06.06.2021 – 10:05
China has always followed the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of others. That will not change. However, a new trend is emerging in China’s innovative diplomacy, based on the principle, constructive engagement on hotspot issues in China’s neighboring countries.
A vivid practice of this can be found in China’s proposals raised during the 4th Trilateral-China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Guiyang, the capital of Southwest China’s Guizhou Province, which was held on Thursday.
China’s proposals, initiatives and prospects for advancing peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan stand in stark contrast to US foreign policy intervention.
At Thursday’s meeting, Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi presented five ideas and proposals. First, China adheres to the basic principle of “Afghanistan-led, Afghan-owned”, emphasizing that this country belongs to the people of Afghanistan. This is the manifestation that reflects China’s tradition of respecting the sovereignty of other countries, a precondition for China’s commitment to seeking solutions to other countries’ difficulties.
Unlike the US, which has intervened in Afghan affairs mainly through military means, China has called on all parties concerned to put the interests of Afghanistan and its people first and to explore together a model of governance and the way forward. of development that suits the national conditions of the country.
U.S. tactics have been a combination of repression by the Afghan government as attacks against the Taliban have begun, forcing both sides to return to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, such a method turns a blind eye to the interests of Afghanistan and the people there.
Second, Wang said that China wants to maintain the momentum of the talks, it is ready to conduct a political dialogue at an appropriate time and will provide all facilities and support for this. This shows that China is ready to provide Afghanistan with a platform to help implement an appropriate roadmap and a calendar for national reconciliation.
On the other hand, the US, which did little to promote the peace talks, has been disrupting the process. For example, it allegedly violated the Doha agreement on not only airstrikes against the Taliban, but also expanded the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Third, China raised the idea of bringing the Taliban back into the political arena. He hopes the Afghan government will present a more attractive plan for peace talks to encourage the Taliban to abandon past disputes and meet each other halfway. This could affect the country’s future political framework. The proposal conveys the message that China does not want to see a resurgence of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, but hopes the country will pursue a moderate Muslim policy and continue to vigorously fight terrorism.
Fourth, China attaches great importance to collective security. She sees the region as a whole. She understands that Pakistan has played a unique role in facilitating the signing of the US-Taliban peace agreement and the start of inter-Afghan negotiations.
China hopes that Pakistan will continue to make good use of its advantages and make new constructive efforts. Not long ago, China hosted the China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which encouraged all parties to issue a joint statement on Afghanistan.
This time, Wang noted that China will support the Shanghai Cooperation Organization by playing a greater role in national reconciliation in Afghanistan. This is a major shift in the way the US, which not only points its finger at regional issues from time to time, but has also brought NATO, a bloc away from Afghanistan, to war. Such a way would not help solve the Afghan puzzle.
Most importantly, China has understood the root cause of the issue. A major cause for the 40 years of war in Afghanistan is its weak economic background. The poor living conditions for its people is one of the vital reasons that the country has become a hotbed of extremism.
Wang proposed that China expand cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Afghanistan to increase the level of economic and trade cooperation and ties between Afghanistan and countries in the region, helping Afghanistan increase its capacity for independent development and gradually achieve a virtuous circle of peace and development. This may turn out to be the beginning of a benevolent circle.
Compared to US policy in Afghanistan, which is mainly about accumulating political pressure or carrying out military intervention, China hopes to lay a foundation for Afghanistan’s long-term peace and security. This is China’s plan for its engagement in global governance. It focuses not only on the symptoms of regional challenges, but also on the root causes.
As a key responsible country, China will continue its innovative practices, including regional issues constructively. Will make more contributions based on winning situations, instead of a zero-sum US game.
Translated and adapted by Foreign Policy/ FH, Konica.al