|Hu Jintao Holds Talks with His Afghan Counterpart Karzai|
On the morning of June 8, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks at the Great Hall of the People with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, who is here in China for a visit and to attend the SCO summit. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern and reached broad consensus. They also issued a joint declaration between the two countries.
As a reliable neighbor and friend of Afghanistan, China will unswervingly stick to friendly policies with the country, Hu pledged. The advancement of bilateral relations to a strategic cooperative partnership marks a new step for the development of bilateral ties, said Hu, adding that it not only meets the fundamental interests of the two countries but also benefits world and regional peace, stability and development.
Hu made a five-point proposal on the development of bilateral relations. First, he called on the two sides to deepen political mutual trust and maintain close high-level contacts, so as to enhance strategic communication on major issues. Relevant departments of the two countries should earnestly implement the consensus reached in the declaration. Second, Hu suggested that the two sides expand cooperation in areas including economy and trade, contracted projects, resource and energy development, agriculture and infrastructure based on mutual benefit and common development. "The Chinese government will continue to encourage capable Chinese companies to invest in Afghanistan," he said. Third, he urged both sides to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Hu added China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan on education, culture, media and personnel training. Fourth, he urged the two sides to enhance security cooperation and jointly combat the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as transnational crimes, including drug trafficking. Fifth, Hu also suggested the two sides should expand multilateral coordination and cooperation within the framework of the SCO and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. "China will continue actively participating in international and regional cooperation concerning Afghanistan," said the president.
Hu said that China respects Afghan people's independent choice of development path according to their national conditions. Noting that Afghanistan is entering a pivotal period of transition, he said China will continue to support and participate in the nation's peaceful reconstruction and capacity building. China is ready to work with the international community to promote peace, stability and development in Afghanistan as well as in the region, he added.
Karzai said bilateral relations have developed positively in the past decade, attributing that progress to China's good-neighborly and friendly policies. He also voiced appreciation for China's understanding, support and assistance to Afghanistan's reconciliation and reconstruction process, and expressed his pleasure at the establishment of a bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership. The Afghan people also feel honored to have such a good neighbor like China. Afghanistan is willing to develop long-term friendly cooperation with China, said Karzai, adding that he agreed with Hu's proposal on developing bilateral relations. He said Afghanistan hopes to enhance political, economic and trade, and energy cooperation with China, welcomes Chinese companies expanding investment in Afghanistan and supports humanities exchanges between the two countries.
Briefing Hu on the situation in Afghanistan and the region, Karzai said Afghanistan attaches great importance to China's role in its reconstruction process. He expressed hope that Afghanistan will realize peace, security, stability and development at an early date under the help of the international community, including China.
Prior to the talks, President Hu held a welcome ceremony for Karzai's visit at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission of China Zhang Ping, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Xu Feihong attended the welcome ceremony.