China pledges financial, training assistance to Afghanistan
Updated: 2014-10-31 11:47
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during the opening ceremony of the fourth ministerial conference of Istanbul Process of Afghanistan at the Diaoyutai Guesthouse in Beijing, Oct 31, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING - China on Friday pledged to provide non-reimbursable assistance of 500 million yuan ($81.43 million) to Afghanistan this year at an international meeting on Afghanistan held in Beijing.
China will provide non-reimbursable assistance of 1.5 billion yuan ($244 million) in the upcoming three years to Afghanistan, help the country train 3,000 people of all circles in the upcoming five years, and provide 500 scholarships, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang while addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.
"Firm support for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction should be concrete actions instead of verbal commitment," the premier said.
He pledged to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in such areas as infrastructure construction, agriculture, water conservancy, and mineral resources exploitation.
Li also presented five-point proposals for the solution of Afghan issue, including insisting self-governance of the Afghan people, promoting political reconciliation among different Afghan political parties, speeding up economic reconstruction, exploring a development path for the country, and strengthening external support to it.
The international community should respect Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, not interfere with its internal affairs and support Afghanistan's efforts to realize security and stability, Li said.
He called on different political parties of Afghanistan to lay aside former enmity and join the political reconciliation process. The international community should support the Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace process and create a good environment for the peaceful reconciliation, he said.
He urged the international community to fulfill the assistance commitment, and help Afghanistan to achieve a sustained economic development.
He said the international community should respect the choice of Afghan people for the country's development path and strengthen external support. The regional countries, especially, should firmly support Afghanistan to realize peace and stability.
Inaugurated in 2011, the Istanbul Process is the only Afghanistan-related cooperation mechanism led by regional countries. This is also the first time for China to host Afghanistan-related international conference.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who is paying his first China visit since taking office in September, also addressed the opening ceremony.