment of earthquake relief supplies donated by the Chinese government will be sent to Afghanistan on Thursday, after China has already donated cash and materials worth 54 million yuan ($8 million) to the country, with Y-20 transport aircraft among transport vehicles conducting multiple transportation missions in the past two weeks, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. 

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday that "Afghan friends once said 'in front of disaster, China is always reliable and trustworthy.' In order to ensure materials are delivered to the Afghan people impacted by the disaster, China made full use of every minute, and used six Y-20 transport aircraft and four commercial charter flights to deliver the shipments in less than two weeks."

China is one of the countries to assist Afghanistan with the most materials at the fastest speed, he noted. On Thursday, the last aircraft with a shipment of earthquake relief supplies will fly to Afghanistan, and the materials that China promised will be fully delivered, Zhao said.

"In the next step, the Chinese government and the people will continue to provide help to Afghanistan for post-disaster reconstruction, as well as disaster prevention and mitigation, to support Afghanistan to realize stable development as soon as possible," Zhao noted. 

Analysts said that China can share its experience with Afghanistan in raising the capacity for emergency rescue and relief, and the region can also consider building a multilateral or bilateral mechanism to deal with emergencies over the long term.

China is the only major power in the region able to provide significant help to countries like Afghanistan in an emergency situation like an earthquake. 

China can share experience with Afghanistan in capacity building for emergency response, such as disaster prevention, forecasting and early warning, and also aid or cooperate in the establishment of emergency rescue teams and related mechanisms, Zhu Yongbiao, executive director of the Research Center for the Belt and Road and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies, Lanzhou University, told the Global Times.

Over the long term, the region can consider building a multilateral or bilateral mechanism to deal with the emergency situation, especially in regions which have seen more natural disasters caused by climate extremes, according to Zhu.

"The hasty pullout of the US and the money it robbed from the Afghan people makes the country still very fragile in the challenge of disasters, so this requires regional countries to pay joint efforts to provide assistance. By helping Afghanistan realize reconstruction and development, China's reputation and influence in the region will be further reinforced to boost the construction of the Belt and Road and realize the joint development of the region," said a Beijing-based expert on international relations who asked for anonymity.