President’s Visit to People’s Republic of China
A short review shows that Sino-Afghan historical and friendly ties on political, cultural, commercial and economic areas trace back to the time when Silk Road was connected to China through Afghanistan. Historical ties between Afghanistan and China began in 7th century. It is said that Xuanzang, leader of Monks in China, paid a visit to Bamyan Valley and praised two Statues of Buddha. Afghanistan and China share 76 km joint border. The best part of the border lies 5,000 above sea level. It is a rough route and often blocked due to heavy snowfalls.
In contemporary history, diplomatic ties between governments of China and Afghanistan began in 1955 and followed visit of Zhou Enlai, prime minister of the time, from Afghanistan. During Taliban regime, due to Taliban’s support for separation of Uighurs’ Taliban, ties between the two countries moved to its coldest form in the history. Following fall of the Taliban and establishment of Afghan Interim Government, new opportunities rose for revitalizing ties between the two countries.
On December 2001, Afghan government was formally recognized by Beijing and a visit on 2002 to Beijing was paid by President Karzai who was extremely welcomed. As a consequence, the first economic cooperation agreement was inked between the two countries and China turned into one of the well players in construction of Afghanistan.
H. E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on official invitation of Xi Jing Ping, president of the People’s Republic of China had a trip to that country. President Ghani in addition to meeting with Xi Jing Ping, his Chinese counterpart, called on and discussed with Prime Minister Li Keqiang and China’s chief of parliament. President Ghani, besides thanking the Chinese government for their aids to Afghanistan in the past 13 years, asked China to spend their new funds on infrastructural projects particularly on building railway, highways, reconstruction of dams, generation of energy and construction sector.
President Ghani met Afghan and Chinese traders and investors in a session, during marginal time-periods of his formal trip. He also visited large infrastructures and institutions of China. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani delivered his remarks at Xinhua University in Beijing and held a round table discussion with a number of experts regarding ties between the two countries, and regional and international issues.
Outcomes of China’s Visit:
•Inking four cooperative agreements between Afghanistan and China.
•Commitments to extracting mines as well as investment in Afghanistan.
•Removing entrance visa for political passports of the two countries.
•Delivering humanitarian services by China to Afghanistan.
•Signing agreements on extension of technical and economic cooperation between Afghan Chamber of Commerce and China’s Federation of Industry and Commerce.
•Pledging of ¥500 million by China’s president in assistance to Afghanistan by end of the current year and increase in level of the assistances to ¥1.5 billion.
•Providing 500 academic scholarships to Afghan students within next 5 years.
•Providing training to 3,000 personnel of Afghan government in technical areas and capacity building.
•Spending $40 billion in a project titled Silk Road Investment Fund.