Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Afghan president on first China visit as withdrawal looms --- Afghanistan and China pledged a long-term partnership Tuesday as new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani began a four-day visit while NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw from his country. -- Ghani, once a US-based academic, was sworn in as Afghanistan's new head of state last month in the war-torn Asian nation's first democratic transfer of power. -- His first state visit as president is to resource-hungry China, which is seeking greater investment opportunities in Afghanistan. -- "We look at China as a strategic partner, in the short term, medium term, long term and very long term," he told President Xi Jinping at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. -- Xi's "vision" for the continent had opened "not just a new chapter for Asia, but an entirely new book", he said. -- Hailing Ghani as "an old friend of the Chinese people", Xi said he was prepared to work towards "a new era of cooperation in China-Afghanistan relations" to "take development to a new depth and breadth". -- China shares only a 76 kilometre (47 mile) border with Afghanistan's remote far northeast, but has a keen interest in its neighbour's mineral resources. -- It has already secured major oil and copper-mining concessions in Afghanistan, which is believed to have more than $1 trillion worth of mineral resources, according to studies by the US Geological Survey. ---- China will provide 1.5 billion yuan ($245 million) in "free assistance" to Afghanistan over the next three years, foreign ministry official Kong Xuanyou told reporters after Tuesday's ceremony. -- Kong said Ghani expressed "readiness and staunch support" in the struggle against "terrorist forces" -- which Beijing blames for a string of attacks in its far-western Xinjiang region, the homeland of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority. -- China and Afghanistan signed four agreements Tuesday, including documents on expanding technical and commercial cooperation. -- Ghani is also expected on Friday to attend the Istanbul Process, a key conference on his country which is being hosted by Beijing this year. -- More, http://news.yahoo.com/afghan-president-first-china-visit-withdrawal-looms-130552997.html


Post a Comment

<< Home