Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that his just-concluded meetings with senior officials from the Afghan Taliban's interim government are "beneficial" as they have enhanced mutual understanding.
Briefing reporters on his separate meetings with Acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Afghan Taliban's interim government in the Qatari capital of Doha, Wang said that he heard more positive statements from the officials on the Afghan Taliban's domestic and foreign policies.
The Taliban officials introduced in detail the Afghan interim government's policies on increasing the inclusiveness of the Taliban regime, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, and combating terrorism that China and the international community are concerned about, Wang revealed.
"We also communicated on bilateral exchanges and decided to establish a working-level mechanism. It should be said that these contacts are beneficial and enhanced mutual understanding," he said.
Wang noted that as the situation in Afghanistan is undergoing a major turning point, China first put forward four expectations for the future of Afghanistan, which have become "the consensus of the international community."
The Chinese expectations include: building a more open and inclusive political structure in which all ethnic groups and factions should participate and play a role; implementing moderate and stable domestic and foreign policies, including the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of women and children; making a clear break with all terrorist forces and taking measures to resolutely combat them; pursuing a peaceful foreign policy and living in harmony with other countries, especially the neighbors.
"The key is how to achieve it," Wang said, adding that China maintains that the international community should uphold an attitude of equal respect, communicate with all parties and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and provide "active guidance" in order to reach those goals.
"We do not approve of blindly exerting pressure, and we are even more opposed to threats with sanctions," Wang said.
The history of Afghanistan and many international events prove that pointing fingers at an independent nation often turns out to be counterproductive, Wang said, adding that interfering in the internal affairs of a country at every turn violates the basic norms of international relations.
"As long as we remain patient, proceed in an orderly manner, and actively interact with the Afghan interim government and other parties and ethnic groups, I believe the Afghan Taliban will be able to understand more clearly that what to do is more in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of the Afghan people, as well as the expectations of all parties, in order to be more smoothly integrated into the international community," Wang said.
On China's policy toward Afghanistan, Wang said that China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respects the Afghan people's active exploration of a development path that suits its own national conditions, and respects the objective reality of the Afghan interim government's rule throughout the country.
China has never interfered in Afghanistan's internal affairs, nor has it sought any selfish gain or a sphere of influence in Afghanistan, he said.
"We will continue to listen to the voices and needs of the Afghan people, and play a constructive role in restoring stability and achieving development in Afghanistan within our capacity," Wang said.
Regarding the difficulties facing Afghanistan, Wang said that the United States, which ended its 20-year invasion of Afghanistan on Aug. 30 this year with a complete troop pullout, and some Western countries "bear the unshirkable responsibility."
"China urges these countries to assume their due responsibilities and take practical actions as soon as possible to effectively help alleviate the possible humanitarian crisis and truly do some real good deeds for the Afghan people," he said.
He also called on the international community to make concerted efforts to ensure the true implementation of the principle of "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" in Afghanistan.