China to support Afghanistan’s peace, reconstruction, and economic development
by Fatima Javed
China is showing its support to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and economic development process since the Taliban took power last month.
China is willing to help in building the country's backward and severely damaged infrastructure from widespread power shortages to broken roads and bridges.
In a short video clip posted by the Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, local workers were busily working on road construction, sending a clear message to the world that the new regime is on track to build the country.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, China will do its best to support Afghanistan’s efforts for peace, reconstruction, and economic development.
“If security conditions are in place, China is willing to help Afghanistan build livelihood projects,” he said.
The spokesperson said that the international community should provide economic, livelihood, and humanitarian assistance to the country and help its people tide over the difficulties.
Afghanistan is facing severe challenges in terms of the humanitarian situation, livelihood, and COVID-19. China has decided to offer 200-million-yuan worth of grains, winter supplies, vaccines, and medicines to Afghanistan according to the needs of the Afghan people.
Pakistan last week also sent supplies such as cooking oil and medicine to authorities in Kabul, while the country's Foreign Minister called on the international community to provide assistance without conditions and to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets.
Moreover, Beijing is ready to actively discuss the resumption of China-Afghanistan freight trains and facilitate Afghanistan's interaction with the outside world, especially its access to humanitarian supplies.
Beyond humanitarian aid, some experts and officials in the region say China's huge Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could provide Afghanistan with long-term economic viability.
On the other hand, Taliban leaders in recent weeks have said they want good relations with China. A senior Taliban source said discussions have taken place with China in Doha about possible investment opportunities.
Two sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan familiar with the matter said China had been proactively encouraging Afghanistan to join CPEC for years but had been met with a non-committal response from the previous US-backed government.
The Taliban, with a need for economic stimulus and international recognition, seems keener.
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This article originally appeared on Gwadar Pro.