Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani meet reporters after a news conference in Beijing on Jan 26, 2016.[Feng Yongbin / China Daily]
China has agreed to strengthen anti-terrorism work with Afghanistan, a war-torn country whose stability is linked to that of western China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement at a news conference with his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on Jan 26.
The development comes shortly after the second meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group on Afghan Peace and Reconciliation was held in Kabul on Jan 18. The group comprises China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States.
China and Afghanistan have also agreed to discuss and expand the China, US and Afghanistan trilateral cooperation.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Jan 26.
Wang said China and Afghanistan have agreed to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on anti-terrorism efforts to maintain the security and stability of both countries and the region.
“China supports all initiatives and measures that help reconciliation and the resumption of peace talks, as they are totally in line with China’s security interest,” Wang said.
The Afghan government and various political factions should work for an attractive and reasonable reconciliation plan, and China hopes the Taliban will respond positively, he said.
Fu Xiaoqiang, a security and arms control researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said there is the possibility of talks on the Afghan issue being held at foreign minister level between China, Afghanistan and the US.
They have a common interest in “preventing Afghanistan from becoming a source of terrorism,” he said.
Fu said Afghanistan is a “very important” factor for the security of Xinjiang.
Rabbani said a third round of the quadrilateral talks will open on Feb 6 to finalize the road map for peace and reconciliation. He added that the Afghan government has called for “all members of Taliban groups” to come to negotiate.