China asks US, world to step-up aid to Afghanistan to avert crisis post-Taliban takeover
Beijing: China on Monday asked the US and the international community to take “active actions” to help ease the economic crisis in Afghanistan by providing aid to the war-torn country even as it called on the Taliban to stay true to its commitment not to allow terrorist groups to operate from the Afghan soil.
“The Afghan Taliban should stay true to its commitment and earnestly make a clean break with all terrorist forces and take effective measures to crack down on them to avoid the spillover effects,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Monday.
“Terrorism remains a common threat for the international community. China stands ready to work with other countries to deepen counter-terrorism cooperation to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a hotbed and safe haven for terrorism and jointly safeguard the regional peace and stability,” he said.
Asked for his reaction to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appeal for aid to Afghanistan to prevent economic meltdown of the country, which would be a “gift for terrorists,” Zhao said China has committed to provide 200 million Yuan (about USD 31 million) aid comprising food, winter clothing and medicines to the war-torn country.
He said the international community should provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
On September 8, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had announced at a conference on Afghanistan’s neighbours organised by Pakistan that China would provide USD 31 million aid to the war-ravaged country.
“When security conditions are ripe China will help Afghanistan to build projects and support the country’s peace, reconstruction and development to the best of its ability,” Zhao said.
“This shows China’s friendly policy towards Afghanistan is for the entire Afghan people. It also embodies the Chinese culture of mutual assistance especially in trying moments,” he said.
“Currently, Afghanistan faces grave humanitarian livelihood and pandemic challenges. The international community should offer economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance to help the people to tide over difficult times,” he said.
Blaming the US for the current crisis in Afghanistan, Zhao said Washington should provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
“I want to stress that as the culprit of the Afghan issue the US must earnestly fulfil its commitments to the country and assume due responsibility and obligation on the basis of respecting the country’s sovereignty and independence,” he said.
“The US should take active actions to help it to ease economic difficulties instead of shifting the blame and shirking its responsibility,” he said.
Asked for his reaction to Taliban’s decision to cancel the inauguration of its interim government and Russia’s decision not to attend it, he said “whether the Afghan side is going to hold the inauguration ceremony for the interim government in its internal affair and whether other countries plan to attend the ceremony is up to their independent decision. China respects both”.
Reports from Kabul said last week the Taliban has invited China, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Qatar to attend the new government formation ceremony in Afghanistan.
Reports say there were strong reservations in different countries that the interim government was not inclusive as promised by the Taliban earlier.
On September 10, Russian news agency Tass quoted Inamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, as saying that the inauguration ceremony marking Afghanistan’s interim government has been cancelled.
“The inauguration ceremony of the new Afghan government was cancelled a few days ago. In order not to confuse people further, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate (the name the Taliban calls itself) announced the part of the Cabinet, and it has already started to work,” he tweeted, without specifying the further date for the event.
Inamullah denied previous reports that the inauguration was supposedly scheduled for September 11, calling it rumours, the Tass report said.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Moscow would not participate in the inauguration ceremony in any capacity, the report said.